Building Homes or Extensions/siding


Hi diane: I own an old house. there is aluminum siding, I want to up the value of my house. I want to install cedar shingles over the aluminum siding, not tearing of the siding? is this possible? Also there are old wood shingles under the aluminum siding. thank you

Hello, Jerome.
My answer is based on the key phrase in your question: you want to up the value of your home. Whether it's for your personal peace of mind, or resale, I recommend that you remove ALL existing siding before you install new siding. Here are several reasons:

My main reason for this recommendation is: You don't know how the aluminum siding was installed. There could be serious problems with the original siding that need to be addressed. I ran into this with a client a couple of years ago, with a 1900 farmhouse. Previous owners had installed aluminum siding over existing wood lap siding. The installation of the new siding was done very poorly, and the contractor ran into many problems. Ultimately, the homeowner chose to have the contractor remove all existing siding and install cementious lap siding. The results were excellent!

The second reason is: You probably won't get a qualified professional contractor who'll agree to install new siding over shingles and aluminum siding. If you do find a contractor who says he can and will install wood shingles over the two existing layers of siding, protect yourself by following these steps: 1. Check the status of the contractor's license, how long he's been in business, and any previous claims made against him. 2. Get a written estimate and contract, including all labor and materials, what he'll do, and how long it will take. 3. Get a written warranty for problems arising from defective labor or materials.

The third reason is: If a new layer of wood shingles are installed over the existing aluminum and original wood shingles, it may cause a problem with all of the exterior trim not being deep enough, which could affect how the trim functions and looks over the coming years.

The fourth reason is: Removing all existing siding before installing new siding gives you an opportunity to improve your home's energy efficiency (insulation and moisture barrier), seismic stability (shear wall panels), personal comfort and peace of mind.

The last reason is: New shingles over the existing siding can devalue your home instead of increasing the value, especially if you try to sell your home.

Wishing you the best of luck as you move forward with this project.


Diane Plesset, CMKBD, C.A.P.S., NCIDQ
D. P. Design
"See the Possibilities. Create a Positive Difference."

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Diane Plesset


I will answer questions about designing and building a new home, building an addition, remodeling a home, sustainability ("green" building and remodeling), aging-in-place, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling. The goal is to help homeowners achieve ultimate satisfaction with all of their choices and decisions.


Over 25 years in residential design, construction, improvement, and remodeling. Hundreds of completed projects in all ranges of investment. Author of the award-winning book "THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling," host of "Today's Home" on Lifestyle WebRadio, and public speaker.

National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC)

THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling. Designer's Illustrated, Gentry, Interior Coordinator (Japan), Kitchen-Bath Business, Kitchen-Bath Design News, Oregonian, Portland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo Times, Statesman Journal

Degrees in residential interior design, bath design, kitchen design, and lighting design. To improve knowledge about codes, products, and trends that will affect homeowners, I regularly attend tradeshows, conferences, classes, and seminars, and read 7 major trade magazines and newsletters.

Awards and Honors
Certified Master Kitchen-Bath Designer (CMKBD), Certified Interior Designer (NCIDQ), Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (C.A.P.S.). AWARDS: Henry Adams, Chrysalis, Best of the Best, CoTY, Master Design, HBA Excellence. 2003 NABE Award for best how-to book.

Past/Present Clients
Please see the portfolio in my website,

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