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Thread: Vinyl siding---should I remove the old shingles first?

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  1. #1

    Default Vinyl siding---should I remove the old shingles first?

    Hi folks,

    Single female homeowner here with a question about vinyl siding my home..

    Currently I have wood shingles on the house (a small cape cod style home). The shingles on part of the home are cracked and worn so instead of painting again I'd like to just to put vinyl siding on the house.

    I have had several siding companies at the house for estimates, some want to remove the existing shingles, some don't. I realize there are labor costs involved to remove the shingles but the estimates are not bad.

    I have been told that removing the shingles would look better.

    I am confused.....Can someone tell me what I should do.....

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    By all means remove the shingles. Vinyl siding will follow the bumps in the wall and those shingles will cause lots of waves. The sheathing should be smooth and provide a nice surface to attach the vinyl. I would not even talk to an applicator who didn't want to remove the shingles. Removal should not be a major expense, they can peel them off very quickly.

  3. #3

    Default Thanks Gary.....should they remove the roof shingles also?

    Thanks very much for your reply......I am getting a new roof and my question is: Some of the contractors say that they will go over the existing roof shingles and some would remove them.

    What does one do in this case....it is the original roof, just faded and old. I am not liking the idea of leaving the old ones on. What do you think?

    My house is a small Cape Cod style home.....it looks like a doll house and easy to get around (repair wise)....I hope I don't get taken advantage of, price wise for this job. It consists of vinyl siding, new roof and building new side stairs (composite not wood).

    Need advice please,

  4. #4
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Brooklyn, NY and Fire Island, NY


    Leaving the old ones on, is a short-sighted way to cut costs.

    Personally, I wouldn't hire anyone who proposed it.
    Master Plumber Mark:

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    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
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    Just so everyone's clear: I'm the POODLE in the picture ("french", get it?) The hot woman is my wife.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    It's safer to remove them since there could be some structural problems from past leaks that you wouldn't know about until they try to nail in the new ones and find the wood is all rotten. If the roof structure is solid, it is considered acceptable to install a second shingle roof over an existing one, but never a third layer. Depending on where you live, you may want to have them install an ice and water shield layer on the lower eave area and maybe roof valleys. This also works better if applied to the roof sheathing than the existing layer. If the current roof is cupped and there are missing shingles, dump it and start fresh.

    A tear-off is pretty quick, but watch out for nails - make sure they clean up well. A big magnetic roller is a good idea, you don't want them in the yard when you mow the lawn or in your tires.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    DIY Member GregO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Default shingles

    I completely agree with the other posts = tear off the roof and siding wood shingles. Yes, both can be done without tearing off, but it will yield an unprofessional job. Tearing off will cost a little bit more, but will enhance every aspect of the finished job. Given your NE climate, Jim's recommendation for ice/water shield is the absolutely right way to go.
    Do it once, do it right. Greg


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