Clever Siding Deconstruction
A hole saw and some homemade plugs make saving and reusing old wood siding a simple job.
My boss wanted to try to reuse the redwood siding we were taking off his house to make some upgrades. Prying at the boards caused splitting, so we decided to use a hole saw to separate the nails from the wood. The local home center had a 3/8-in. diamond hole saw for tilework that turned out to be the perfect thing. The bit’s diamond grit works fast and creates a smooth cut.
To start the cut, position the bit over the nail at a slight angle and start the bit rotating slowly. Once the kerf is established, straighten the bit and drill to a depth of 3/4 in., leaving the nail and cutting the siding around it. Once you’ve drilled around all the nails, make a few passes with a utility knife along the painted joint between boards so they pop free. When it was time to reinstall the siding, I plugged the holes with 3/8-in. redwood plugs that I cut on the drill press. I glued them in the holes and then sanded them flush. The reclaimed siding cost next to nothing and matched perfectly.
—Martin Alonso, Rohnert Park, Calif.
Edited and Illustrated by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding #288
More about siding
Don’t Forget the Flashing – Easily overlooked and sometimes installed incorrectly, flashing keeps water out and rot at bay.
How to Choose the Right Siding for Your House – Learn about the costs, pros, and cons of the 3 most common siding materials: wood, fiber cement, and vinyl.
Understanding Rainscreens – These construction details can improve the durability of exterior walls by allowing rain and moist air to escape from behind your home’s siding.