General Contractor or Siding Contractor?
Hi folks! I’ve got a high-ranch home with hip roof, and 2′ cantilevered overhangs on the upper level. I’m basically looking to get the house re-sided in vinyl, while also replacing any rot/water damage encountered along the way. So far, that sounds like the perfect job for a siding contractor. However, there are additional issues that I’m not sure a siding contractor would be able to solve, which I describe below.
(1) First, on the back of the house, we have an attached deck that appears to just be nailed directly to the side of the house with no visible ledger board, and the attachment is made at the cantilevered portion of the house. I’m looking to re-attach it to a properly flashed ledger board. There is some rot in this area, but I do know that the joists are OK.
(2) Second issue is there is a fireplace chimney that I’m not confident is built or attached properly. I was poking with a screwdriver at the interior wall upstairs behind the fireplace chimney under the baseboard, and I found some dry rot. I don’t know the extent of the damage.
(3) Third issue is the exterior wall one one side of the house has a slight bow to it. There are 2 diagonal cracks in the foundation above this area. I would guess there’s maybe up to 1/2″ of total settlement over this area. Itt’s unclear to me if that’s the cause of the bowing. The inspector (not an engineer) wasn’t concerned about this when I bought the house.
So now, I’m trying to decide how to proceed from here. My primary goal is finding and correcting water damage, and preventing damage in the future. Cosmetics are secondary. Presumably a siding contractor would be able to handle the deck attachment, but what about the dry rot I found behind the chimney? Or the bowed wall? Would I be better off hiring a GC? I’d love to hear from you all!
A good siding contractor will know their limits and call in qualified help.
A not so good contractor will slam bang cover it up so they can get to the next money maker. Things that get covered that aren’t done right usually last up to the point where “not so good” is long gone.
A good general contractor should be able to take care of it all or at least call on one of their subs. They would be responsible for the entire job, subs or not.
Good is the key in both professions. Great would be those that show up and give you a fair price for work performed.
You've perfectly summed up my biggest fears! I'm a little nervous about possibly hiring the wrong person and handing them a complicated job, and finding out later that it wasn't done right.
I've been thinking about this more, and I'm starting to consider another approach: Break the work into separate projects: One for the dry rot behind the chimney and the bowed wall, another project for the chimney itself, and a third project for the siding/deck attachment.
The problem is the chimney project seems to intersect with the other two, making it difficult to separate out. I've attached a diagram to help illustrate what I mean. The chimney is brick masonry, and as you can see from the diagram, there's an un-flashed "deck ledger" that is just nailed to the side of the house behind the chimney. And there's a 220V AC line in a steel tube that's run in a similar fashion. I suspect the siding runs behind the chimney as well, though it's hard to tell because the seam where the chimney mates with the house is sealed with cement.
The main thing I'm trying to understand is how the chimney is "supposed" to attach to the house.
(A) Should the chimney attach directly to the plywood sheathing on the exterior wall?
(B) Should the chimney be a fully detached free-standing structure?
(C) Should the chimney be mostly free-standing, but anchored in some way to the exterior?
If (A) is true, then the siding would presumably stop at the chimney, so the chimney and siding can be handled separately.
If (B) or (C) is true, then the siding would have to be replaced behind the chimney somehow, right?
If there's any useful how-to videos that show this better, I'd love to learn more. I have not been able to find anything online. I just want to understand the process better to make sure I'm hiring the right people for the job. If it's best to rebuild the chimney, so bet it. I'd rather bite the bullet now than deal with inflated costs down the road.
That attachment isn't working. Here's the diagram as a URL: