Best options for replacing T1-11 plywood siding

I have a townhouse in suburban Kansas City built in 1977 that has vertical T1-11 siding, and I’m wondering what the best options for replacing it would be. I had some patching done in 2008 after woodpeckers poked a hole in the side, but it’s at the point where it all needs to be replaced.

The house itself is worth maybe $125K-130K, so I’m not looking to spend a whole lot of money if I can help it. I would be willing to pay more if I could do something to better insulate the house from outside. When the siding was patched, I noticed that there’s no Tyvek wrap, foam board or anything else. When they pulled the siding off, the batts of insulation were right behind it, which explains why the house boils in the summer and freezes in the winter.

I am not familiar with this product (never seen it up here in Alberta). I was a little surprised there is no sheathing on the house, but I see how such a product could serve some of the purpose of sheathing. Late 70’s early 80’s they used a horrible bitumen impregnated fibre board product here instead of proper plywood or OSB sheathing. MAde for some pretty flimsy homes. Even modern applications of Densglass sheathing really do not offer comparable shear strength to plywood/OSB.

I guess that **Smartside **panel would be the obvious modern replacement if you are not wanting to spend a lot of money. Easy to install, dirt cheap and durable. Factory finish lasts a long time and takes paint much better than wood. Usually used more for utility buildings but would look pretty similar to your existing siding

You really need to sheath the house first if you are going to use Tyvek or other house wrap. If you apply foam you will most likely need to clad or re-trim all the doors and windows due to the added thickness. I often see 1 inch EPS foam applied under new siding but I hardly think the additional R 3.75 is worth the effort. Might as well go with at least 2 inches and get a noticeable increase in insulation value.

I guess Hardie makes a panel as well that is going to be superior to anything else, but is a lot more expensive (here anyway).

I’d probably pull the t1-11. Reinsulate where needed. re-sheath the house with plywood. Weather wrap it. The choose a siding. Vinyl will be your cheapest.

Overall you need to spend a good chunk of change. Get some estimates.

The most bang for the buck I expect would be to pull off the siding and put in a layer of Tyvek. There are many products in this category with different qualities so you might wish to research that. Then a layer of ¼” to ½” insulation. Then vinyl siding.

One issue to be aware of is these layers in combination is most likely a different thickness than the T 1-11 so make sure the flashing around the windows & Doors is re-done and is good to make sure the water flows outside and then down. Pay attention to that.

They do make a pre insulated siding product, that is rigid foam insulation fused to the siding. Not know much of it other than is available.

I’d consider replacing it with . . . T1-11.

I’m not a fan of it either. But I do still see it out there. And it’s lasted 40 years. You replace your roof every 20-25 years and haven’t put metal or stone up there yet, so while it’s more costly to replace siding, it’s not completely apples to oranges. 40 years is a long term solution to me.

Another consideration is the style of the house. Some of the houses that I see that have T1-11 have a 70’s feel to them. If you change the T1-11 to clapboard style siding, what will that do to the look of the house?

Me too. On my first house the T1-11 had lasted for over 25 years without treatment until I added some vertical 1x2 cedar boards to give it the Board and Batten look. Then I gave it a good layer of paint. About ten years ago the new owners covered it with vinyl siding, I guess because they wanted to think they lived in Legoland.

The good stuff mind you, not the cheap thin stuff. I think it’s 5/8" I use and that rates for your sheathing as well.

Your heating/cooling problem might be infiltration, drafts and such. This is an inexpensive fix with chalking, lots and lots of chalking.

Thanks for the advice, everyone. New T1-11 might be my best option, especially because all the homes in the neighborhood have to have the vertical 8" style, so replacing with horizontal vinyl or something like that isn’t an option. The next-door neighbor used Hardie Board, which also looks nice, but that might be cost-prohibitive. If adding insulating sheathing and Tyvek on before replacing the siding will take care of the draftiness, that might be the cheapest way to go.

Moderator Action

While there are factual aspects to this, I think that overall this is more of an advice type of question, which makes it more suitable to IMHO.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.