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Home improvement dilemmas and possible solutions, freelance work updates

April 19th, 2011 at 09:05 am

It seems like there's a lot going on.

I have my handyman guy Billy here all day and I hope he can finish the 3 or 4 little jobs I've given him. He's still working on the 1st one.

I finally shook loose the laziness and started thinking more seriously again about doing vinyl siding after several weeks of just thinking I'd go the cheap route and have the house painted again.

The problem with painting is that with asbestos shingles, you're not supposed to sand or even scrape them, or do anything that would create dust. So of course, if you do a lousy prep job before painting, the paint won't adhere well. And that's exactly where I stand today. The last paint job I got started peeling in year 2.

But i also still didn't have a certain comfort level with the one vinyl place I met with, or their high price ($17k). While I know that "encapsulation" is an acceptable way to deal with asbestos, I wasn't convinced that they wouldn't end up shattering all the shingles once they tried to nail the Styrofoam insulation onto it. Then the broken tiles would all drop to the bottom, and even though he said they install flashing at the bottom to prevent broken tiles from falling to the ground, another guy told me the piles of broken tiles would create bumps in the vinyl at the bottom and not look right. Not to mention the idea of having a bunch of broken asbestos tiles still around isn't too appealing to me.

I called 2 references, got thru to 1, but he said they had the asbestos removed.

This a.m. i had a brief conversation with another guy who's coming over this afternoon. He quickly boosted my confidence level in him right away because he said he always removes asbestos shingles first, for the exact same reasons that i have concerns about covering them up, that they will shatter when nailed bunch up at the bottom and make the vinyl look weird, etc.

He is certified to do it and said that removal is not as expensive as i might think. So that got me excited because i had gotten a price years ago from an outfit that just did removal, and it seemed like a pretty pricey proposition.

The guy i talked to today said they don't do the whole surround the house in plastic thing when they do the tile removal, they just wear special face masks, lay tarps and of course dispose of it in a special hazardous waste landfill. Still, i wouldn't want him to do the work on a windy day, cus then I'd have to worry that dust particles could be blown down into my veggie garden, which is a good 75 feet from the house.

Sp here are my reasons for wanting to go with vinyl instead of painting:

1. Much easier to sell the house without asbestos shingles. (Though it didn't bother me since I'd grown up in a house with asbestos shingles and didn't foresee or anticipate the extra hassles painting would entail.)

2. No more short-lasting paint jobs due to inability to really sand down peeling paint well.

3. I have at least 2 windows that periodically develop leaks between the outside window trim and side of house. The caulk just doesn't seem to hold for more than a year or two. I'm pretty sure that covering window trim and walls with vinyl will eliminate this problem.

4. Slightly better insulation since they use something like 1/2" foam insulation and possibly some noise insulating value??

5. i have seasonal problems with carpenter ants getting in the house; maybe redoing siding more snugly could help?

6. Years back i had a guy blow in wall insulation from the outside. He had to drill 1" diameter holes every 6 feet all around the house and didn't care at all about asbestos issues. After blowing in the insulation, he had these wood corks he used to plug the holes with glue around each cork. Now, 1 or 2 of them has worked loose, and now i have to deal with plugging them back up to prevent water and insect and draft infiltration in what was previously a lot more airtight without those holes. So I deeply regret that move, but it can be difficult to anticipate every possible problem. I was just trying to better insulate an old house. So now I plan to have my handyman replug those holes before i have the vinyl installed.

So are those enough reasons to go vinyl?

On the freelance work front:

I'm supposed to be editing a book for a local author, but things keep changing on her end. She may delay that project in favor of another book, which would require more work on her part before I could edit it. She's juggling several different projects all at once. I just want to start a job to earn some money.

Another pending job is a press release and a blog post for my real estate client who's excited by a big uptick in attendees at 4 recent community open houses. He thinks it's indicative of a returning housing market.

Another possibility is a woman who revamps and improves websites for a living who needs writers. I was put in touch with her by another writer i used to work with. The good thing there is she has a wide variety of websites she deals with, from environmental to financial. I'm hoping something comes of it.

3 Responses to “Home improvement dilemmas and possible solutions, freelance work updates”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I had the asbestos shingle problem on my detached garage. Those shingle are great in that they last forever, but it means they accumulate the dinginess and dirt of the ages. Mine were unpainted, just plain. I had noticed other asbestos shingled buildings that had been painted sometimes peeled. And then there were some asbestos buildings whose paint had just seemed to gradually fade off--sort of like old fashioned white-wash. Others looked great and I did not know what the difference was.

    Contractors told me that to vinyl shingle over my asbestos would be slow and expensive as they would have to pre-drill every single nail or screw hole. Otherwise the shingles would definitely break. Also the workers would have to have protective gear.

    I decided to take my chances and paint. However, I took a long time to gingerly wash the entire garage (four sides) with detergent as best as I could. Then I painted two coats with Glidden Evermore Exterior Latex Enamel, Hi-Gloss. I wanted to encase the tiles in enamel paint which would really be water resistant.

    I think it has been 8 years since I painted, and halleluia, the paint is holding up. The wood trim at the windows and doors are ready for new paint, but the shingles are clean, stable, adhering very well.

    If I had your problem with it already peeling. I think I'd try washing and painting again.

    If I had big bucks to spend, I would look into a newish vinyl sealant. I think its called Rhino-Sheild. It is not a consumer product but they say it lasts as long as your building. I think it gets sprayed on and forms a thick, continuous film, like having your house shrink-wrapped.

  2. patientsaver Says:

    Joan, that's all very interesting to hear.

    the problem is, once it starts peeling, you really shouldn't be scraping or sanding, but if you don't scrape and sand the surface, the new paint won't hold.

    I and my boyfriend did paint it once, and i guess we did a pretty good job becus it lasted for 9 years i believe.

    I looked into vinyl sealants like rhino shield and i've heard a lot of bad things about them, that it doesn't last a lifetime as i think some of them will advertise. There are a lot of scammers out there. I think the price i got was $12k. I don't trust the product.

  3. LittleMsMom Says:

    I just wanted to suggest that if you are concerned about dust on your garden, you put stakes in the garden then lay large rolls of plastic (like the kind for painting) across to make sure any dust lands on the plastic and not the plants.

    Good Luck, If it was me I would probubly pay for the removal and then do the siding, but I don't like doing any type of repainting or restaining.

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