Update November 2012:  I have finished staining the house and have added the final pictures!

Last year I bought a house, my first house.  I had been looking at houses for over a year and finally found this small house in a nice neighborhood that is very close to my work.  Actually its so close I walk to work everyday, which is awesome.  Being a DIY kind of guy I was in the market for a fixer-upper, some thing I could leave my mark on.  Well I found exactly that in this house, a 94 year old foreclosure that I picked up for cheap from the bank that just wanted it gone.  The house was in sad shape but after two months of work it was ready to move in.  Flash forward to this summer, the house is in desperate need of a siding overhaul and I say "why pay some else to do what I could do myself"  You can decide if it was worth it or not after reading.  

The house, being nearing a century old, is surprisingly untouched as far as remodeling and upgrades go and still has the original ceder shake wood siding.  The shakes are roughly 2ft long and are lapped and nailed just like shingles would be.  The paint looks to be in pretty bad shape as you can see from the pictures.  So you can understand why the overhaul was needed.  I considered having it painted by someone else, or just taking it all down and having something else put up, vinyl siding possibly.  But that just didn't fit the character of the house.  I wanted to keep it original and found out my uncle had also owned a house in the same neighborhood that also had ceder siding.  He had a similar problem when he bought that house and actually had workers come in and sand blast the siding, which he then stained.  Driving past that house it looked great and I decided I would go the same route.  So I started figuring out how to get this done in a way that I could do it myself.

I'm going to explain how I refinished and stained my house but my methods are not the only option you have, if you find yourself in a similar situation.  I did it this way to get the results I was after.  I did have to spend a considerable amount of money but I think it is still cheaper than paying some one else to do the same work.  By posting this I hope that others will be able to see what it takes to do this type of job so they can either do it themselves or make the most informed decision they can about their house.  
dschrengost7 months ago
Great job! I'm gonna be doing mine this summer, it's my first house. I wonder if you can rent that paint remover from Home Depot? 800 bucks is quite steep!
jojo87910 months ago
thanks...I'm about to start on mine. not add much but none the less... rewarding work to come soon
Wow nice house the before and after are amazing!!
BrittLiv2 years ago
Wow i just saw the finished house, it turned out awesome. I especially like the blue in combination with the red front door.
Wow, just looking at the before and after photos. I think you just raised the property values of your neighborhood lol.
oktex2 years ago
Great job!

This is a ton of elbow grease but why cover natural wood with vinyl right? I know the neighbors appreciate the home being restored and love the look of a shingled exterior.

I have a home with clear redwood and was going to cover it but upon scraping and repair I discovered the wood and it cannot be replaced so my thought it would be a sin to cover over it. I hand scraped, nail set and had much less to do than you as I just had gable ends and a bit of siding in back so all by hand. I am so glad I did.

My original estimate of a one week job turned into 3 weeks.
Very nice job! Congrats on the Cabot contest! you definitely earned it!
Attmos2 years ago
Nice work. I paint proffesionaly, and I can tell you that you're doing it in the correct order. Body first, then trim.
0bes2 years ago
Can I say I love you? I have the same story, similar house, built in 1910, but mine is about a 28 minute drive from work.

I had been debating what to do, I think I'll do this.
vincent75202 years ago
Great job !
Myself having stripped an entire 33 ft boat hull and deck (all by hand though : didn't have anything resembling the "Paint Shaver" at that time and sanders do not do the job …) I know what it takes to do such huge surface !!!…
I gladly vote for you, even twice if I could !…

Interestingly enough, the Metabo machine is sold in France as a floor planer not as a varnish / paint remover… and I think it is much closer to what the tool really is as opposed to the demo I watched from the link you posted to Paint Shaver®.

Your house is beautiful : I love those unpretentious popular late 19th early 20th century American houses.
Wish you live well in it ! …
Doug Costlow (author)  vincent75202 years ago
Thanks for the vote!
BrittLiv2 years ago
I voted for you, the end result is just amazing, I really like the colour
Doug Costlow (author)  BrittLiv2 years ago
Thanks, your rubix cube looked really nice too. I can't imagine trying to figure it out though, no colors just trying to line up the pictures would be tough
vincent75202 years ago
VOTED !!!!…
jmray2 years ago
Congratulations on such a beautiful home - what determination...
Goodness golly! This is spectacular! Thank you for sharing your insight, and superb organization in writing this instructable! Can't wait to see the final pictures.
Wow!! You did an amazing job!! I would love to see a pic of the before and after side by side - the finished result is incredible, you must be so happy with how it turned out! :)