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.