I have vinyl siding over 3/8" styrofoam boards over the original clapboards on my 1930's house. The vinyl siding looks lousy, having faded from brown to several different shades of blue-brown and green.
The condition of the clapboards seems to be excellent in the spots I've checked.
I'd like to remove the vinyl siding and styrofoam and clean and paint the original clapboard. Another incentive for doing this is that I am going to have insulation packed into the walls from the exterior. If I don't remove the vinyl siding and styrofoam, the contractors will have to drill holes in the original clapboard. If I do remove it, they will carefully remove sections of clapboard, put the foam in and replace and reseal the clapboard without damaging it.
Is there any reason not to remove the vinyl siding? I don't believe the thin styrofoam gives much insulation value.
I'd remove it and see what you have. The vinyl could be painted to make it look better, but IMHO it still wouldn't look great or appropriate on a house of your vintage.
Keep in mind you're going to find lead paint on the siding. Any scraping you need to do to prep the clapboards for a fresh coat of paint is going to need to be captured and cleaned up. Hiring a professional to do this will require extensive lead abatement procedures that you as the homeowner aren't required to do.
If you decide the wood claps aren't worth the effort fiber cement siding would be a more appropriate modern treatment for the outside of your house than vinyl. Of course you can always do new claps, if you can find matching ones you may only need to replace some portion of them. If you need to replace more than a third to a half of them you'd probably be dollars ahead to start over.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
I don't see any really good reason to keep the siding. what I'd do is strip the outside to the studs, reinsulate, put on good underlayment and housewrap, then side the place. if the windows were bumped out to the present siding, you get to put a layer of foiled foam board on before the new vinyl. that's new windbreak, and max insulation value.
it could also double the cost. but drilling out the clapboards and blowing in insulation is going to be a half-donkey job with lots of openings for infilration.
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
It's dense-pack cellulose, blown in with pressure, so there shouldn't be many gaps for infiltration.
I like Sparky's suggestion - but I do recognize the lead paint problem. The top coat is not lead paint but the undercoat does have it.
For general message board help, click the tab labeled "Tools," and choose "Help" from the dropdown menu.