Apologies if this isn’t the appropriate forum to post this, since I am looking to hire someone and not DIY this.

I own a wood frame house in Florida that has several areas where it looks like the wood is rotting. Right now we are addressing some preliminary issues (just had a bee hive removed from our patio walls, getting a termite inspection next, and considering a roof inspection to check for leaks) before hiring someone to do all of the repairs.

I need to know if this project is big enough that I should be hiring a general contractor to go through, or if I should just hire a carpenter? I assume it’s too big of a job for an average handyman?

Also I want to make sure we don’t miss any areas of damage and end up having to hire someone again a few months down the line. Some spots that are rotten look fine on the surface and are only noticeable if you push against the wood and feel it give. Could I hire someone like a home inspector to find all of the problems that should be fixed? I figure asking the person I’m paying to do the repairs to also do the inspection would potentially be a bad idea since finding more to repair would be in their best interest but not necessarily mine, and I’m worried I won’t know everything to look for if I do it myself.

Other information that may be worth knowing

  • It is a two story house.
  • I believe water damage is the culprit for some if not all of the damaged areas.
  • The worst damage is on the southern side of the house, and under an east facing bay window.
  • We also have an attached, screened in wood patio with pretty bad rot in several places (not included in pictures because it’s hard to get photos around the plants in the yard).
  • Several years ago we had repairs done and found that the previous owners had done many patch jobs using strand board or something similar, so that is almost certainly part of the problem.
  • We are planning to move and sell the house in 2 to 3 years. I want to make sure the repairs are done right and not leave problems for future homeowners, but I don’t want to overinvest.

Here are some photos of the damage:

South side damage South side damage South side damage Loose trim Upstairs window 1 Upstairs window 2 Bay window Bay window

Thank you very much

  • 1
    I'm voting to reopen. While the subject seems superficially broad, it's a good question with a fairly concise answer potential.
    – isherwood
    Jan 5 at 20:04

2 Answers 2


None of the above. You need to hire a company that specializes in siding. If you are going to replace with wood panels everything you have needs to be taken down. If you chose some sort of vinyl you can probably go right over the top of everything and wrap smaller areas, fascia, trim...

From all of the different areas you could end up paying thousands to patch it up. Having the siding redone might be about the same price. Either way because you are selling in 2-3 years you will for sure need siding redone before sale unless you want to get 80% of what you could get. Might as well get it done and enjoy it.

  • Generally agree that what’s in the pictures is a siding job. However, if you find structural issues (esp rot in beams/ plates/ etc), you’ll need a general contractor pretty quickly. (I wouldn’t trust a siding crew to replace structural elements.) So maybe engage a sider for demo and evaluation (and eventual re-siding), but have a GC on speed dial. Jan 5 at 12:49
  • 1
    A GOOD siding company will fix random structural rot. With the siding removed it is quite easy in most cases. Now you could be right in that a bad siding company may not even notice and cover it up.
    – DMoore
    Jan 5 at 19:27
  • And there are not pictures here even intimating that there is structural rot. I had almost the exact same siding on an old house I lived in. Had almost the exact same sort of rot and the same places. From the pictures it really doesn't even look that bad - yes needs to be replaced but this is what wood panel siding looks like as it ages. If someone would have painted it well ~10 years ago it might have prolonged this another 10 years. From 1 being for sure to cause rot to 10 being new wood siding this is more around 4.
    – DMoore
    Jan 5 at 19:31
  • 20+ years in the trades, for what it’s worth. I’ve seen worse siding and no rot; better siding and insane amounts of rot. Can’t guess at this one until the framing is visible. Jan 5 at 22:20
  • … and I shouldn’t have said ‘need a general…’ It’s absolutely true that a good siding company would be able to take care of framing. Emphasis on good. Jan 5 at 22:34

It looks like a faux board and batten cladding using plywood and boards to me and appears to be very near the end of its life given the multiple spots where damage has occurred.

I think it needs re-sided, which is its own specialty.

  • 1
    Except I think it's some sort of plywood, not OSB, looking at the way the layers seem to have delaminated in some of the pictures.
    – SteveSh
    Jan 5 at 13:24
  • 1
    @SteveSh I said OSB as the second picture with the hole (zoomed in), looks like OSB to me. The textured paint makes it hard to tell from the exterior views, but the hole shows what looks like wood strips. OSB or plywood, it doesn't change the other parts of my answer though. Jan 5 at 19:32
  • This is just plywood panel siding. Easy to put up and looks great if you keep up with the painting. However it is very very poor insulator so not great for cold climates.
    – DMoore
    Jan 5 at 19:55
  • It's plywood, commonly called T1-11. You're seeing the cross-plies.
    – isherwood
    Jan 5 at 20:00
  • Fair enough. I've seen T1-11 where I'm at, but only on sheds. Jan 5 at 20:03

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