We would like to complete the following projects on our home. Assume we cannot afford more than one at a time, so they must be completed sequentially.

  • Add electrical outlets outside ( we have some currently )
  • Add faucets outside ( we have some currently )
  • Replace windows and doors
  • New roof
  • New siding
  • Replace gutters
  • Convert an existing deck to 3 season ( deck currently attached to house )
  • Create new deck attached to the house

We are likely to go with vinyl siding. From what I've observed locally, it is typical to also add a 1" thick foam board before adding the new siding. Given that, I suspect there will be "issues" due to the increased thickness of the siding.

So, should the siding happen BEFORE the outlets, faucets, windows, doors, and deck work, so the thickness can be accounted for properly?

What order makes the most sense and why?

EDIT - Current status of various items

  • Roof is 23 years old, no leaks that I"m aware of, lots of sand in the gutters
  • Gutters are also 23 years old, some leak, some sag
  • Siding is 23 years old, I believe it is "hardie plank", painted in 2005
  • Windows and doors also 23 years old, feels "breezy" in the Winters, don't seem to seal tightly
  • Deck is at least 16 years old, structurally sound, but could probably use a new railing
  • Where is "locally"? And pray tell what makes you want vinyl?
    – Bryce
    Dec 4, 2013 at 9:22
  • @Bryce - Central Iowa. I don't know that I want vinyl, that's another question. :) Dec 4, 2013 at 20:37
  • 1
    Adding the siding will make things like adding electrical and the deck ledger harder. But maybe you wanted the deck to be freestanding anyway? Vinyl is not without problems, and tends to look cheap and ratty after a decade or two. Photos of the house now would help with advice. Read "No Substitute" by John Cluver, AIA. I'd put the outlets and plumbing in first, perhaps anticipating siding with a landing pad made for that purpose.
    – Bryce
    Dec 4, 2013 at 20:43
  • @Bryce - Thanks for the suggestions. Got a link to that (is that a book?), I'm not finding much. Also, what's a "landing pad"? Dec 4, 2013 at 20:54
  • @Bryce - Found the link to "No Substitute" I think. google.com/… Dec 4, 2013 at 22:56

3 Answers 3


1 and 2

Either the roof, or the windows and doors should be done first. The roof is a standalone item, nothing tying into that scope of work, except for the gutters, but they are still not part of that work that will tie into the progress. I would not do the gutters until the siding is done.

The logic for the windows is, since you know what the various layers are before the siding goes on, the window can be grounded out with an 2X perimeter before the new windows go back in. That way when the insulation layer goes in the exterior window trim will be in the proper plane for the siding to finish against. I am assuming the Hardie plank is 3/8" thick, 2 layers at the laps and the ground set in the area where the old window trim resided, leaving enough beyond the existing siding to butt the new insulation layer against. The window will be nailed into this 2X, giving it a solid mounting. A jamb extension will need to go on the inside. The rip of 2X can be adjusted to flush up with the insulation layer if needed.

3 Decks

If the decks are to be attached to the house, the ledger needs to be weathered (flashing set) into the side of the house before the siding is run. The deck should be through bolted into the box sill (rim joist, some call it). If it is going to be freestanding then the deck can wait

4 and 5

Added plumbing and outlets. In case the existing siding needs to be violated to install any of the outlets, or perhaps the hose bibs, though most likely not, it is good to get the location for the bibs mapped, holes drilled, just to be sure there will be no issues after the siding goes on.

6 Siding

This will be the time to inspect the exterior and make any repairs before it is covered up with siding or covered by gutters. All electric additions will be done and accommodations are made for the extra hose bibs, though not yet installed. They could be installed, it would mean a lap at the bib. Otherwise a clean hole can be drilled through the siding if it is waited on.

If you choose to freestand the decks, now is the time to get those going.

7 Gutters

Sound fascia, siding done to mount downspouts to, job done.

As a point to consider, if you go with vinyl siding, choose a good brand, go the extra mile. I have Wolverine brand, 6" beaded, solid color all the way through, thick, resembles painted cedar. I built the house in 1989. The siding is 22 years old, with yearly power washing it looks great still. I have never washed the whole house, just touched up areas where gutters are, and algae grows (the biggest offender on shady spots only).

Another point, the nailing of the siding will be made really difficult trying to go through the Hardie siding, think about removing it.

Last item, the roof does not need to be done at first, but it is a major expense as is many of the projects you are planning. If it suits you, the roof could be done at the end as well, it would be a matter of being careful of the gutters. I would not do it at the end, I just want to make a point that there is no other items that directly impact that scope of work.


1. New roof.

If you've got a leaky roof, you've got big problems.

2. New Siding.

Since it sounds like you'll be adjusting the thickness of the walls, it makes sense to complete this job before anything else that will be installed on/in the wall.

3. New Gutters.

Depending on what shape the gutters are in, this might move up or down the list. If they are in fairly poor shape (leaking, sagging, etc.), they should be addressed sooner rather than later.

4. Replace Windows and Doors.

Assuming this is not simply an aesthetic upgrade, new windows and doors can increase the homes efficiency making it an important upgrade.

The Others

The rest of the items on the list are convenience items, and can be done in any order (assuming the deck is not causing damage to the house).

  • 2
    Planning the deck location is important when adding electrical/faucets since you don't want them right where your ledger board will go, or to have an outlet that's at a convenient height now but ends up being 2" off the top of the deck boards. Outside electrical and faucets may be easier to do before (or at the same time as) siding, but not really a huge deal either way.
    – gregmac
    Dec 4, 2013 at 15:15
  • @Tester101 - The thickness change will happen due to my assumptions: at a minimum we go over already existing siding, and possibly add that layer of insulation making it even thicker. That could all be bogus, I don't know enough, yet. Dec 4, 2013 at 20:41
  1. Clean gutters. Check for rot at attachment points. Reslope them to drain nicely. Even rusty ones will last for decades if they drain nice.
  2. Powerwash roof any dirt/moss buildup. Check for loose shingles. (You can tell a shingle roof is old when the granules no longer stick and you see only tar).
  3. Master plan your property.
  4. Install your outlets & hose bibs.
  5. Have an energy consultant out to measure how leaky the home is and recommend door, wall or window insulation. Perhaps install storm windows.
  6. Install a free standing deck text to house, not actually attached.
  7. Paint the siding. Pay for better paint, and better preparation. The hardy board is tough: you can be rough in prepping the surface for paint. The cement board you have will outlast any new vinyl : don't put siding on because you think 23 year old cement board is 'old'.
  8. Evaluate basement and yard for proper drainage.
  • One reason for looking at vinyl siding is to avoid the hassle and cost of painting over the years. Dec 5, 2013 at 14:32
  • You can paint the house several times, before approaching the cost (or especially the oil/energy cost) of the vinyl. You can even pay someone to paint for you, despite the DIY embarrassment.
    – Bryce
    Dec 6, 2013 at 8:51

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