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Question DetailsAsked on 6/16/2013

Is it better to remove exterior masonite before installing new vinyl siding?

I have a house with masonite siding and the vinyl estimator advised no need to remove the old masonite.

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4 Answers


Yes, it is better to remove old masonite. The new vinyl will lay better. What kind of Inulation isd he biddig with. 1/2 " 4'X8' extruded insulation is recommended for R3 value. Not only will this help with heating and cooling, It will also help with the overall installation.

Source: C & T Carpentry and Remodeling

Answered 7 years ago by CTCarpentry


There are professionals on both sides of this issue. The main concern is with water under the vinyl (or metal or cement board) siding, as it is a much better vapor barrier than a wood siding. Once condensation sets in, the masonite or particle board sheathings will immediately start to rot and disintegrate. Ditto if water leaks through somewhere, as it alsways does with vinyl (and metal) siding.

However, replacing the masonite sheathing with plywood adds a lot to the cost - probably 25-50%.

Personally, if I were pretty sure that I was going to stay in the house for decades, I would replace it - but then, I would not ever use vinyl siding, either.

Obviously, if it is deteriorated, delaminating, or rotted - replace at least those parts.

IF your house does not have tar paper (felt) or a house wrap (all-around fabric covering like Tyvek Homewrap) already in place (be sure to check UNDER the masonite - some contractors improperly put it there), I would consider puttingon a housewrap, as it cuts down dramatically on airflow out of the house, and gives fair protection against any leak water getting into the masonite and wall insulation. IF you already have a housewrap or felt, you do NOT want to put on housewrap, though the wrap should slways be applied OVER the sheathing and directly under the siding.

I would google the following search term and read a few of the articles, and what DuPont has to say on the subject - Tyvek House WRAP over masonite

One final comment - if using vinyl (or metal) lap board siding, realize it needs a LOT of attention to flashing, drip edge (properly installed), drainage planes where J-channels end above the foundation (typically alongside windows), end gap gasketing or caulking, etc to keep water from getting under it - because it is a "loose" siding, there are a lot of places for water to get under it, especially at all corners and ends of planks, so proper waterproofing is required to keep water from saturating your underlayment. You would be amazed at how "unwaterproof" plank siding is. That is where the masonite becomes a problem - you will be putting a semi-vapor-barrier which, to some extent, will trap inside moisture from exiting the wall system and which leaks a lot at ends of boards, over a sheathing which is highly susceptibel to water damage and swelling.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Opinions vary. Considering I agree with LCD that I would not put vinyl on my home and discourage homeowners from it I'd say repair and replace the bad areas and then cover it. Chances are you or the next owner will be ripping it off in 5-10 years anyway. You can search through my other answers on the subject but it is possibly the worst siding option available. I don't generally recommend taking the cheaper route in favor of doing it the right way but I so despise vinyl I'm sure you'll be regretting it in the future either way. Go with Hardi-plank or any other siding system, even crappy masonite again. No siding is maintenance free or not impacted by nature.

Todd Shell

Todd's Home Services

San Antonio, TX

Answered 7 years ago by Todd's Home Services


After removing Masonite siding do I use the wrap or do I have to use rigid foam sheets before putting vinyl siding on?

Answered 4 years ago by John420

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