Panel-siding replacement may alter building strength

Removal of defective material will help ensure lateral support

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Q: The panel siding on our house is defective, and we have received a settlement from the manufacturer. We want to re-side using HardiPlank, and wonder if the defective panel siding has to be removed first (there is no sheathing between the siding and the studs)? If the defective siding is left on, can the expanded areas be cut away so they don't interfere with the new siding? –Tom J. A: I would strongly recommend that the old siding be removed prior to installation of the HardiPlank, for a number of reasons: The panels that are attached to the studs – whether they are sheets of siding or sheathing panels – act as shear panels to keep the building from racking (leaning over or moving laterally). In single-wall construction such as yours, where a home is built using panels over the studs, there is typically no other bracing installed for lateral support, so if you start cutting out sections of the old panels – even if you patch them back in – the shear stre...