|This Is A Hammer
By Samantha Mazzotta
Cedar or Vinyl
Q: I have a
31-year-old raised ranch with cedar shake siding.
The south side of the house gets all the sun and
the shakes are dilapidated. To re-side with vinyl
on all sides, the estimated cost is $10,000. Is
it advisable to try and replace the shakes only
on the one side? Will this reduce its resale
value? -- Punyada B., Middlebury, Conn.
A: Thats a
tough call, because siding material is such a
personal choice. I know for sure that the damaged
and deteriorating siding is affecting the value
of your home, and that a quality repair
will maintain or raise that value.
My question to you
is this: If it will cost $10,000 to sheathe the
entire house in vinyl siding, what will it cost
to just redo the cedar shakes on the one side? If
the cost is less or comparable, then consider
going with new cedar shakes.
There are at least
an equal number of benefits to cedar. Youre
maintaining the house, which will maintain its
value. Cedar is a "green" choice of
material, and it lasts just as long as vinyl
siding when properly cared for. New cedar will
look strikingly different in color from the older
shakes on your home, but there are methods to
"weather" it so it will blend a bit
better. Plus, there are homebuyers who will
specifically want all-cedar siding, rather than a
mix of siding materials. Learn more about cedar
siding by visiting http://www.cedarbureau.org.
If you decide to
use vinyl siding on that one side, make sure the
contractor knows his material and knows how to
prevent deterioration at the corners where the
vinyl meets the cedar siding on the rest of the
house. Certain materials will speed up
deterioration of the wood shakes, and colors
leaching from the shakes could stain the edges of
the siding. A good buffer material will be needed
between the two.
If you redo the
entire house in vinyl, then read up on the care
and maintenance of vinyl siding. While it does
needs less maintenance than wood siding or
shakes, vinyl siding is not repair- or
maintenance-free. It must be protected from
extreme heat and corrosive chemicals, and should
still be cleaned on a regular basis.
HOME TIP: Moss
growth on cedar shakes and shingles can be
reduced by nailing copper or zinc strips along
the ridge cap of the roof or above the shakes;
rain runoff from these strips will retard fungal
Letter to the Editor.
Opinions expressed are those of the writer
and not necessarily those of the Mornin' Mail
DVM, offers advice on purchasing pet medications.
Buying pet drugs
at discount or with no prescription may sound
attractive to many pet owners browsing the
internet, but there are risks associated with
some internet pharmacies. Drugs sold from foreign
pharmacies might not be FDA-approved. Also, some
online pharmacies claim they can evaluate
pets medical needs based on a form filled
out by a client. This is a dangerous practice.
Pets should always be physically examined by a
veterinarian before diagnosing any medical
condition. In addition, pets often need regularly
scheduled blood tests to ensure the medication
pets are taking are working properly and not
causing any side effects.
to their veterinarian for regular examinations.
medications prescribed for pets will be available
at the veterinarians office.
veterinarians will mail prescriptions for
previously diagnosed conditions.
If the use
of an online pharmacy is still preferred, ask the
veterinarian to recommend a reputable website.
information from the FDA regarding this topic,
search online at