After all the asbestos siding was removed I found that the exterior walls on the original part of the house were without insulation. To remedy this I drilled one inch holes in each stud space then blew each cavity full of cellulose. This took about 5 hours to complete and was very messy. To save on cost I was able to use an insulation blower for free from a local lumber yard by purchasing the insulation from them. This project will dramatically reduce the energy consumption of the home and only cost me around $150.
After all the walls were insulated I resumed putting up foam board on the exterior of the house. This was done to create a nice, flat surface to support the new siding. It also acts as an additional weather barrier. I installed the foam board one wall at a time and tore out windows and doors as I went. I just nailed foam over the openings left from the windows and screwed plywood over where the doors were. I did do a little framing on the window and door openings to make the installation easier down the road.
Once all the old windows were removed I took measurements for replacements and ordered them asap. I decided to get ReliaBilt new construction vinyl windows from Lowes. They were very affordable and I was able to get double strength glass at little extra cost. I chose new construction style windows because they have a built in molding so no j-channel was needed. This created less work and the end result looks a lot nicer.
When the windows arrived I was able to quickly install them by simply cutting out the foam over the opening, nailing them in, sealing the nailing fins with flashing tape, and injecting insulation spray foam in the crack between the window and the house framing. The same was true for the entry doors, though more extensive framing was required. I also reinforced the entry doors with a 12 gauge galvanized steel plate for additional security. You can see how I did this by reading my free ebook, Home Security Principles, here. I also created a YouTube video (above). If you like this ebook I encourage you to share it on facebook with your friends and family because it contains valuable information on how to keep your home safe and secure without spending a lot of money.
While I was working on preparing the house for siding I hired a mason to lay block to replace the ones I had removed, but I first had to dig a trench and pour a concrete footer. The only footer that existed was made of field rock and mortar. I removed all the loose rocks and made sure to dig the corner out deeper. I decided to order 3 yards of concrete to be delivered by truck because mixing all of that by hand would have taken me a long time. I had to wheelbarrow the concrete in from the street. I also inserted 3 pieces of rebar for added reinforcement. I smoothed out the concrete and measured the distance from the top of the concrete to the house to make sure it was the same distance throughout. This made it easier for the mason to lay block. Before the block was laid I placed a plastic barrier over the dirt and put insulation where the wall was to going to be. The mason I hired also said he could fix the deteriorated foundation bricks in the basement by parging them with mortar so I decided to have him do that too. He did a great job and when he was done his bill was just under $300. Money well spent in my opinion. The house is finally ready for siding.