100 yr old house, stucco over wood siding - now vinyl siding on top?

We have a 100 yr old house that had wood siding and someone has put stucco (the concrete type, heavy stuff) over the wood siding. This made sense because we live in an area of high winds and the stucco is great for keeping the wind out of the house.
But we don't like the look of the stucco and want to put on some of the new vinyl siding that looks like wood (I think the new vinyl looks great, I always hated the look of the older vinyl siding). I have been doing my research and it appears furring over the stucco then installing the vinyl is best. I like the idea of this because it will help keep the wind down, and we may be able to install some extra styrofoam insulation under the vinyl siding to increase the R value.
I'd like to get feedback of the pro's and con's of what we plan to do. Also any advice or websites that give the details (with photos preferably) of the installation process. We are having a contrator do the work but I like to be educated about anything we have done with the house.
Katherine
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At first blush this seems like a sound plan. I would pay attention to the "solidness" of the stucco, is it really bonded well and secure in its current state ? Also look for cracks and separation, etc, where bugs and bees might get into the stucco, a hole one cm by 0.5 cm is enough to have a wall full of bees (personal experience !).
Personally I prefer stucco to vinyl in appearance; stucco also holds paint well, last house I had was cement/stucco and was only painted twice in 90 years.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com writes:

I have Nailite vinyl, which looks like wood shingles. There are millions of places for bees, and therefore, lots of bees. They love the stuff. Small price to pay for no painting.

Twice in 90 years is pretty good.
Once you put up vinyl you'll never fool with paint again. That's the main reason I had vinyl installed. 23 years and it still looks new.
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I would be calling the local building department. This sounds like a bad idea to me. I know that when doing roofing at a point it is time to strip it down and start fresh. Stripping your home down to the structure would allow for new windows,insulation and other systems to be installed. The trim details around doors and windows would look natural. Not built out
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I have to agree. Considering the age of the house, you don' t know what is hiding under all that stuff. It would be safer to remove it and see the condition of the structure and not just seal in rot that can cause serious problems in a few years.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Listen to the man. I just replied to a post on stucco lath in alt.building.construction a few minutes ago. This week we pulled the stucco veneer from a 75 year old house. Original stucco, replacement windows put in by some brain-damaged boob about 20 years ago, stucco painted.
The place is a nightmare. The stucco was sound in most areas of the house, but we new there were some problems underneath and wanted to tie in a lot of work while the siding was off the building. The amount of rot and termite damage is astounding. The stucco is holding up parts of the building.
Putting layer upon layer of siding is asking for trouble - unless all layers are/were perfect, you will be covering up damage and eliminating any chance of repairing what's needed without going in through your shiny new vinyl siding.
If you're more interested in dollars than in doing what's right for the house, then knock yourself out.
R
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I appreciate the advice. Some things we have already considered, others we had not. The bees will be an issue in our area, most likely in our house also :(. Its wasp season right now and the little critters are everywhere!. So good to know.
We are actually doing a very large renovation. We have stripped all interior walls down to the studs. We wanted to reinsulate and soundbarrier all the walls, so gutting the house was a must. We have replaced the windows (just had the upper level done today actually), and the exterior layers of the house are all fine. No rot, no termites, nothing like that. We ripped out the carpets (even though they were fairly new) and are going to put down hardwood flooring. My husband is an electrician so all the electrical is being rewired, and to code, done right. We are having a foundation specialist in to double check any hairline cracks in the foundation, and repair any as necessary. The mudroom at the back is being torn down and rebuilt as we want a larger room, and it needs new almost everything, so easier just to rebuild it than try and fix everything. We just finished totally gutting and re-doing the main bath (I love clawfoot tubs!). I don't like seeing people doing half hearted renovations because they go cheap on everything - they end up paying in the end. This is an old house and I love the architecture and charm it has.
For the area we live in, it has been highly recommended to keep the stucco on. We live on the prairies where the winds are high, cold and extremely bitter in the winter. The stucco is one of the best materials to keep the wind out of the house.
If the stucco was the original stucco on that 75 yr old house you worked on Ricod, then its not the same stucco that on the house we have. The stucco we have is not the original exterior, it is over top the original wood siding. I know about the stucco you had to deal with, and have heard a lot of problems with the old stuff. Thank goodness it's not what we have, or I would insist it be torn down.
Thanks everyone and hope the tips keep coming.
Katherine
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Seems like you have your mind made up. I would agree with SQLit, Edwin and Ricod - Take off both old siding systems.
you probably could have saved $$$ on your replacement window project if you had done this. Additionally, you could have used new construction windows versus replacements or inserts. These could have then been properly flashed from the outside. You will not need to worry about wind, even after stripping old stucco and wood siding, if you sheath, insulate and use tyvec.
Given the extent of your renovation though, it may also have been cheaper to tear down and start over! Seems it much too late for that though.
Anyway - two biggest reasons, for me, to strip, in your situation, would be - one, aesthetic, your windows will look weird having been built out multiple times. two, better window flashing and insulation integrity.

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