Exterior Repair Questions

I need to do some significant repair to part of the exterior of my house. In order to make it as clear as possible, I've posted a photo at
http://home.earthlink.net/~sme617/housefix.jpg .
1. Who do I call to fix this? What listing should I look under in the "yellow pages"? (I can surely do any painting myself, but may need someone to replace the wood.)
2. I'm pretty handy. Could I fix this myself?
2a. If so, what are the wooden "boards" called?
2b. What other supplies would I need.
3. I'm thinking that I would replace the boards, prime, and paint. Is there more to it?
Thanks in advance,
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8^)~~~ Sue (remove the x to e-mail)
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All I get is a "page not found"
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Sorry. Try
http://home.earthlink.net/~sme617/housefix.JPG .
--
8^)~~~ Sue (remove the x to e-mail)
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Suzie-Q wrote:

General contractor is a good place to start.

Well, it's probably within the range of a pretty handy person, but it would probably take you a lot longer, and leave your house exposed for that period. And it could easily lead to problems beyond your capability.

You mean the "clapboard siding" (horizontal) or the "corner post" (vertical)?

Well, to replace some siding, you'll probably just need a flat pry bar (to pull the old one off and out -- put it directly under a nail and push in; the lever action will usually remove the clapboard with the nail intact, while leaving the siding underneath undisturbed), and some exterior finish nails. But you will probably also want to replace the weather seal underneath (which could be Tyvek home wrap, used in most recent buildings, or various kinds of sheathing similar to that found under shingles, or sometimes nothing at all), and the plywood base behind that. Then there's the framing ...

You'll want to solve the problem, which is probably water coming in at the top of the chimney "box". Otherwise the new stuff you put in will be ruined, too. This is why you probably want a specialist, at least a general contractor, possibly a chimney specialist. You may well need a new cap on the chimney or other repairs. Then once you rip off the siding you may find that there is also damage to the structural elements below. They may dry out fine, but they may not, either, and you'll want an expert opinion here. Replacing the framing could be tricky with chimney hardware (in your case most likely a metal flue, a bit like a dryer vent) in place. The problem may also be excessive heat, indicating deficient insulation or a leak in the flue (a potentially dangerous condition).
Either way, get references, and two estimates. And be prepared for things to get worse as they look inside. This is no weekend project.
If you want to at least follow along with the project, get a good book on exterior home repairs, so you know the jargon, and the engineering beneath the surface.
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