House Siding Questions (Cedar Quality Levels & Tyvek Vs. Felt)


Hello:
Have a house with T1-11 (plywood panel type of stuff) siding on it, which isn't in the greatest of shape.
In the Spring, will be having the typical horizontal Cedar Clapboards installed.
The two contractors we've had over both said to place the new clapboards right over the existing T1-11.
Have two questions, please.
One of the contractors says he uses "AYE" quality level cedar clapboards. Guess there are different "quality levels" for this stuff.
a. Is this AYE grade what we want ? Are there "better" cedar siding grades to consider, or is this what most folks use ? Brands, etc. ?
I've asked for pre-primed clapboards, but is there anything else I should be specifying ?
b. Surprisingly, one of them said he does not like Tyvek, and has had poor results with it. He wants to use #15 Felt between the existing T1-11 and the new Clapboards.
I was under the impression that Tyvek was a sort of "standard" these days.
Would sure appreciate any thoughts on this propoised use of #15 Felt.
Thanks, Bob
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I use 30lb felt, never tried Tyvek. I can tell you as we reside the house, some of the old was 30lb some 15lb, the 30 is still doing a good job after 50+ years, the 15 is dust. I question applying over the old. won't that make some problems with the trim around doors and windows due the additional thickness? That wasn't even a consideration on our job, as I wanted to do a lot of electrical and plumbing while the skin was off, and it gives you a chance to spot decaying 2 X 4s and replace them.
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Tyvek is a good material and, if installed properly and covered over with siding shortly after installation, should not give poor results.
OTOH, there were a number of articles about house wraps vs. felt in the Journal of Light Construction a few years back. The conclusion is that felt works just fine, as it always has done, at much lower cost.
Over the years, the designation of felt as 15 lb. and 30 lb. has not remained constant. You're better off using 30 lb. if you decide to go with felt. Cost difference isn't significant.
--
Doug Boulter

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