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Community and Q&A

Best way to insulate old home

Fiorenini | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I have an older home built between 1850-1870 and while it has been updated over the years, it is in need of new siding so I am trying to determine the best way to insulate, wrap and seal the house properly. I plan to replace the old siding with LP siding and open to any suggestions and ideas. I have heard many different ideas as to how I should be done so I am hoping to get some clarification. I live in Maryland and I am in Zone 7.

thank you in advance,


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  1. john_m1 | | #1

    Isn’t Maryland in climate zone 4 or 5?
    Similar situation for me. 1880s Victorian covered with aluminum siding.

    1. GBA Editor
      Brian Pontolilo | | #3

      Most of Maryland is Climate Zone 4A. You can find that info here:

  2. Fiorenini | | #2

    I thought we were 5 as well but a search earlier said its 7. Where should I check for clarification, I may very well be wrong.


    1. Expert Member
  3. GBA Editor
    Brian Pontolilo | | #4

    Hi Frank.

    You should try to accomplish a few goals including air sealing and insulating, while making sure that your water-management details are working (water-resistive barrier, flashing at windows, doors, and other penetrations).

    There are lots of possibilities, and I'm sure you'll get a bunch of opinions, but it would be helpful for us to know what's behind the existing siding and what is going on inside the walls.

  4. Fiorenini | | #5

    Hello Brian,
    I have not yet pulled any existing siding down but from the very few spots that I have been able to see from interior projects, i have found that there are random areas of insulation and studs do need seem to be evenly spaced, there will also be some damage that I will take care of when the siding is down. My main questions are around the specifics around what I should be using. I am willing to spend extra to buy all of the necessary items for the job. I also plan to start on the rear of the house that is roughly 500sq ft. Is fiberglass insulation better than foam board insulation, is Tyvek better than felt paper, is a rain screen needed? I would hate to spend money and realize that I did not get the right materials for my area and application. I am also not sold on LP, I have used Hardie in the past and not committed to either.
    Thank you for reaching out,

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