Siding Woes and Rodent Phobia (from last summer)

I’m really behind on updating this blog.  I guess it’s because we’ve been so busy with updating our HOUSE, that the blog has suffered.  Here is my attempt to catch up:

When we bought our house, we knew it had some rotten siding.  My Dad was willing to help us repair it so we thought it would just take time and $$ but we would get it done.  The thought of not being able to GET our siding never entered our minds!

There was a design flaw in the house and the builder installed a horizontal drip edge in the rear part of the house along the bottom of the first floor where you can see both levels of the home due to the walkout basement.  Over time, this drip edge has slowly collected water and caused the bottom of the vertical siding to rot away.  Upon closer inspection, it’s apparent where our previous homeowner had attempted to repair the rot with wood filler and the like, but there are still holes in the siding.  Holes that I was SURE rodents were finding their way into at night.  How do I know this?  Because I could hear “scurrying” all night long in the wall behind the headboard in the master suite.  So to prevent my long, slow slide into rodent madness, my nice hubby plugged all those holes with steel wool.  But the problem is that didn't really help.  Those buggers were still finding their way in behind that siding and into my nightmares.  I decided it was really time to do something about that siding. 

Our house is stained with an opaque stain.  Little did we know we had redwood siding under that opaque stain.  To be specific, the siding is “Clear” (no knotholes), 14’ boards of variable width T&G (tongue and groove) redwood siding.  If you don't know what that means, don't worry, I didn't either before I had to try to replicate it!

PROBLEM:  It’s very difficult (read: expensive) to get redwood siding anymore.  And if we were able to get the redwood, it would have to be custom milled to those sizes.  Ka-ching!!
We consulted contractors—perplexed contractors, I should add.  Ones that really didn't want to do the work because it was "hard".  Here were the options they came up with (if I could even get a response):

1.       More than one said that we should cut out the rot and belt our house with other wood.  (Hello, put a BELT around the house??)
2.       Another said we’ll need to re-side the entire house with vinyl.  (Vinyl?!!  Seriously?)
3.       Another said that if it were him, he would save the redwood and re-side the bad areas with cedar.  The downside—it means that all the wood has to be custom milled.   And then we would have to stain it to match the other wood—which is doable since the stain is opaque.

Guess which contractor we went with:  Yes, contractor #3.    Rochester Custom Exteriors.  They have their own crew, no subcontractors, and they did a fantastic job.    Now the rodents can find another house to live in.

Update:  It's been about 8 months since the new siding went in and I haven't heard one thing in the wall behind my bed.