1998 - Siding Project

This year's big project is to complete the outside work on the house, namely the siding. As explained previously the additions to the house were sheathed in 1/2-CDX plywood and then we applied battens every 16" to cover the seams and give it a decorative effect. This was then painted with regular latex barn paint. We realized that this was a short-term siding but wanted to complete all the additions and window openings prior to beginning the final siding.

Our original plan was to fill the space between the battens with foam insulation and then side over them, increasing the R-Value of the sidewalls. This would have created a problem with the window treatment so we opted for removing the battens and siding directly over the sheathing. The second change was the siding style. While working for a contractor in Ames, IA I had learned a system that I thought couldn't be beat. We used 3/8" rough sawn cedar plywood in 4' X 9' sheets which we applied battens giving us the same look we started with.

While researching this style we were introduced to a product that is called "reverse board and batt" which is a 1-1/2" groove plowed into a 5/8" rough sawn plywood. We choose 12" spacing of the groove but 16" and 8" were also available. The final effect looks very similar to the board and batt when finished and eliminates the problem of battens that loosen over time. We then made the final decision and specification change.

Rather than use cedar plywood we chose a product that is actually rough sawn mahogany plywood. The face veneer is knot and defect free at a price somewhat lower than the same cedar product. Once stained it will have the same appearance at a price that fit into our budget much better.

This is a picture of the stoop area prior to beginning work on the siding.

I ordered a total of 3500 square feet of siding in a mixture of 4' x 8' and 4' X 9' sheets along with some 1 X 12" - 12' rough sawn pine and cedar for trim. This pile of siding in our garage represents about 3/4 of the material. The rest is on backorder, but then no hurry, this project will take the rest of the summer.

We began the project this last weekend (4th of July, 3 day weekend) by removing the existing metal soffit ceiling in the stoop and the battens. We also pulled up the carpet that was laid with double face tape over the rubber roofing material on the floor.

After applying new flashing around the base of the walls it was time for the siding. The ceiling is 1" X 12" rough sawn pine that I ship-lapped the edges and the stapled to the existing joist. This adds a very nice look to this the main entry to the house. It is our intention to make it look like the underside of a hay mow floor. Sandy applied a coat of white latex stain to the boards prior to this installation.

The second area we tore into this last weekend was on the opposite side of the house. This view shows the 1930's kitchen window on the right and the 1997 new kitchen window on the left.

What doesn't show in this picture is the fact that from the inside corner of the house and to 9' to the left the old house wall had been furred out with 3/4 foam insulation in an attempt to warm up the kitchen. The other hidden feature is that the old foundation is directly behind the foam making it impossible to nail the siding or trim work like on the rest of the house.

This meant that removal of the gutter, fascia, and soffit had to occur before removing the battens, sheathing, and foam. We then pulled the old kitchen window out and didn't shed a tear either. This was the last of the 1930 era windows and we can now say good bye to the gold drafts it produced.

This project was made more difficult due to the number of "things" running through the existing sheathing. The air conditioner line was the only thing that could not be disconnected.

I removed the AC controller and disconnect leaving the wire sticking through the wall. I was also able to remove the outlet cover and outlet as well as the outside water faucet. Removal of the sheathing and foam was tough with the AC standing between the house and me but with enough cutting and chopping it all came free.

So after three long days I was able to finish the stoop area and this much of the West side of the house. This siding runs 12' in each direction from the inside corner and is fully caulked and ready for stain. I have the AC rewired and all the other plumbing and electrical returned to working order.

And so the project begins. Since we are in no danger of rain or other weather problems I will work in the shade as much as possible as I work around the house. We have chosen a medium gray stain that we hope will give us a weathered old barn look.

As part of our siding project we decided to construct this feature over the East walk-in garage door. The Peachtree fiberglass door has taken a real hit from the sunlight on the varnish. I had originally stained it and sprayed it with polyurethane and when that started to fail bought some high grade outdoor polyurethane in an attempt to make it last more than a year.

Unfortunately the sunlight is so strong with no hope of any shade that regardless if it's summer or winter the exposure was too much. What you see here, in case you aren't familiar with the official name is a pergola.

We first saw a pergola on The New Yankee Workshop. The program showed a rather large one with 4 posts for setting out in a yard. I designed this one to attach to the house, using only two posts. The posts and the supporting members are constructed of 4 X 4 cedar with a miter cut where they join. I glued the joint and use 8" lag bolts to hold the corners together.

The crosspieces are 2 X 6 cedar 8" on center. They have a mitered lower corner and are lagged into the cross members with the same 8" lag bolts. I recessed the heads of all the lags in a 1" diameter hole and used washers to prevent the lags from digging into the wood. I will caulk over the lags to prevent them from holding water and causing rust problems.

About this time in the project the heat got pretty bad and progress has been steady, but slow. I have the siding installed on the West wall to the point that the new deck will start. The steps that are peeking in on the left were temporary until we figured out what we were going to do with the siding.

The siding plan is to move along the North wall (on the right side of the picture) so we can get the air conditioner set for the second floor and have the furnace installer run the gas line up to the furnace.

The middle of July is not exactly the best weather to work on the West side of the house, but I don't have a lot of choice, it all needs done. In this picture you can see the very small steps I constructed a couple years ago to allow access to the laundry room. Since we didn't exactly know what we wanted in this area I choose to make some simple steps to get by.

I began Saturday fairly early and in the shade. I removed the existing steps and then built a new temporary deck. We are still a little vague on just how we are going to finish off the deck in this area, but we are sure it will include enough area so we can enjoy a nice table and chair set and still have room for the grill. We want to include some sort of rock, water, and flower garden with the remaining space.

The picture below shows the new temporary deck which is constructed at the height we plan to use for part of the permanent deck to be constructed in 00 (yes, this site is Y2K compliant so the use of 00 does denote the year 2000).

The final deck will extend further this way (towards the North) and further West (to the right in this picture). I managed to get on another 7 sheets of siding and relocate two down spouts that did not work out where we had them. Three sheets to go on the family room and sunroom North wall and this area will be ready for stain.

This sounds like a very hot week so progress will be slow and next week we take off for South Dakota for our second Honeymoon. Social things are the curse of the home do-it-yourselfer.

Despite the heat, humidity, and bugs the siding project continues. We have come a long way since the last update. We have the North side of the garage sided and stained along with the West side of the laundry room and North side of the Family and Sun room done as well. (See other photos below)

The South side is sided and has some stain on it and we had a 9' high row of siding on each of the East and West Gable ends. This Labor Day weekend we started the second row of siding on the big East and West gable ends with the help of some rented scaffolding.

This shot of the East side shows the start of the fake haymow door that I'll build next.

This is the South side that shows that the siding is on and we are 3/4 of the way with the first coat of siding. We will get back to the stain after getting the rest of the siding on the ends.

I stopped work long enough on Sunday afternoon to take a picture of the West gable end after resetting the scaffolding. The scaffolding is a little short to do much good but it sure made it easier to get the sheet into position. Sandy pushes the sheet up to me and then I pull it up and raise it into position.

This is 6' high scaffolding, which makes an ideal height for this step, but the ladder is needed to nail the sheet above my head. The deck made setting scaffolding much easier, it took a lot less blocking to level it.

By the time I quit work on Sunday this side had a full second row completed. Now it is onto the very top row, all cut pieces and a lot of climbing.

This picture shows the finished portion on the North side of the family room and West side of the laundry room. We moved the smaller central air unit from the South side of the house to this new location. We have the furnace guy coming before winter to hook up the furnace and central air unit for the two bedrooms upstairs.

With one day left to go on the Labor Day weekend we hope to have both gable ends finished leaving the North gable end over the garage roof to be sided.

The weather turned out great on Labor Day and allowed for much faster work. The air was dry and a nice breeze kept the temperature down. I was able to get the West side sided including the installation of the new gable end louver.

The original plan did not include this but we needed an access for the insulation hose this fall and the attic did need more ventilation. This is a foam composition material that means it won't rot.

The picture below gives a better view of the louver. I did not caulk it in so that it can be easily removed later.

With this work done the West gable end is ready for stain with the exception of a couple corner boards that should be done this week.

Once done with this I moved all the tools to the front of the house. It was about 3:00 PM and I was pretty ladder weary by then but I was determined to get the front further along.

This is the East side with the siding completed. I will start work on the haymow door next. Since it isn't an actual door it will go together fast. I am using 1 X 6-pine car siding applied vertically.

We found a pair of very large gate hinges that look like they may belong on an old barn

We just had to take a picture for the site when we got to the end of this weekend (September 20, 1998). We have the entire house first coated with stain and over half of it second coated. This shot of the front of the house shows the completed stain including the white trim around the faux (fancy word for fake) haymow door.

We plan on finishing the stain or the remainder of the house by mid-week if the weather holds up for us. The South side should take two hours and the West side about 5 hours.

Unfinished at this time is the underside of the deck that remains open but will be closed up before the end of September.