Category Archives: Cedar Siding

Exterior stained and just about done…

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Seeing as I hate painting with the fire of at least a few suns, I would have thought that staining would be an equally unfavourable task. It was actually quite a lot of fun and I went about applying it with a spring in my step…splattering Super Deck all over my shoes (note, that stuff doesn’t give up lightly).

The stain was a little odd to see all at once, but it’s settling into itself beautifully to a very rich, finished looking colour.  If I do say so myself, Little Yellow looks bloody lovely.

I got to insulating the ceiling over the doorway today and decided to cover it with 1/4″ T&G cedar closet liner which nicely resembles the colour of the redwood porch. There’s also wire sticking out for a light that will eventually reside on the redwood 2×4 alongside the porch window.

It hit me as I stepped back to admire the newly paneled/insulated doorway that that’s basically the exterior done. I have a few little detail type things I’d like to do, but all of the really big scary things are pretty much over with. Looking from the big-house window to my little darling outside I feel so freakin’ relieved, it’s not even funny.

All of the small aspects that bothered me or looked strange for so long have been remedied in one way or another and I barely even notice them anymore. When I see it, it looks like a house. When other people see it it looks like a house. So much so, that a passerby the other day thought I was reworking some kind of prefab existing structure. Hell, I can hardly believe that all the scattered projects have amounted to an entire house, however tiny.

I just went back through old pictures from when Little Yellow consisted of a trailer, a 69 Chevy pick up full of lumber and a general feeling of ‘holy shit, you kind of have to make this now’. I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the choices and decisions that that face me on the interior, but I’ve bumbled my way into this, so I’ll just have to bumble my way out again. One piece of wall paneling at a time…

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Fascia boards and problem saving drip edges…

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The finished fascia boards are finally up! I eventually settled on a curved design for the end boards and cut up the 4 pieces from the last redwood 1×12 before putting it all together the other day in glorious, good omen type sunshine.

As one may have construed from the history of my house, things don’t usually turn out square, and my roof is no exception. Up there by themselves, the fascia boards looked ok at the roofline from a distance, but any not-so-close inspection would reveal the bare edge of the plywood bending all willy nilly and the nice, straight fascia board highlighting the not-squareness of it in fine form.

But then enter the drip edges. To whoever invented these wonderful, metal, water repelling flashings, I would like to say thank you. I would like to say thank you multiple times and bounce around a while because these things are brilliant, functional and cover a shit ton of mistakes.

We didn’t follow the guidelines and buy the fancy, pricey, colour coordinated ones from the roofing company, and we didn’t put them on first as you’re supposed to, but we did find these dandy ones at the hardware store in an entirely passable dark brown for $5.68 a piece, and we did get them up under the roofing far after the fact (today) with narry a hassle.

And it looks beautiful. I was finally able to put the last screws in the bottom of the roof to secure the new edges, and the whole house beams with a delightful air of completion.

Another thing I worked on today was caulking. I haven’t noticed any other tiny housers mention this part so I don’t know if it’s common practice, but my cedar boards (particularly the stuff I did a while back) don’t exactly fit into each side like Cinderella’s slipper.

I find them uncomfortably inconsistent, ranging from almost no gap, to 1/16″ or 1/8″ gap without much warning. I’m concerned about water getting into the cracks and causing trouble, so I opted to run a thin bead of caulk along them wherever the siding ends.

Around the corners and window borders I went, cussing under my breath at the ‘drip free’ caulk dispenser scam that covered me in silicone. At least it dries clear, hopefully my mistakes will blend better into the wood than my hair.

Siding finished…

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So I didn’t quite make it to finishing the exterior by today as I had ambitiously planned, but I did make a bunch of progress and have completely finished the siding! All around between the rafters, in the roof triangles and everywhere but just above the loft windows where I am planning something different.

One of the reasons I didn’t make the ‘Sunday get ‘er done’ goal is that I spent my entire Friday afternoon redoing the siding and window border on the hitch end of the house. This had been the first border we’d made and the first siding I put up by myself and, as learning curves often are, both were shifty at best. I’m glad I fixed it while I did, though in doing so I used up most of the normal coloured boards and was left with only dark, interesting sort of ones for the triangles. It makes the top colour pretty different from the bottom, but I’ve decided it adds character.

Another reason is that I’m having trouble sourcing wood for my fascia boards. Ideally, I’d like to use redwood since we’ve used so much of it already, but I’m finding it damn near impossible to find a long length 1×6 redwood. It doesn’t help that lumber generally comes in standard lengths, like 18′ or 20′ and that my roof is of the 20′ 4″ variety. Those last 4 inches are out to get me.

I’m so pleased with today though! Somehow, I appear to have ordered the precise amount of siding we needed and despite my concerns at having bought too much, I was left with a single board by the end. Putting the last piece up on the front of the house was incredibly liberating. I’ve been hoarding little scraps of cedar from my dad’s kindling pile since the early siding stages but I’ll be happy to burn the buggers now 😀

Of painting, squint windows and getting siding between the rafters…

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In my quest to get the outside done, I have to inevitably reason with things I’ve been putting off. One of these things is painting. Painting window borders to be exact, and I have an irrational dislike for painting window borders. Generally, I try to do it in sections so as not to have too much at once, but this always happens to backfire and I end up with more and more bouts of the task.

So this time I went for it, the whole hog as they say, and finally reached the light at the end of the sticky painting tunnel. I rejoiced in my accomplishment for a few glorious moments then found out I measured the two top boards for the loft windows wrong and will have to redo them in the morning. Darn.

The day’s highlight was definitely how the bump out windows came together. I haven’t written about the issues we had with them because it was really pissing me off and I was worried that they wouldn’t look nice, but as they are lovely I feel I can face the subject.

Basically, there is a super awkward amount of space surrounding the sides of each of the three big windows. The front one in particular is tricky because it isn’t centered so very well and neither side had enough for a 2×4 border. I eventually decided (actually, I think it was my mother’s idea) to use 2x2s instead and filled the gaps with a strip of some cedar fence boards that my neighbor gave me.

They happen to be almost the perfect thickness to look nonchalant and since they’re the same wood as the siding, it’s surprisingly nice looking. In fact, I feel it’s almost as though we meant it.

A great deal of today was also spent making little pieces of siding to fit between the rafters. This part, I can imagine, would be a jolly little breeze if your house was square. If it’s like my house, it involves tweaking each side to dimensions that are very much not symmetrical and hoping that no one looks long enough to come to this realization. Things are also at a wicked angle up there for the drill motor, so most of my little crooked boards are haphazardly screwed in at laughable directions. Good thing most people aren’t 9 feet tall…

More plumbing, more siding and a bit of determination…

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This has been a delightful little week of progression with wall paneling, plumbing, window borders and siding having all come on a fair ways. Perhaps the most exciting happening occurred on Sunday afternoon when my neighbor got the plumbing ready enough to hook up to the hose and I watched as real live FREAKIN water came into my house!!!!

There’s nothing connected to the pipes (like a sink) or anywhere for the water to go (like a drain) so we just attached a temporary bendy tube doohicky and stuck it out the window, but it totally worked and it was totally wonderful 🙂 The next step is to put in a gas line from the water heater to a propane tank and figure out my sink and shower faucets/ drains. Looks like luck put metal support bars for the trailer directly under my planned locations so the latter should be interesting.

My dad has had a chance to work on the house for the first time in over a month and we’ve been putting up siding all over the place in the last few days. I had been in a sort of building stalemate with cedar siding for a little while so I’m really grateful for the help.

Sometimes it seems like there’s so much to do that it can get procrastinatingly overwhelming. I have tendencies to start on several hundred small projects (with no particular regard for a sensible order) leaving lots of things partially done. While this is fun for my short attention span, it does little for the feeling of accomplishment that comes with actually finishing something.

But! I have become recently determined and procrastinate I shall not! I will finish the exterior of Little Yellow by this coming Sunday! I am on a mission! I am excited! I may be underestimating my time frame. Right, Sunday…

More siding, more wall paneling, more insulation…

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My sister and brother in law came up for a few days to help this weekend, just in time for the cold weather’s return. It’s been a while since she’s seen my house so I spent nearly all of the first day excitedly pointing at things and rambling about far distant plans of interior paint colours and kitchen cabinets (while her husband patiently worked on his car) but we did get up some siding onto the front and in by the doorway. She also did a fine job with the saw and cut up some new borders for the bump out windows which I hope to start painting soon.

First, though, we made a redwood border for around the porch overhang and spent a stupid amount of time trying to get it right. We figured we’d make them both at 45 degree angles which should meet up all nice and pretty, right? Well, in my world of carpentry, no. Just as well I’ve given up on the fantasy of a square house.

Interiorally…is that a word? Hmm. Interior wise, I spray foamed the other wheel well and am continuing on with wall paneling and insulation. It’s hard to believe that quite a few sections require only these two things before they are finished! I am just loving this inside work, it’s so gratifying and really makes things seem like you’re getting somewhere 🙂

I have been knocking around the thought of putting up some form of wainscoting in the great room and finally decided to go for it. Lowes sell another kind of 1/4″ pine wall paneling with a bead down the center, so I bought a bunch and put it up vertically to just above the window line.

I’m thinking that whatever moulding I end up using to cover the seam will hang further over the vertical panels so they look a bit shorter. I’d prefer them not to be so high (41″), but where they are now puts each panel at the perfect horizontal 2×4 in the wall framing and I’d rather not have to stick another board in there. Especially as I’m having to put in an extra 2×2 for support in the middle anyway so we don’t get bendy walls. Nobody likes a bendy wall…

Small progress, more spray foam and the evolution of squirrels…

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As I appear to have recently contracted the PLAGUE, (and so has my mother) the last week has involved more couch sitting and tea drinking than house building. Not to be stifled, however, I have sniffed and sneezed my way through a few more projects nonetheless.

I got a start on the off-side cedar siding, put some new spray foam in the interior wheel well cavity and fixed a funky sliding mechanism in one of my windows that did more banging and stuttering than sliding.

For the record, the spray foam stuff I used first did not, and really did not go very well. Though it started promisingly enough, within a few days it proceeded to turn crumbly and disintegrated upon the slightest touch.

Luckily, I had two things on my side. 1, I waited to see how the first wheel well panned out before I sprayed the other, and 2, I didn’t move right on and close up the space before the disintegration occurred. To any who may think a brand called DAP might suffice in such a wheel well filling application, please think again.

Round two, aptly called ‘Great Stuff’ has proved to be much better. It is intended for window and door gaps, so it supposedly stays relatively flexible to accommodate expansion and contraction over time. I also bought and applied some fancy kind of caulk for the outside gap between the metal of the wells and the wood of the siding so any water will have to reckon with that before even getting to the spongy foam business.

For something completely different, the squirrels that frequent our porch rail feeder have evidently tired of the easy target and moved on to the so called ‘squirrel proof’ hanging bird feeder that resides just next to it.  During periods of couch sitting, my mother and I bore witness to their monumental evolutionary achievements and generally laughed our asses off. Squirrel proof? Not on this porch, buddy.