Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Time for a Facelift, part two

 The trim is all done and painted, including the soffits and the brackets. All of the horizontal pieces are flashed. The outlet and faucet are disconnected. The babysitters are here. Time to re-side the house.
 Ta-daa! Not the whole house, mind you. Just the south side, for starters. We chose Hardiplank clapboard siding in a deep blue color called Evening Blue. Hardiplank is a fiber cement product that can either come pre-primed and ready to paint or in a color that is baked on in the factory. We chose the latter option for a number of reasons, one being that we have a hell of a time agreeing on colors and a limited palette was actually a benefit for us. The other reason is that the south side of the house gets hammered by the sun all year long, which is great for our passive solar design, but not so great for keeping paint on the walls. The factory colors have a fifteen-year warranty, and the planks themselves have a fifty year warranty, so this stuff is meant to last. The thought of not having to paint the house for a few decades is a beautiful thing in my book.

I have done a fair bit of siding work, but this product has a bit of a learning curve. Special blades on all of the saws are a must, since it is basically a combination of stone and wood fibers. And the dust it gives off is particularly toxic to breathe, so dust masks are required. But once you get going, it is similar to putting up traditional clapboards. You have to be a bit more careful with nailing and clearances, but just as I had hoped, all of the meticulous prep work paid off and it went up fairly smoothly.

When you are doing siding work alone, a set of gauges like these Gecko Gauges are a must. They not only give the correct exposure for the siding but they also hold it in place hands free so you can nail it, no problem. Most of the nailing was done with a roofing gun. Firing double-dipped hot galvanized nails through the siding proved extremely easy and quick. And Hardiplank requires a bit of flashing at the butt joints, which is what the Bear Skin is all about.

All in all, I am extremely happy with how it came out in the end. This was a tough side, due to the number of windows and doors to trim out and work around. As I tackle one side a year I hope that they will go more quickly, and I will have three sides done by the time I begin to build the addition off of the back. At this rate, I plan to have everything finished by 2053, and you can bury me in the crypt I am having put in, right next to the root cellar.

One more look on a beautiful sunny day:


  1. Nice color choice and LOVE the metal roof ...

    1. Thanks, the dark blue really does look nice against the forest background. The metal roof is a mixed blessing--it is LOUD upstairs when it rains.


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