Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Next Project Please
If you may recall, we started this whole thing this summer by pulling up some half dead shrubbery that was planted way too close to our house. This led to us moving the sidewalk away from the house by three feet to give us so more room and because the sidewalk was in poor condition anyway, which led to pouring the driveway and garage floor while we were doing it. That led to me jacking up the garage and putting a new garage door in to match the now level concrete which got us to evaluating the state of our siding which is in poor condition. We had a friend of mine over one evening to quote helping me put up the siding thinking it would be prohibitively expensive after spending a sum of money on landscaping and concrete. He turned out to be quite reasonable and so since we had the money in our savings account, we said why not get it done all in one go. So we shook hands, paid for the material up front and three weeks later, this pile of siding, soffit, house wrap and other material ended up on our front lawn. Yes a new project has begun.
This is the picture I took of the front of the house hours before we put an offer on it and was excepted. Due to the distance, you can't really tell but all those vertical beams in the front are merely decoration and mostly rotted away. Removing those would leave large gaps in our siding which was masonite and only marginal at best in condition. Masonite siding, unless painted frequently and thoroughly, doesn't hold up to moisture well and the previous occupants rarely painted the house from the looks of things. So our options were to replace all the beams with more beams, which we hate anyway and try to get a few more years out of the masonite by repainting it or residing the house. We decided on the latter. After some research, we decided to go with pre-finished fiber cement boards because they hold up to moisture well even if the paint isn't kept up. It doesn't warp and buckle in the extreme temperatures like vinyl siding. It doesn't blow off like vinyl siding does when we get straight line winds. It also accepts paint very well so when the time comes and color styles change, we can repaint it easily.
Because my wife works long hours and I am just one man with two kids to take care of, we ended up hiring my friend and his friend to do the bulk of the work why I tackle the multitude of odd jobs like outdoor spigots, dryer vents, electrical and gas connections, painting, gutters, etc., while they do the actual siding work. It keeps me busy and them busy. Here we have stripped off those hideous fake wooden beams and siding. As you can see, being a house of the mid 70's, they used a combination of plywood and blackboard to sheath the house. Blackboard doesn't hold up well to moisture which is why they have gone away from it. So we are patching the blackboard where it needs it, adding house wrap to prevent moisture penetration to and just sealing up the house better anyway, and then siding over that. Right now we are working on the soffit and next we will be putting on the wrap, trim and then siding. After that, there are three more sides to go, two of which are the most difficult of all of them. On a side note, we got a little dusting of snow and a very cold snap the night we tore off the siding. The cold snap is forecasted to stay around for the next seven days so it won't be the most pleasant conditions to work in but at least no rain is in the forecast with the blackboard exposed, something I was worried about if I ended up doing everything by myself.