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Day 256 – Starting in on siding

March 5, 2011

March 5, 2011 – With sunny skies, a temperature hovering above 50 degrees, and a (mostly) rain-free day, it was a perfect day to put up siding. We’ve agreed to begin siding on the north side of the house which is less visible, so as we get our skills down, our errors might be less visible. Also, the north side is the smallest and doesn’t have anything too weird to deal with like the rain screening or a door we have yet to buy.

The first step was installing a kick-out strip for the first row of siding. This enables the siding to have the right angle and subsequent rows to angle accordingly. This is a .25″ thick strip of wood that is roughly 1.25″ inch tall. I made our kick-out strip out of some leftover wood we had for our second floor window trim that was just too thick to use elsewhere. I measured out strips of appropriate width and used the circular saw to cut. After cutting enough strips, I primed them with my daughter’s help.

Next step was finding the studs and marking them accordingly on the outside of the house. The siding would nail directly into them. In theory, they are 16″ on center for the whole length of the wall. After locating three, I measured out and accounted 16″ for each subsequent stud. Well, I made too much of an assumption that our builders actually put the studs on center. They occur roughly every 16″, but aren’t on center. It’s rough, but we’re nailing into OSB regardless, so we’re not too worried if one or two nails miss the studs.

Next was the siding. Getting the first row up was the tricky part because not only does every other row level based off of that row, but it’s overhang over the kick-out strip and OSB had to be consistent. I was going it alone, so I made some marks on the trim which I needed the lower edge of the board to hit and used some scrap wood to help me get it in position. All-in-all, the first row went well.

Four rows down, 400 to go...

The next rows got tricky. As the wall is just under 15′ long and the siding exactly 12′ long, we had to have a pattern of long/short boards. The trick was keeping that pattern not too visible, so it didn’t just look like a bunch of seams. As you can tell from the picture, we didn’t get too far. We had a slight delay with figuring out the pattern, then some delay for cutting each row, and then another for when one of us nailed the boards too low and we had to scrap three boards to correct it.

Another tricky element is keeping the factory edges visible, and the cut edges not. Also, when seams occur, keeping the factory cut seams together and our cuts towards the caulked trim.

The boards are a flat Hardiplank, not the faux wood grain that you see all over nowadays.


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  1. Day 286 – North side complete « Our RemodoBlog

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