Saturday, April 22, 2006

We have Shingles

tools to remove lap siding and install shingles. table saw and chopsaw not shown, but definitely used.

before we bought our retirement house we paid for a house inspection. i flew up from santa cruz (and boy were my wings tired) to meet the inspector and go around with him. i have many years experience building and repairing houses, but we wanted a professional inspector anyway. one of our concerns was the siding. it is a composite wood product manufactured by louisiana pacific into lap siding. between 1990 and 1998 *some* of lp's siding failed after installation, apparently because it was not really waterproof. the sellers had disclosed that they got some sort of settlement, but insisted that the siding on this house, built in 1996, was not the bad stuff, and the settlement was because they were good customers. the inspector did not find any signs of imminent failure, but did warn us to repaint it regularly, and showed me a few places that perhaps i should caulk, where one board overlapped another and there was a small crack. one had to look up under the overlap to see this.

the paint still looks in decent condition, but it is ten years old and we decided not to wait to repaint til it shows signs of wear. our first thought, since we don't like the blue/grey exterior color, was to paint the house barn red. change the ambience with a warmer, earthy color. as we drove around looking at houses painted various shades of red we noticed that we were both drawn to unpainted shingled houses. i had also noticed that our house's waterproofiness depended on caulk. and that some of that needed replacement or at least more caulk. so, considering the possibility of siding deteroration, the obvious need for caulk renewal, the requirement to repaint every whatever number of years under the best circumstances, and our own preference, we decided to shingle the exterior walls. i thought at first that we could keep the trim, paint it white, and add flashing over the upper trim over doors and windows. well. investigation revealed that the trim is fir, and shimmed out to boot. so we are replacing all window, door, and corner trim with real cedar.

the almost finished wall. the pastel blue/grey walls and blue trim seem cold and uninviting to us.

trim over a window. no flashing! just caulk.

now this is why i really hate caulk as the only waterseal. this is the top of a "greenhouse" window behind the kitchen sink. it has already required more caulk. i did not do this sloppy job. real flashing does not need caulk.

because i'm a hammerin' and nailin' fool and because we are so jazzed by the birds moving into the first birdhouse (pictures here) i built three more. come on down birdies!

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