Back at it – Wall Sheathing

Greetings fellow renovators and spectators. Well, the time has been slipping away again. So I made a promise to update the blog – and then failed to deliver. Not due to progress on the house – I average 10 hours a day there 7 days a week. Yikes! What an obsession. As this project has unfolded it evolved from a simple cosmetic adventure to a total, no holds barred complete reconstruction. Thus the name of “mis-directed remodeling”. But we continue…

I wanted to back up a little and address the exterior project that paralleled the window and door installation. Totally pointless to most readers, unless you are doing the same.

I instructed the framing crew to place 1/2″ CDX plywood at the intersection of the old house wall and the new roof. You can see the 2 pieces of ply with the roof flashing here. The problem was they used 5/8″ ply instead. Now 1/8″ difference might be ok for most…wrong plywood eaves   But not me.

right plywood evesSo five hours later I have the correct thickness plywood in place with the proper roof flashing.

I feel so much better! Don’t worry, those skanky eaves will be replaced.

The reason for all of this fiddling is that the exterior wall in this 1930 bungalow has no exterior sheathing – just the wood clapboards. The interior of the exterior walls have 3/4″ tongue and groove sheathing – so it’s built like a tank. Only on the inside.

wall with vents The idea with the plywood is to remove the existing aluminum siding (the green stuff) and replace with Hardie cement siding and limestone trim.

striped wallHere’s the beautiful view my neighbors have of our project. No wonder they’re gone a lot. The original house had an unfinished upstairs – so large vents were placed on either side of the window. These were partially blocked when previous owners converted the upstairs to living space. Now I’ll do away with them all together.

eaves with window headerOf course no remodeling is complete unless you rip off the fascia boards and rafter tails. This part is a PITA especially when you’re 20′ in the air. There’s a lot more going on here than you might realize. Since we’re changing the way the roof is vented we have to add soffit and ridge vents to properly vent the roof sheathing. It’s important this is done correctly. You can see the new vent chutes that are in place to bring air in under the roof deck to be expelled out the ridge. The rafter tails were just toe nailed into the roof rafter and were sagging badly after 70 plus years. Plus rot and insect issues. No fun. Plus no window header was installed, so that roof had to be jacked up to get a proper header in over the window.

eave outrigger detailI fabricated a new set of eave outriggers that would be attached to the roof rafter making a much stronger eave assembly.

eave outriggerThe new outriggers will allow for adding the fascia boards and keep them straight. These are much stronger and will add support to the roof.

fascia startThis is the start of the fascia support. This is 1X8 pine that has been primed. If you look closely you will see the first  3 feet next to the roof is an AZEK trim board.This waterproof material will keep the rain from rotting it out. After all of the fascia is up, it will be overlaid with another 1X10 AZEK trim board to make it weather resistant.

Plywood wall viewThe whole exterior of the existing building will be covered with 1/2″ CDX plywood. This will give a strong and flat base for the new siding. I made a jig on the scaffolding so I could put up 4X8 sheets of plywood solo.

plywood closeupThe plywood also acts like a type of rain screen. The spaces between the clapboards and the back of the plywood will allow for it to dry if moisture gets in. Trapped moisture is a major problem in modern home construction. Old houses rarely had rot issues because they were so drafty and many uninsulated – water could get in and out quickly. Not so in today’s homes.

housewrapAfter the plywood is on the housewrap goes up, just like new construction. The only bad deal here is that the windows were already installed. If I had known at the beginning I would do all this…sigh.

housewrap window detailThe detailing is critical on the housewrap. Always think like water. Bottom pieces go on and then the top overlaps. I was able to get the window details ok, but not perfect. Drip caps over the windows are a must.

So the saga continues….


10 thoughts on “Back at it – Wall Sheathing

  1. You are a machine! This is looking great. I’m thoroughly impressed. And no apologies for not updating the blog necessary. You’re busy building!!

  2. Wow, you’ve made so much progress since I last checked in… nice work! And if I were you’re neighbor, I wouldn’t be home much either, because I’d be over there helping you 🙂

  3. Watching the house from ground to finish, seems like watching my child growing….. Can’t wait to see it done !!!!!… your work Curt, patient, artistic, well planned and a dream house for me!……:-)

  4. Your making great progress, and I love the “do it right from the ground up” perspective. Funny, I that I actually understand your post completely, ah the memories you give me! Keep up the good work, looks fantastic.

  5. Looks awesome! I just purchased a house from the 1890’s and the siding consist of clapboard with shingles over the clapboard. What’s your thoughts on putting new siding on the house? Take everything off..put new plywood on then side from there? Take the shingles off and put foam board over the clapboard if possible then side over that? Also, new construction windows or replacements? Thanks

    • Thanks for stopping by. So you have a project too! What you do will depend on the wall insulation. I had blown in insulation and didn’t want to replace that or I would have removed everything and replace the insulation with spray foam. Take off the shingles and you can put plywood over clapboards or foam board. The plywood makes a very smooth and flat base for siding. Use a new construction type window.- one with a nail fin. This will nail directly to the plywood. I replaced the windows 1st – then decided to put on plywood – not an ideal way. My windows where Marvin ultimate replacement casement windows. But they were made with the nailing fin, like new construction windows. I have lots of window installation details on this blog. Hope this helps – I’ll be glad to help in any way.

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