Siding an old house #1 Water Table Trim

Well, what can I say – it’s been awhile since updating the goings-on at the Misadventures project. Oh, there’s lots of activity – it’s just that it’s not so photogenic.I put in a full day every day – but it’s pretty lame stuff pictorially.

Since the weather has been decent, I’ve started the siding project. But before we slap up some Hardie cement siding, we have to get the Water Table trim on.  This is a traditional trim detail at the bottom of the building and acts as a skirt board band to separate the siding from the foundation. My house never had this originally – and I haven’t seen one house around here that has it – but what the heck let’s put some on.

Let’s get started, shall we?

1 stone flashingWe’ll tackle the hard part first. Pictured above is the first step. A flashing membrane is added to the top of the stone to prevent water from going behind the stone and lath and freezing. Behind the stone is the MTI rainscreen which is applied over 30 pound asphalt builders felt which is over the weather resistive house wrap. The rain screen has weeps in the lower part of the stone to let the moisture escape. The siding will also have a rain screen that ties into this weep system. Makes sense? Even I’m confused.

2 treated wood nailerOnce the flashing is installed the kiln dried pressure treated nailer goes on. This is a combination of a 2X4 and 1X4 – use kiln dried pressure treated lumber if you want a straight and stable base to fasten your Azek trim.

3 change anglesOf course, nothing at the Misadventures goes that smoothly. So after I installed all of the nailers I took them all off again. Why? Because I only beveled the top 5 degrees instead of 12. Five degrees is just not enough to effectively shed water. You can see the difference of 5 vs. 12 above. After reinstalling, spray foam was added to the gap underneath between the wood and flashing and cut flush to the wood face.

4 water table startOnce the nailers were on the Azek band board and angled top were added.

5 water table patioThis was also added to the stone band that runs the width of the patio. This is recessed into the wall, so the trim is much narrower.

6 wood flashingTo prep the old portion of the house that only gets siding – the lower three feet of the house wrap was removed to wrap flexible flashing over the metal cap at the bottom of the 1/2″ CDX plywood that overlaid the original lap siding. This is to keep water from entering between the plywood and metal.

7 building feltNew housewrap was installed and a layer of 30 pound builder’s felt was added. Typically you won’t need this – but remember the house wrap is pretty old. It’s exposure rate is about 3 months maximum, not three years. So I added the felt just to make sure things keep dry.

8 green guard drainageOver the felt goes the Green Guard rainscreen. This allows the wall to drain any moisture that may rot the wall sheathing over time. This is attached with 1 1/2″ plastic cap nails.

9 new building wrapAnd we do the same thing around the bottom of the old house. See that I previously put the new underground electric box on a Azek base so that the siding will butt up against this, making a clean transition.

10 jigThe Azek trim is routed with a channel that fits around the metal lip with flashing. This allows the moisture a path out of the building. Since Azek is 18 feel long, putting this floppy stuff up by myself is a challenge. I made this handy Azek -holder-upper using an old floor jack.

11 water table cornerGoing around the corner it goes over the rainscreen. An angled cap goes on top of this – and then the corner boards will be added. So, not very interesting unless you’re doing the same thing – which you probably aren’t.

Stay tuned – it’s gotta get better than this.






17 thoughts on “Siding an old house #1 Water Table Trim

  1. I like the looks of your helper JACK! Doesn’t talk back, always on time, doesn’t milk the job for months and months. Maybe we should add JACK on our house project! 😀

    You’re making progress and it shows. Thanks for the update, it’s interesting and believe it or not, helpful. 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by – yep, it seems a handy tool is much more reliable than an extra helper. You speak of experience with contractors. I’ve had my share of horror stories with sub contractors – so I’ll take this kind of helper anytime.

  2. Believe me Curt, other people’s labours are fascinating.
    It’s a very different project that you are on to our medieval hovel, but it’s heartening to read about someone else’s modestly sized project.
    If one more person says to me “your house isn’t that big, why is it taking so long” I will repeat that small does not mean quicker, easier, less demanding or less complicated!
    At least I know that you understand this

    • I’m with you Gill – I love to look at others blog (Yours especially) oh if I ever get this place done a vacation to the South of France would be wonderful! Yes, it’s all time consuming when you want to do it the best you can. Of course, I have a problem or doing and then re-doing something if I’m not 100% happy with the result. We will march on…

  3. You have so much skill and patience — I love seeing the details and mis-adventures of your progress. This will be beautiful. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • Hi Jo – you are so far ahead of me in every department. I was hoping to move in this year – but not sure if I’ll make it. If patience = slowness, then I have a lot. Your place is looking fantastic!

  4. Oh, you know we DIYers love looking at someone else’s labor, even if we’re not about to tackle the same thing! I have never seen siding done this way. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as rain screen, and had never heard of water table trim, so I’m learning. It’s all looking so perfect!

    • Thanks D’Arcy – well the rain screen is part of a ‘best practices’ system. I don’t think a lot of builders use it because of the cost – but it helps keep water out of the wall system Overkill on my part? You bet! 🙂

    • Lynda – I’m rebuilding this house to as close to ‘best practices’ as I can. The rain screen helps ventilate the wall systems – my whole house has this feature, and yes, it is an expense most people wouldn’t pay.

  5. Green Guard Rainscreen…interesting. I wonder if this is a new product since we did our house 4 years ago. We used Green Guard but it was a fluted pliable house wrap. I like the look of this molded green guard product.

    • Ha – well it can’t be too new because it’s been sitting waiting to be put on since 2010. It is like a rigid foam insulation that has a film over the face. It has a small r-value of a little over 1. It worked really well under the cement siding.

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