Siding an old House #7

Well my friends, we’re getting closer to wrapping the old girl in some shiny new cement siding with AZEK accessories. I put the first piece of siding on July 31st and I’ve worked at least 10 hours every day since on this project.

That’s how slow I am.

1 house frontSo now we’re working on the street side – where God and everybody passing by can see me fumbling and stumbling about. And I do stumble due to the metal plate in my ankle that makes me slightly wanting in the off road category.

2 siding paintedTo prepare for the final walls I went ahead and painted the rest of the siding – it’s more than I need – but there’s always the garage to be sided in a future project.

3 cornerThe front was quick to install as it has a big window – and it’s one story high.

4 sealing paintEven though the Hardie siding is factory primed, you have to coat every cut made. I would make the cuts, sand it down and coat the raw edge front and back.

5 1st floor scaffoldingFirst floor scaffolding ran the full length of the side of the house – about 35′

6 light boxesOnce up to the roof intersection trim pieces needed to be made to carry the trim around the eave light boxes up to the soffit overhang. The box has an LED down-light and a weatherproof electric receptacle.

7 trim piecesI love making doodads for trim pieces. Here is the front and back of the light box trim pieces. Stainless steel screws and PVC glue hold these AZEK pieces together.

8 trim installedThose pieces get installed around the light box to transition the trim to the soffits. The rabbet overlaps the siding.

9 2nd floor scaffoldingAnother level of scaffolding goes up. I’ve learned my lesson and make sure safety first. It takes time, but a lot less time (and money) than a hospital stay.

10 siding pieceThe problem is the Hardie siding is it’s 12 foot long and very brittle. I would make the cuts and prop it up against the scaffolding – run up the ladder and hope it was still there. I only lost one to the wind, so I can’t complain.

We’ll wrap up this outside project in the next post. Then we’ll go inside and get to work.





Siding an old House #4

We have been pretty lucky weather-wise in Southern Indiana. No rain for 20+ days. Not so good for the crops – and temps in the mid 90’s, but good weather for a siding project. As a matter of fact – it’s slightly raining today, so a perfect day for a blog post.

1 siding the backI started on the back of the house for a couple of reasons. One – it’s a single story wall with lots of notches and cuts to be made in the siding. Since I’ve not used cement siding – nor sided a house before – I thought this was a good place to start. It’s really pretty easy – even for a one person installation crew. I’m using the Gecko Siding Gauges. These hold the siding at the correct reveal and keep everything in place while you nail them to the wall.

2 cooking lunchOf course, a guy’s gotta eat. My wife was kind enough to drop off some chicken breasts – fresh from the refrigerator from home. Problem is I don’t like ice-cold chicken and have no way to heat it since a kitchen is non-existent. So, like any DIY’er I got out the heat gun, a cut off piece of 6″ duct, a hand saw and had a handy chicken warmer in no time.

3 spray setupAfter lunch it’s back to work. Here’s the set up for the airless paint sprayer. The Hardie siding is available pre-finished or pre-primed. I chose the primed because when I bought this 3 years ago I had no clue what color I would paint it. I sprayed one coat before installing. I do about 70 twelve foot pieces per session. I used Low Luster Benjamin More OC-57 White Heron. Once installed, I’ll hand paint the final coats.

4 siding patioI have eight walls that will have siding – this is wall #2 on the patio side. It’s by far the most complicated with windows and lights and roof intersections. Plus it’s two stories high – this will take a while.

5 siding cutoutTo cut the notches for the windows I used the small angle grinder with a diamond blade. It cuts very smooth and straight – but throws out  a cloud of dangerous silica dust. I always wear a P-95 dust respirator when cutting the notches.

6 siding clampHere the thin siding notch piece is supported by a 6′ level while the adhesive/caulk cured over a couple of days. I’ve used many caulks before, but by far the best I’ve found is Solar Seal #900. It’s easy to use and it’s my go-to caulk from now on.

7 siding progressAfter six years I’ve figured out the scaffold layout. Two sections high with 4 walk boards combined with the scaffold planks makes this safe and easy – well –  except going up and down the ladders countless times a day.

Hang in there – we’ll wrap this building up before winter, I promise.


Azek Trim #3 The Difficult Project

So far, so good- we were able to get some of the tall stuff done – like the pointy front of the house. It was pretty easy because it was only one section of scaffolding two units high. And we’ve been able to get the fascia and soffit wrapped around the sunroom without incident.

Now we go for a bigger project – the sides of the house. We’ll do the tricky side first.  The 1st problem is scaffolding.  It takes a little longer for a 60 year old who still walks like a penguin from last year’s experiment with gravity to get things in order.

1 scaffold set upThis is set up #2. I put it up once, but could only get two sections wide – so down it came and this configuration went up. That took about 2 1/2 hours of my life. I’ve got the center and right hand fascia in place, temporarily fastened with cortex screws.

2 eave panelThe 2nd problem is the main roof dives into the sunroom roof. I made a panel of
Azek that rests slightly above the roof surface. The panel is removable when the sunroom needs to be re-roofed. Black roof caulking covers the small gap between the Azek and roof surface to keep any water or insects from getting in.

3 soffit instalI’m using Quality Edge TruVent  hidden vent aluminum soffit. It has no visible holes and looks more like the original type of soffit that was on this home.

4 eave problemProblem #3 is because there was no plan when I started building this place. The siding and trim detail are going to be a problem here.

5 eave problem closeupHere’s a close-up of the problem. We’ll have frieze trim below the soffit and we’ll have another trim piece right above the mudroom roof surface. If we leave it as is, it will have tiny pieces of siding on the wall here.

6 eave side panelSo my solution is to make an Azek panel to span this roof area under the eave. I made a plywood template to make sure I got all of the angles right. The original roof is a 7/12 and the mudroom roof is a 6/12, so this panel had to taper to fit the odd angles. Also the upright elements had to be plumb when in place to make everything look like it’s supposed to.

7 fascia damageI used the original fascias on most of the house as backer for the new Azek trim – but this piece had to be replaced – as did all of the original fascia on the patio side of the house.

8 panel installI fastened the panel in place with removable cortex screws. The panel then had to be wrapped around the corner with more trim pieces to meet the eave soffits. I’ll detail that in another post.

9 eave side panel other viewLooking from the other way, the side panel ends at the roof ridge. This will allow the siding to terminate here instead of having those tiny pieces under the eave.

10 fascia installationNow to put the other 15′ fascia board up. Working alone has it’s challenges, but the good thing is you can go as slow as you want.

Hang in there fearless renovators – we’ll get through this together – even if I’m doing all the work.