The 57 acres that comprise Cedar Ridge Farm are located in the beautiful rolling hills of South Central Kentucky. My wife, our four children, and I are on a homesteading adventure as we work toward increased self-sufficiency. We grow much of our own food and enjoy being in touch with the agrarian roots of our lives.

One of the major projects we have undertaken is the building of our own home. The house we're building has three major distinguishing features: 1. we're building it without incurring any debt; 2. it is a timber frame structure; and 3. the exterior walls will be plastered straw bales. We live debt and mortgage free, and building our house with that approach makes perfect sense. Large timbers in a home possess a beauty and project a sense of strength, stability, and warmth that we want in our home. Straw bale walls provide insulation and make ecological sense. This blog is a record of our home-building project.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Siding the cupola

My goal for today was to get the siding on the cupola. It took a full day, but I got it done.

The siding I used is wood shingles. I cut them to length from "slab wood" I bought from a pallet company. I bought several pallets of what are basically their culls from making pallets. I worked with two widths (3.75" and 5.75") because that's how they came, and I didn't want to rip them all to other widths.

If I didn't have to work around windows and the slope of the roof, the process would've gone more quickly. The basic idea is to cut the shingles 18" long. Then, staple them on the side leaving 8" showing. This provides a double layer coverage.

This idea worked on the sides of the windows, but not over or above them. There, I had to cut pieces to length so they would fit. On the sides, as you can see, I had to cut the angle of the roof pitch, too.

On the corners, I nailed one inch thick boards for trim. The shingles butt up against these boards on the corners, giving a finished look. I still have to finish the front corners of the cupola with this trim.

The rope tied around the cupola which can be seen in the photo is so I don't slip off the roof while working on the front. I put it around my backside and can lean against it. It allows me to have my hands free to work and provides a level of comfort and safety which I don't want to work without.

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