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.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Beginning the siding

Before too long, we ought to be able to get the plastic off of the house.

I spent some time on Tuesday fixing the small window that goes above the wood stove. It had a crack in one pane which had allowed some moisture to get between the panes and leave some water deposits. I wasn’t able to purchase I piece of glass locally large enough to replace the one pane, but I had some window glass that was of sufficient size if I could cut it. So, I read about cutting glass and watched a few videos online.

Thankfully, I had more than one piece of glass to work with. I practiced on one and then attempted to cut the real thing. The first one turned out acceptable, although there were a few rough edges. So, I cut another one that turned out a little better. When fixing the window, I ended up using both of the ones that I cut since I couldn’t clean the one remaining pane in the window.

Anyway, it took me most of the morning to get the window repaired and put in the wall.

After finishing the window, I started putting on the flashing where the upstairs walls meet the porch roof. I previously bought a couple rolls of 24” aluminum flashing for this purpose. One of the rolls was long enough to reach from one corner to the other across the back of the house. The other roll was long enough for both ends except for about 5 feet. I had to use some other flashing material there.

On Wednesday, it rained all day. It was just a light, drizzly kind of rain. I put up the tarp on the back of the house upstairs because when the water dripped off of the upper roof, it was splattering on the wall. Since there was no wind with the rain, the other upstairs walls didn’t get wet.

Yesterday, I finished the flashing on one side and started installing the siding. I attached the first piece by myself and then realized that I would need some help to do the rest of them. Twelve foot pieces of Hardiplank siding are west endsomewhat unwieldy. Thankfully, my dad was available to help me in the afternoon.

We worked on the west wall and were able to get the siding to above the window. There was a fair bit of cutting involved to match the roof line and to fit around the window. Also, since I hadn’t initially planned on using this type of siding, I didn’t have the vertical stringers optimally spaced for installing it. That means that there is a little more waste at times in order to make sure that the ends are on one of the stringers so they can be nailed securely.

This morning, even though it was chilly and spit a little bit of rain at times, we were able to get the east wall up to the same height as the west wall. back wallAfter lunch, we worked on the back wall. We didn’t finish it, but we got a good start and should be able to finish it and the other two walls on Sunday.

When I bought the siding, one bundle, enough to do the upstairs based upon my hasty calculations, was a 6 inch exposure while the rest was a 7 inch exposure. I figured that this would work well. If I don’t have enough to finish all of the upstairs walls with the 6 inch, I can finish it off with some of the 7 inch near the top. We didn’t continue above the windows on the either end to ensure we had enough to get the siding up most or all of the way on the back.


kentuckyagrarianwannabe said...

Did you get the pre painted or do you still have to paint. Looking good!


dp said...

Hey, Tim. It's the pre-painted, but because of the way I got it, I actually have about 4 different colors. So, I'll paint it sometime. I'm not complaining because I got a good deal on enough to side the whole house.

Herb said...

The type of sidings you chose for your home comes sealed and primed. You only need to install this type of sidings correctly to ensure they perform to expectations. Maintain all recommended clearances when installing these – 6” to the finished grade on your house’s exterior, and 1” to 2” between the product and your roof.

Herb Koguchi

Sandra Ludwig said...

Your ecological awareness is something I really respect. Nice to see your house slowly coming together in the pictures. Just be careful with the wood sidings in the long run; if you can see it getting soggy, wet and soft, then it’s about time to change it. Another thing with wood sidings, it requires treatment every 4 to 9 years.
Sandra Ludwig