Thursday, October 1, 2009

Siding Decisions

If you can believe this, I've managed to get a fair amount of siding off the barn. Mind you, there's still a long way to go, but just the fact that I've gotten any off is a small miracle. AND, best of all, it's something I can do with our son, N, because he loves to work with tools and do things like remove nails and chop things up. He also helps me chop kindling, in a limited fashion, of course.

I started out gangbusters on the removal, and it was more doable than I thought. Some of the boards are really resistant, and I've destroyed a few. My apologies to my Mentor, but some things couldn't be helped. While I fully acknowledge that I don't always have the softest touch (an understatement if there ever was one), I have been careful but some of those boards were just destined to crack or splinter. I would say about90-95% of them are fine, but a few just wouldn't let go, and I had to go in there with my bear claw and rip out the nails. Also, near the bottom where the most water exposure occurred, they were already cracked when I went to work on them.

Anyway, I started out on the front under the assumption that we would replace sections at a time so as to not compromise the structural integrity of the barn. There is a possibility that removing all of the siding at once could weaken it, so we're not taking any chances. I was cruising along at a good clip when I was informed that we would be actually doing the back of the barn, first. The reason is that since this is a learning experience and I'm all thumbs, we should start on a less visible section and do the learning part of this exercise there.

I put on the brakes and started on the back. The way I've been doing it is with a 5 pound drilling hammer and several pieces of 2X4's of varying length. The scrap absorbs the force of Thor's Hammer and the siding is fairly cooperative in terms of popping out, though as I've mentioned, it has given me trouble at times.

So I think I've managed to get the back quadrant done, and I've even removed a window. It was not intentional, but necessary to get the boards off around it. Those things are heavy! I was extremely worried that I'd drop one, and then my Mentor would make me write "I will not drop windows" a hundred times on the back of a some plywood.

Either way, we are ready for the next stage, which is to purchase the sheathing, waterproofing, and siding and get to work. We also need a couple of tools, I believe, namely a table saw and a reciprocating saw in order to cut our the windows and frame them (listen to me, as if I knew what I was talking about.) These are all things I think I can do on my own, a key part of my real-man training, though it sure is nice to have my Mentor there holding my hand... figuratively speaking, of course.

But we're busy people, so we have to do what we have to do and make our decisions (and by extension, chart our own course in life). My Mentor, I think, is cognizant of this fact and tends to make suggestions and then await our decisions, when in fact life would be easier if he just told us what to do. Then again, that's not what being an adult (and a real man) is all about, is it? So perhaps today, if we have time, I'll head over to LaValley's and order the wood and if I'm feeling really crazy, get some needed tools. It's never going to happen if I don't, so it's time to just do it.

Yikes? Did I just say that?

One final note, we had to come to some siding decisions. My Mentor and I went back and forth on the type of siding. Being the good Asian that I am, my first impulse is always go cheap. My Mentor, on the other hand, is a firm believer in quality and getting it right the first time. While he thought tongue and groove would be better because it provides a better seal, I was leaning towards shiplap because, of course, it's cheaper. After talking it over and realizing the difference would not be huge, I sided with my Mentor, because he is right, and he's my Mentor.

We were going to use OSB sheathing, as well, because, you guessed it, it was the cheapest siding you can get. It would in fact work but we would have had to sealed it from the weather immediately, because it acts like a sponge and soaks up any sort of moisture. I've been told it also has high vapor content. Whatever be the case, this was a good instance of cheaper not being better. Funny how that works. The guys at LaValley's also strongly discouraged OSB because of the water issue, which will most definitely be an issue in New England. Sure, we could protect it from the rain, but there's no protecting it from the temperature fluctuations that create moisture in every nook and cranny of your life.

We are therefore opting for CDX, which is a little pricier, but a much better product, more like the plywood that we all know and love. The difference, however, is not huge. Just to complicate matters, our good friend KB said he likes to use Adventec, which is higher quality compressed board like OSB but has many good attributes and doesn't suffer from water exposure. Nothing like more information to confuse the issue.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

spared most of the boards, which we will reuse for some other constructive pr

1 comment:

Windows, Siding, Roofing and more... said...

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Queens siding