The Cool House: siding
Showing posts with label siding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label siding. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Getting a grip

on the kitchen renovation... and my sanity.

Yesterday was not a great day on the house renovation front. Not as bad as the previous week when the contractor ordered the wrong size window, tried to install it anyway and then phoned in drunk the next morning, nor the following two days when he was a no-show, and the subsequent hiring of a new contractor who basically re-did everything the first one had touched.

No, it really wasn't so bad: the hardwood for the den floor turned out to be not so much "select and better" as knotty and mismatched and had to be re-ordered; the window supplier didn't have Marvin aluminum for drip caps (because that's a siding/roofing thing); I discovered the deep shelf I wanted for the kitchen has been discontinued; I found out that the only way to make the kitchen window both watertight and aesthetically pleasing was to trim 2" of redwood siding along its length and we know how obsessed I am about the siding... Still, I avoided a repeat of last Monday evening's total meltdown, rolled with the punches and looked on the bright side:

A roll of flashing the right shade was procured for the drip cap and the window was framed out. It looks better than I could have dreamed - I just hope it's waterproof!

The new full-light fir door was installed in the mud room. There's so much light in there now I keep thinking I've left the door open.

The cabinets now have skinny Linea rail pulls from Atlas homewares. I can open and close the drawers now - and I've tried out every single one just to make sure they work.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


The last of the projects completed without my supervision.

This time it was replacing the rotted redwood siding under the sliding door in the kitchen. We'd had this on the to-do list for nine months.

A nice new piece of timber takes it from manky to well-maintained.

While he was about it The Handyman framed out the slider (no frills, just square and plain) to solve the issue of the siding coming away above the door. And notice that beautiful, moss-free step. All the stone, brick and slate was power-washed last week, too. Yippee.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Knock, knock

We started Saturday with a long list of things to do in the yard, things we'd been putting off until the weather got warmer and with temperatures in the mid-seventies we had no excuse not to get on with them.

First chore was for The Guy to jump on the roof and clean out the gutters while I stood below ready to call 911 if he fell off. Division of labour, if you will. I follow him around at ground level, taking the opportunity to check out the siding for any signs of carpenter bee activity and anything else on the exterior of the house that requires attention.

Often there's the start of a wasps' nest, or some other minor problem to take care of but this year had everything beat. Three huge holes an inch or so in diameter with the wood splintered around the side. This was no attack of the insects, this was woodpecker damage. Not only had he or she been drilling for carpenter bee lavae but it had been excavating roosting holes into the bargain.
We have a few woodpeckers in the trees and at this time of year there's usually one trying to bore holes in the siding. I shout at it, it flies off, comes back starts drumming, I run out, shout at it and we play this game ad nauseam. This one had managed to find itself a secluded spot on the corner of the garage and had obviously been at it for a while. I managed to restrain myself from screaming while The Guy was up on the roof and I tried to prepare him for the amount of damage but for someone who rarely curses he really let himself go when he saw those holes. Luckily we had a jumbo sized tube of wood filler handy (for the holes that is, not to shut The Guy up).

Even better we have the perfect solution for keeping the woodpecker away from that corner in the future. One of the Xmas presents we received was a spiral wind chime. I think the twirling shiny copper sphere should do the trick.

Unless it thinks I provided it a perch. During the entire time we were The Guy was repairing the holes and I was taking photos, the woodpecker was sitting in the oak tree chuntering at us. I know it was a just warning: we may have won this battle but the war will continue.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Spoiling the ship for a ha'pence of tar

So the advice I received after yesterday's post was to remove the rotted siding. And of course what I had forgotten is the possible damage to the framing behind the redwood. Because this door was installed so badly we get leaking inside around the bottom. It's possible that we'll open up a whole can of worms by taking off the siding (a section 6' long by 6" wide).
Let this be a warning to all who need windows and doors installed. You can buy the best windows in the world but their ability to keep out the elements will be totally dependent on the installation. Maybe I shouldn't panic yet but I have a feeling this could turn into a very expensive job.
Rats, rats, rats.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Maintenance, Renovation or Total Remodel?

siding needs maintenance
When you're rehabing a house how do you know whether a project is renovation or just simply maintenance?
For example, that vanity unit we had to replace in the downstairs bath this spring. Was that maintenance? The thing had de-laminated completely. What about the faucet? It was leaking and we couldn't fix it. If we'd simply bought another a part I'm pretty sure that would be classified as maintenance but replacing it with a new one? What category does that fall into?
Right now I'm looking at the redwood siding between the kitchen slider and the slate patio step and it's in pretty sorry condition. The rainwater gets splashed up against the siding and has caused the redwood to look a little moth-eaten. It definitely needs some maintenance. The question really is: what should we do about it?
The other sliders off the living room have had their redwood footers replaced with the same bluestone as the terrace on that side of the house. This would seem to be the most sensible solution, effectively solving the problem once and for all. However, these doors are (hopefully) going to remain in situ and ideally I would like to remove the kitchen slider, a replacement that was put in neither straight nor true, (and with interior molding that doesn't match any other in the house) with a better model. Unfortunately, the slider is only a few years old and would not be cheap to replace. It would also be better to leave any replacement doors and windows in this room until we get the kitchen updated, to go for one major upheaval, rather than making two lots of mess. In short, I don't want to replace the rotted siding with slate only to have to knock it off again in a year or so.
The only answer I've been able to come up with so far would be to replace the thin cedar molding by the step with a 4" version, and hope that withstands this winter's rain, ice and snow. I'm a little afraid though, that, as often happens in this family, the temporary fix will turn into a permanent solution.
My problem is that we would be doing maintenance on what I think requires renovation, if not a total remodel.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


We have a new roof! It was supposed to go on a couple of weeks ago but the rains delayed things. This morning, however, Tom the roofer and ten of his best men turned up bright and early to begin stripping off the old roof. This is the bit where you hold your breath in case they discover soggy boards or other costly problems but we were fine. Fine that is until the police turned up and ordered them to stop work. It seems we woke someone up with all the banging and they complained and it transpires that there is an ordinance prohibiting work on a Saturday in our village. Unfortunately, nobody told us about this policy.
Anyway by the time the police got here (we are two doors down from the police station) the roof was off and there was no way that Tom was leaving us exposed to the elements over the weekend. So, a call to the Chief of Police and another to the neighbour who made the complaint and Tom got a citation but work resumed. Can I just say to the person we annoyed that we are truly sorry. If the police had let us know who it was we would have apologised in person and sent you a bottle of champagne. Why don't they give you a rule-book when you move to a new area? It would make life so much simpler. We apologised to all the neighbors who came out to look at the new roof but they disclaimed responsibility and only a couple knew about the no work on Saturday rule.
The roof looks great; pewter grey shingles that match the bluestone around the house, not too blue and not so dark it looks squat. We have had some rain since and high winds and we seem to be watertight and windproof, which is what we were aiming for. It also seems to be quieter when it rains. Can anyone explain that to me?

Thursday, September 29, 2005


I can't get over the difference that the paint and stain has made to the outside of the house. The redwood stain has hardly changed the colour but has added a depth and richness to the siding while enhancing the variations in the wood. We opted to match the colour of the replacement windows on the windows and doors and you really can't tell which is old and which is new. A bizarre but really attractive thing has happened with the garage doors: when the sun shines it projects a shadow of the trees onto the doors - we have our very own movie show each evening. How cool is that? I presume it has something to do with the bronze tone in the paint but I'm guessing here. It certainly didn't happen with the horrible "cedar tan"

Monday, September 19, 2005


Summer is almost over and winter will be here before we know it, so we are taking advantage of the unseasonably clement weather to waterproof the house. The painter was keen to start power-washing the house while the weather was still warm and last week they washed away seven years of mold, moss and dirt to reveal the beautiful redwood beneath.
We had no idea that it would come up so beautifully - from grey to amber in two days. I almost wanted to leave it at that but I am persuaded that a coat of Cabot Clear Pacific Redwood Stain will actually protect the siding for the next 3-5 years. The staining process began this morning and already three of the twelve sides have been stained. So far so much better.
Can't wait to see it with the freshly painted windows and doors, and then we can get the roofers in to make us completely watertight.