• John Hogeland

Time to Choose a Side(ing)

The siding for our home arrives today, marking the beginning of the last (?) leg of this old farmhouse remodel. The inside of our home is 90 percent finished, with mainly trim to be worked out, but the outside of the house...I imagine that our neighbors who haven't been inside wonder how we are living in such a shack.

Shack sweet shack


The siding that was on the house when we bought it was aluminum that wasn't put on right, and it wasn't put on right a long time ago. We discussed painting it, removing it and reusing it and finally, (thank God) decided that salvaging it just wasn't worth it (and likely wouldn't work anyway). So, we took it off and gave it to the local guy who scraps metal.


Before we started removing it, we still held out hope that the old cedar siding would be in good enough shape to keep, maybe just a paint job with some new boards and a good cleaning. But as the aluminum came off, it became clear that the vast majority of the cedar was beyond repair. Bugs had gotten under the aluminum siding and wreaked their havoc, and where the bugs left off, water and time had done the rest. 100 years is a long time for cedar siding, especially if it was never really well cared for.



Dastardly carpenter bee holes.

And so, the new siding is coming, purchased from a small company called Buffalo Lumber that has mills in several states. The service has been very good so far and the price pretty reasonable. They even painted it the color we requested, Salty Dog Blue, on both the front and back of the siding boards. I wait with bated breath to see the final product, hoping that it is all as good as it seems (and is a blue we will love).


Salty Dog blue is the dark blue paint in the upper right.

After it arrives, the siding needs to sit for a week or so to acclimatize to its new environment and then we can begin to put it on to the house, one board at a time. In the mean time, we will strip the old siding off, repair any water damaged areas and put on Tyvek, an impermeable vapor layer that will (hopefully) keep the house safe from rot. Next, furring strips (thin pieces of wood) are nailed vertically on to the house to provide room for any water that gets behind the siding to drain and evaporate. Then we begin with the actual siding and trimming of the house, a process that should take about a week to make her lovely again.


Our last step will be to put in the windows of our three season porch, which have been waiting patiently as this process has unwound. They will be the finishing touch for the outside of the house.


And then, ha ha! The neighbors will see that we aren't living in a shack, but that we have a beautiful home on our farm.


After that, we can start on the front porch....

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