Siding with the Pros

As we work our way up the house with vinyl siding, a few aspects of the job grow progressively more difficult. The first aspect is access. Many parts of the house stand well above our heads, requiring us to use ladders. Oftentimes a ladder is limiting… you can only work on places within arm’s reach, and whenever something is out of reach you have to climb down and move the ladder. Terry partially solved this problem on the south side by building a scaffold from two stepladders and some lumber.

Where the house stands even taller than Terry’s longest ladder (32 feet) will reach, I expect we’ll rent a bucket truck. We tried to avoid this expense but we couldn’t find a safe alternative. Our worst case is the east side, a monolithic wall about 40 feet high to the roof peak. On the other hand, the north and west sides have a shed roof running around the first floor, so we sided the second floor very rapidly.

Camel's Hump looms behind our fully sided front façade.

Camel’s Hump looms behind our fully sided front façade.

The second difficult aspect of siding is seams. The vinyl comes in 12-foot pieces, and any wall longer than that requires an overlap. Sometimes windows and doors break up a wall into shorter pieces, but where no openings exist you need a lot of seams. When I sided the back of the Barn, I worked hard to stagger the seams pseudo-randomly, which makes them harder to see from a distance. It was a fun puzzle to develop a non-repeating pattern without wasting material. I also chose the direction of the overlap carefully, often consulting Colin about the most likely viewing direction for each wall and making sure you can’t see any exposed edges from that direction.

See any seams? I didn't think so.

See any seams? I didn’t think so.

The third difficulty is light. I’ve mentioned that the sun sets before 5, which makes for a short work day. I still take the darkness as license to move indoors, but ever-resourceful Colin solved the problem with a headlamp. Now he can side into the wee hours if he really wants to… though this approach entails some pretty obvious difficulties of its own.

Siding by LED. (Colin called it a day moments after I took the picture.)

Siding by LED. (Colin called it a day moments after I took the picture.)

Inside the house we started flooring. It’s a fun process and the result is stunning, so tune in next time to read all about it.

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