Channel Surfing

There is an essential component of the siding that I’ve never explained very well. Look at the edges of any house, every place the wall turns a corner, meets a door, window, the roof, or the ground. You’ll find some sort of border material. Like the mat around a framed photograph, this border makes the house look good, cleanly defining the edges and hiding any rough cuts of the material inside. It also prevents water from getting in under the siding.

At Colin’s house, the siding is vinyl, so the border material is also vinyl. Our siding and soffit “die” into long channels, which are named after the shape of their cross section.

Channels
Channels2

We use the wide J-channel for our overall border, including the bottom and top of each wall. We use the narrow J-channel for less prominent borders such as door casings. (Our windows have grooves already built into their casings, so they don’t require any channels.) And we use the F-channel below our roof overhangs to hold pieces of soffit. We need the downward flange on the F-channel because the horizontal soffit dies into a vertical wall.

A finished soffit, surrounded by channels and aluminum trim.

A finished soffit, surrounded by channels and aluminum trim.

With so many walls and soffits yet to complete, I jumped from place to place based on where Terry was working, what materials and ladders were available, and (admittedly) where the sun shone. I installed F-channels and soffit above the grill deck, then installed F-channels and J-channels on the south gable end of the Barn, then worked with Terry to install siding on that end. Later I moved to the remaining three sides of the Barn.

Terry adds more siding to the Barn's south gable end. Lots of ladders.

Terry adds more siding to the Barn’s south gable end. Lots of ladders.

Terry has picked up new materials almost every day this week: more F-channels, more solid soffit, more vented soffit. I made a hardware contribution of my own, resupplying our 1½-inch nails today. Most recently, to my surprise and horror, we ran out of siding. Our latest order should come in early next week, and then we can pick up with the last few walls.

SO MANY BOXES of siding were delivered last October. All covering the house now!

SO MANY BOXES of siding were delivered last October. All covering the house now!

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