The Far Side

Here we are – at the end of summer – starting the project I wanted to commence in July. So we have, realistically, downsized the project. I am, of course, talking about the siding/insulation on the two walls. We will only be doing one wall this year and the easy one at that. But progress is still progress and I’m excited and happy that the entrance that we use will be looking pretty in just a few weeks. It will soon match the lovely screen door.
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All right – this is the west wall or the north wall (depending on whom you talk to)and this is what it has looked like for the last couple of decades.
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Here is the first action shot. It didn’t take Spencer and I long to rip off most of the vinyl siding but as I took this picture we had to stop to put up the scaffolding so that we could reach the rest of it. Demo is fun!!
Demolition is dirty work! The amount of dirt in the vinyl siding was incredible and the number of flies in the aluminum soffit was quite astonishing. Perhaps the amount of flies by the back door will decrease now that we disposed of their home turf. Once the scaffolding was up (which actually took a while as part of it is on walk out ground level and part of it is on ground level back door so we had to work on leveling it off so we all felt safe.
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No P90X work outs needed at our house – we all keep fit with construction and landscaping!
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It is quite dirty up close and smells of tar paper but if you use your imagination it will look just as fabulous as the garage!
We have done some research into spray insulation and at this point in time we have decided (at least on this small wall) that the benefits of doing it yourself outweigh the pros coming in. We are out of holiday time so all of our work will be done on weekends – the pros don’t work weekends so the house would sit exposed until Monday which isn’t a good thing. So we purchased two big kits of spray foam insulation. There are also several round holes up high where we believe they sprayed insulation. We had to remove all that when we took down the final layer of ship lap. But I get ahead of myself as first the cedar had to come off first as well as all the trim boards – which it turns out was an even dirtier job than the vinyl. More years worth of actual dirt stuck in there!
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So here it is with the cedar gone. The picture doesn’t make it seem that way but it seems dark and dingy right now. Quite interesting that the tar paper and the wood in some places was almost new looking and in other places it was grungy!
All of the ship lap that came down had to go back up again so the first order of business was to number them all. Fortunately it turned out to be a non windy day when we exposed and removed the insulation. For the most part the shop vacuum took care of the insulation – we ended up with about 8 bags of it which really isn’t all that much. There were several stud spaces without any insulation so it definitely will be warmer in the winter!
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This shows the careful part of the demolition phase. It took the better part of the day to expose and vacuum up all the insulation..
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Here it is exposed – interesting to note that the inside 2 x 4’s and ship lap looks almost pristine. We made the decision to keep the top trim board in place as it is in good shape and had no insulation behind it. It will just need to be sanded and painted.
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The spray foam in place and time to take a picture. The windows and doors got covered but there was still a lot of pieces of spray foam to scrap off of trim and pick up from around the yard.
One portion of the trim board had to be created from new but we used salvaged cedar dimensional lumber from our friend Terry’s previous deck. The wood was in good shape and with just 4 cuts/board (OK that was time consuming but we got a really nice well fit functioning board from it) we only ended up with a small amount that I had to sand to remove the stain from it. It was installed quite easily. We also created enough pieces to do the other side of the house that will require it.
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There are many benefits to being married to an engineer! Here is one of them – from draft paper to trial piece to mass production – all in a morning!
We also had to cut back the window sills and reinstall the trim boards. Both pieces of the door trim were toast when we got it off so new/old had to be created. A baseboard earmarked for the basement was chosen, cut down, installed and will soon be green instead of brown. The two corners with the vinyl siding trim pieces (which the siding clips into) had to be trimmed off on the soon to be new siding side but left intact for the other side so that was a bit tricky. And in amongst all that we had to clean up the trim boards – most of them hadn’t been painted in years and so that was fairly easy to get off with the belt sander. There was a bit of glue work to put some trim board back together – it doesn’t always come off as nicely as one would like even with plenty of demolition experience. We had lost one little corner piece but I found it while cleaning up the big pile of cedar siding (anyone want a bonfire?? we’ve plenty of wood to burn!!) so that was a bonus.
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So this picture won’t really look any different than the picture 5 above! We made progress and yet it doesn’t look any different. We spent one whole day filling in the little pieces of ship lap and working on the trim boards!
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Again we were fortunate with the wind the day that the Typar covering went up as it was blowing from the east and didn’t affect the work. This was one of the easiest stages and didn’t really take much time – it just seemed to take forever to get there!
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And finally the moment I’ve been waiting for!! The first piece of siding is in place. But before that we had to clean up and cut back the window sills and reinstall the trim boards.
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This is the end of the day picture – not at the stage either of us wanted to be at. Ron’s busy filling holes, I’m priming the boards that are up and the dogs are starving to death while we work!
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The problem with September long weekend is that the sun sets way too early – means more time to upload pictures and blog but less to get outside stuff done! Bonus was that I had the camera out to capture what we had accomplished and got another fabulous sunset picture!
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The last siding board is up – just a few nails to go.
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And so here we are with all of the siding in place now and the primer done on all the boards. As you can see the sun was set when I finished!
It is the end of September long weekend and time to finally hit the publish button on the blog site! I started the blog entry on August 23rd so I guess it is only two weeks but it seems like much longer than just two full weekends. For a change it wasn’t about how long it took to upload the photos (and aren’t there a lot of them!) but rather that I wanted to wait for the after picture to go with the before picture.
As a total aside I should tell the story of Toni/Tony the cat/kittie. As you might remember we got two kitties last winter – sisters who’s coloring matched our dogs. Sad to tell but rural life seems to have claimed Toni. She disappeared while we were on holidays. So we felt that the time was now to get a second one – things are better in twos! So thanks to Kijiji I found another orange tabby kittie not too far from Saskatoon and available to go right now for free! So the new Tony arrived home and has settled in quite nicely – knows how to hunt, isn’t afraid of the dogs and hasn’t pestered Cleo too badly. We aren’t sure how big he will get – Cleo seems to be hogging the bowl of food so we are trying to separate them occasionally and just let the kittie eat. We also aren’t sure – we were told he was a boy but it might appear that he is again a she!!
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Here is Tony, enjoying the sawdust, safe in the table saw frame from those big crazy dogs that love to sniff and chase!
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Animals don’t always pose for pictures so I was so pleased to get this really cute shot of Tony.
As another aside – we got a phone call today from a lady who lives up on an acreage by the church that you pass to come to our place. Toni has been spotted so tonight at dark (when we would customarily have called them in) we went down and walked up and down the road calling to her. We took the cat food (kept in a pail) and shook it as that always brought her running. I guess we will go down again for a few nights and maybe drive home that way occasionally and see if we can find her. So in the meantime we have decided to call Tony the kittie – Tigger. He does like to climb and jump and is so active – today he climbed to the top of the maple tree!
So that is the most pictures I think that I have ever uploaded into an entry before. I know that there was a request for some distance shots so that people could figure out where the garage was in relationship to the house etc but I guess that will have to wait. I also would like to do a before and after series for inside but that is definitely a winter project. September looks like it will be a busy month so probably not much blog time except for maybe I will post a picture when I get the color added onto that wall.
Bernie and Ron

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6 Responses to The Far Side

  1. michelle says:

    That’s an interesting process, and I’m sure you’ll be glad in winter when you’re much more snug from the new insulation! the grass looks wonderful too, and the dogs must love it.

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  2. Chrissy Krowchenko says:

    Love the pictures and all the amazing work you guys have been doing! I need to come out and see it in person before the snow of winter covers it all up! I have a little thank you card to deliver and you can have a sweet cuddle with Luka! Let me know what days you have off work! Greta goes to preschool MWF at 1-3, thurs she has gymnastics at 1. Should be available another times, minus all the appointments we have! Ugg!!!!!

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  3. Dianne says:

    I have been following your progress since the beginning, and am so impressed. You guys are so dedicated to that house! It is gorgeous inside, and in my mind’s eye I can see the outside finished.

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  4. Patti Erikson-Reynolds says:

    You’re going to have a cozy kitchen this winter! Love the new Tony/Toni too!

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  5. Gary Cruikshank says:

    Great progress guys. I think next year you should both take a leave of absence so you can complete the outside with no pressure of time constraints.
    I thought I had taught you better – should be able to tell a male from a female kitten at that age! Well I guess that means another trip to Sask. Maybe when the Riders win the Grey Cup I will come to help celebrate!!

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  6. What a lot of work. Wow! Love the red sky. Wooo

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