Leelanau County, Michigan – August 28, 2021 – Written by Jim
It’s funny how things seem to come together sometimes.
When we initially planned our cabin project last winter, we knew the first priority was to finish the outside, so the building was weathertight. Our portion of the interior work couldn’t begin until the drywall finishers were done anyway, so we devoted all of our attention to getting the siding completed. Amazingly, those two portions of the job wrapped up within hours of each other.
When we last spoke, we were finishing up the siding on the front of the cabin.
That took a day longer than planned, but it is complete nonetheless. I moved around to the window wall on Monday, August 16, the same day the drywall finishers started.
Siding this wall has been similar to an unwritten song that has played in my head repeatedly for nearly a year. I wasn’t quite sure how it was all going to play out until I actually started pounding nails. The wide band between the windows is not in line with the fascia on the front and back of the house, which messed with my symmetrical mind when it came time to locate the dividing board between the shakes and the main siding. At one point, we considered not using shakes on this side at all and siding the entire thing in blue. In the end, it was a non-issue, as we filled the entire space between the windows with white PVC, which made the windows look like one system.
With the divider in place, I began the shake siding. The window angles and the roof angle are not the same, which added to the job’s complexity.
It was at this point that our friends Rick and Linda showed up. We took a much needed break from construction to tour the Leelanau Peninsula and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We had a great time!
The next morning, Rick was at our place, ready to work. He helped me erect the scaffolding to full height and then we started siding in earnest.
Having him cut pieces and hand them up to me saved me many trips up and down the scaffolding. He helped out for two days and moved the project forward in a big way.
Thank you for the huge jump start, Rick! We then were fortunate to have a visit from our niece Becky, her husband Dan and our great nephew Miles.
It sure was good to see them!
Meanwhile, the drywall finishers were working in earnest inside.
At one point, the dust was rolling out of every window and door in the place! I was quite content to be working on the outside that morning. It was at this stage that I wondered who would finish first…them or me. I also wondered if I would have enough shake siding.
Luckily, I had three pieces left over from the barn project. I ended up only having one full piece at the end.
Here I am with the final piece, which thankfully meant that I was able to remove the top level of scaffolding, Thats a long way up!
I then went about the process of filling in between the windows with white PVC.
Piece by piece, I worked my way across. When we manufactured cabinets in my working days, our saws would cut within a thousandth of an inch. Houses are not built to those exacting standards. The spaces between each window varied a bit, which added to the challenge of filling the voids. Add to that the fact that the PVC didn’t come wide enough to cover the gap. I ended up slotting the sides of the boards and splining them.
Here I am fitting the last piece into place. I used a little silicone caulk to fill in the gaps and …
…that’s a wrap! In the end, I was competing with a weather system that was rolling in the next day (Friday). That was the day the drywall guys were supposed to get done. They ended up finishing on Thursday a few hours before I did. Friday ended up being a bonus day for us, as Diana and I purchased supplies in the morning and I used the shop vac to suck up drywall dust the rest of the day.
I added a PVC extension to reach the ceiling.
I had to repeatedly knock the dust from the filter, as the dust caked on it. A nasty job, indeed. Diana and I are going to Swiffer the entire place today to get it ready to prime. Stay tuned for that in our next post. Until then, safe and happy travels to all!