Friday, May 30, 2008

Weaving Corners

When hanging shingles, the money is in the corners. Quickly I'm finding out that it takes easily twice as long to work a corner than when I'm doing straight runs. The key to a tight corner is "weaving" the corners. Basically one shingle is going to overlap the edge of the adjacent shingle on the second wall. When you continue to the next row you want to overlap the opposite shingle from the previous row so that the seems get staggered as you run up the corner, leaving no continues seem for water to penetrate. It's a little confusing until you see it done.

Here the starter course is run after stripping and a primer coat on the crown detail that flare out the bottom shingles. To get the initial corner you have to mount a shingle on the corner which will flare out at the bottom giving the shingle an arc form. Using a shingle on the opposite wall, you bend that shingle and transfer the curve to the mounted one and cut the curved edge out. Then you can mount the second, and cut the overlapping edge to the curve of the first. Make sense??

Next the first exposed row is installed over the starter course. The corner on this row will have the opposite edges overlap than the shingles underneath. You can see why I had to tear into the next wall since a corner has to be worked from both sides at the same time.

The next rows are installed, each time staggering the overlap on the corner. A story pole is usually used, with marks of all the rows on the old shingles. I've been just referring to the nearby original shingles and transferring my line since I didn't do a complete tear off from the beginning. The pattern also leaves for some fudge factor and fools the eyes of any imperfections in the layout which is a nice crutch!

Here's a close up of the corner. Each bare edge is the overlapping edge. If you look close they alternate between each wall. Another hint for getting this slight curved overlap to look tight is using a small (4 inch) hand plane. You rough cut the shape and then after mounted, run the hand plane. When doing the overlap, the plane will form the edge to the opposite shingle and give a nice tight joint. Sometimes a finish nail is needed too for stubborn shingles that want to spring out.

If you're still confused, here is a great video clip of Tommy (the master!) on TOH doing a corner... seeing is easier than explaining this for sure.

TOH - Repairing Shingle Siding

Saturday, May 24, 2008

$4.07 A Gallon!

That's what i paid last week to top off my oil tank for the heater - and that was at a discount price I get with the Energy Coop I joined in southeast Pa. I figured it will only be worse this fall.

So here's my solution to the escalating oil prices...

When I'm not working on shakes, I'm rounding up and splitting wood. I figure I have about 2 cords at this point. Looks like the chimney and stove are gonna pay for themselves pretty quick the way things are going. My goal is to use only one tank of oil this year - we'll see how it goes.

Mr. Cheney and company ain't gonna get rich at my expense!!

You can also see I managed some time to get the garden in. Hopefully someday when I can landscape I'll get something more elaborate going, but I got the basics in there.

Also note I still need to paint Rach's door and fender! I keep getting reminded every week. I replaced the fender and door skin last year after she had an ice mishap, but..... another item on a longgggg longggg list.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sad Sad Soffits

I was debating if I should redo the soffits this round of siding work or wait till next year... until I discovered that the cedar shakes extended past the soffit and up into the eves. So began tearing down the aluminum covering the old soffits. Under that was a layer of plywood - slightly rotted - and finally the original tongue and groove boards. Or at least what was left of them. Past roof leaks from the old roof gutter system took a toll on the original wood and roof sheathing repairs can be seen. Of course when the house was enclosed in aluminum, the best solutions was apparently to cover all the sins up.

Anybody home??

So now what to do - have 100 years of collected soffit crap rain down on you of course! And then of course was the first eviction notice of the year - to a family of Grackles in the corner.

Now with the soffit demo done I must come up with a new soffit solution. I would love to use a composite material - but nothing I find is quite right. I could get some 1x3 and router tongue and grooves, but that's more work then I'm willing to put into this project. Right now I'm leaning towards using the pine bead board I've used in other eaves off the first story and run it short ways. This would require adding a nailer on the wall and along the gutter, but should look good (not quite original, but who will know??) and hold up pretty well.

It looks like I will need to remove the gutters too to expose the fascia which originally was a crown moulding trim which is still in place. What condition it's in remains to be seen. To add gutters after the roof system was removed, scrap pieces of wood were nailed onto the crown so the gutters could be fastened to the fascia. I might as well take care of this too while I have access to this hard to reach place. But, I won't have any gutter system for a while.

The cedar hanging is moving along. I've been only removing sections at a time as needed, so I always have an original row to reference my new shakes to that's not to far away. I've been using 15# tar paper underneath, which is a little more durable than the rosin paper originally used. Also I go through all the plank sheathing and add screws to help anchor it down to the studs better. I've found them to be a bit loose at times with the original nails backing out a little.

Next comes the first corner which is where the real challenge in shake hanging comes.....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Shingle Math

So figure it takes me about:

1 minute per shingle to primer + 1 coat of paint = 2 minutes per shingle


about 1000 shingles per house side x 4 sides = about 4000 shingles


another 1000 for the front dormer


10000 minutes of painting time required for entire house (or 167 hours!)

.... and that doesn't include sorting/resizing, installation, or the second coat of paint required once hung.

No wonder the neighbors think I'm nuts! But they do appreciate the asthetic improvement.