Building My House

I have always wanted to build my own house. I am retired now, so I have the time. I found some land, designed a house that would fit the land and my needs and got started. I am doing all the work myself, so progress will be fairly slow. To read this blog from the beginning, start with the oldest archive and read posts from last to first.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

62: Hardie Siding – South Wall

The south wall is complete. The windows are installed, the Miratech trim is on and the Hardie Plank is on and painted. I used a “ventilated cladding” approach to install the siding, ie there are 3/8” thick furring strips between the siding and the housewrap. This was done to provide for ventilation and drying in case any water gets behind the siding. At the top and bottom of the wall is a window screen covered permeable strip barrier to keep out the bugs, but still allow water and air to flow.

Installing12’ long Hardie Plank by yourself isn’t difficult once you build yourself a couple of what I call J-Hook holders. There are all sorts of commercial products available on the internet, but most of them are pretty expensive. I built mine out of Simpson Strong-Tie metal straps, but any light metal would do. Tack nail two of them on the wall about three feet from each end of the Hardie plank, then slip the Hardie plank into the holders. Now the Hardie is held securely against the wall, allowing you to pick up the nailing gun in one hand, do final positioning of the Hardie with the other hand, and start nailing. My Hardie is designed to have a 7” exposure so I use a wood block with a notch on the bottom to insure that I have a perfect 7 inch exposure.

If you decide to do something like this you will absolutely want to rent, borrow, buy or steal (just kidding) an aluminum walk board. My neighbor loaned me his 20’ walkboard. Without one you will spend the rest of your life moving ladders around so you can place and then nail the Hardie.

My Hardie Panel came pre-primed, so it painted easily. The Hardie is a light gray color, so it didn’t take a lot of paint to make it a light tan color. The south wall is 10.5’ tall and 57’ long. It took right at one gallon of paint to cover. I painted a test patch to insure I liked the color. The paint flowed on so smooth during the test patch that I decided to just do the whole wall with a brush. It took about five hours to paint it. To me painting is relaxing, so I didn’t mind taking the time to use a brush. And a brush makes it easy to get at the lip under each piece of siding.

Pic one is a distant view to show how the siding will look with the green metal roof. Pic two is what the Hardie looks like close up (and painted).