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.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

66: North Wall Finished

No, I haven’t forgotten about the blog. No, I haven’t given up on building the house. And no I didn’t die. Since last post, we have had an unbelievable amount of bad weather – cold, snow (4 times) rain (too many times to count), wind, and me feeling old(er). Okay, enough whining.

The north wall siding, trim and paint are complete. The Hardie plank went up just as easily as it did on every other wall. This stuff is so easy to work with, I can’t recommend it enough.

I cut it with a cheap diamond blade; from Walmart ($14, though I haven’t seen any there lately; the same blade is available at Lowes, HD, etc, same price). The cuts have a tiny bit of debris hanging on the cut edge, one or two passes of the side of a screwdriver or chisel blade finishes off the edge. Then the edge looks great and is ready to install. #8 galvanized nails from the nailing gun (use about 80 psi) about every 24” secures it. Sometimes the bottom of one board will stand off the wall a little. While I have on a few occasions put one more nail in the bottom edge of the board (install instructions frown on this), I usually just caulk the bottom gap and then paint. Then you can’t tell a gap was ever there. The Hardie has in a few places a little waviness in the finished product, but to see it you have to be right next to the house looking up. Step 3 feet away from the house and the waviness disappears. If I remember, the north wall did the same thing, and over time that waviness has smoothed out or disappeared completely.

Painting Hardie is a snap. A 10’ tall by 57’ long wall with let’s say 5 windows won’t even use a gallon of paint. I brush mine on with a 3” good quality brush (Purdy). And I apply my paint pretty thick, so one coat gets it. I think I bought 3 gallons of exterior latex for the whole project and that’s about what I’ll use by the time I’m finished. Why, you ask, do I use a brush rather than a roller or sprayer? I’m sure both other choices would be faster, but for me painting is relaxing. It gives me time to think and ponder about other things. And I don’t waste (drip, splatter) paint this way. A friend came over while I was painting and was impressed by how I could paint without any drips anywhere.

I’m beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel now, and have started thinking that if I have a good year I might be able to move in next spring.

The porch and west walls are also mostly finished, but I’ll save those for the next post.