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Siding options for traditional home in urban area.  RSS feed

 
Charles Tarnard
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Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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I live in a pretty standard middle class neighborhood. Older homes, small to medium sized, pretty traditional finishes. My siding is aluminum and not in good condition. I have very poor insulation. My neighborhood seems to have had a net positive reaction to the chaos in my yard, but I am a bit concerned about getting too creative with the siding.

Are there many good options for natural building that could be employed in my situation to meet my neighborhood's and insurance company's needs? The biggest obstacle to something like cob (other than the neighborhood) is that I have an east facing wall with almost no overhang, a SERIOUS winter east wind and plenty of winter rain.

I don't really need a step by step guide, just looking for some techniques that I can pursue and pros and cons about the labor of their installation, insulation properties, maintenance and anything else that would be helpful to someone before they start.

Thank you.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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A guy down the street from my work did his house with pallet wood siding, regular pallets slats cut into shakes. He cut the shakes, set them in a bucket and SOAKED them with treatment oil for a week, then let them dry before installing. He would do a couple buckets worth each weekend, as he collected pallets from work, and burned the rest in his stove.

 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Charles,

Your overhang seems to be about 500 mm to 700 mm is that about right?

What are you considering for the material?

What is the budget?

Do you want to add insulation?

Can you, or will you do this in stages?

Regards,

j

 
Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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I'd say closer to 500 without dragging out a ladder and a tape. At the highest point it's probably about 5 meters (look at me doing metric conversions ).

Honestly I'm not that close to moving on it yet. So far I've pretty much looked at traditional box store methods. If I go that route I'd expect to have to spend near $10,000; while I'd LOVE to spend less, I'd say that in the end that is a number I'm willing to head toward.

I DO want to add insulation, especially on the east side. I would probably do the work in stages, but I'd like to have it done in no more than two full seasons.

One MAJOR sticking point I have is that my wife isn't quite on the permie train the way that I am. For our yard that is fantastic, she mostly stays out of the way and only gets really irritated when I temporarily block her access to the house, but in many ways she is still trying to live the American dream of buying your way to prosperity. I expect her to be resistant to something way out of the box, but I'm eager to absorb ideas.

Thank you.

RScott. That is an interesting idea, and if I had room to store enough pallets, I'd be experimenting with the look of that right now. I may adopt a part of that down the road for something else, though. Thank you.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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The guy never had more than a couple pallets on hand, he broke them down every weekend. He had a process--bundle the dry shakes and stack them in storage, pull out the soaked shakes and put them on the drying rack (that had guttering back to the buckets to recapture the oil drips), then break down the new pallets and put the shakes into the buckets to soak for next week. Didn't take much space at all. Although I do understand the NO SPACE problem.
 
Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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I can think of a handful of projects that could use shingles like that. I may try it out on a playhouse for my kids or something along those lines and see how I like it. It is an excellent idea that I want to pursue, but I have like 15,000 of those in my head right now and am currently working on 3 .
 
Chris Magwood
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Charles,

Don't forget that sustainably harvested wood is a very natural material, renewable, durable and fits many aesthetics. Easy to insulate behind. The pallet idea is great if you have the time and can obtain pallets. Some very beautiful rain screen siding can be done using 2x4 offcuts from construction sites.

While I love cob and earthen plasters, to retrofit them on the exterior shell of a building that doesn't offer a lot of protection is not really a great idea. And if you're going to insulate before you side, getting a good bond for the earthen material to hold onto will be difficult.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Charles,

Hmmm, 500 mm would be about minimum for any of the earth plasters, and as Chris M, has stated may not be your best 1st choice. Lime may work, yet I am reluctant to suggest it as there are skill set that may take more time to acquire that you have of want. So that leaves:

Wood

This is a great first choices for many reasons.

One, if done well, and with traditional attachment modalities (like it being "rain screened") will last upwards of a century, which is more than competitive with aluminum and yicky vinyl siding.

Takes natural finishes that are relatively easy to apply and/or make yourself.

Flexible in design, i.e. shingle, board, plank-slab, live edge, etc. etc.

Can be done without nails (or few) panelized, and many other positives to function, form, aesthetic, and survivability.

Stone


This is also a great choice and can be used with a wood siding as in a wainscot style.

Durability is in the centuries.

Cost can vary widely depending on your sweat equity and whether it is salvage or not.

Alternative

This can be a real long list.

The first few that comes to mind:

Recycled large 1 gal tin cans cut, flattened and hung as shingle. There iron patina oiled with tung or flax oil is beautiful. Sorce at recycling center, or commercial restaurants, etc. Takes about 3 months to a year to source the average size house.

Felt carpet padding, cut into shingle size, treated with additional fire retardant (as should the wood.) This can be left "as is", painted with natural paint, and/or oiled. This can last a very long time (I know of some exposed to U.V. and ground contact degradation that has moss growing on it that is over 20 years old and still going (growing) strong. It is a marvelous product to take out of the waste steam, and one that many carpet companies would be glad not to pay to get rid off. Only issue is once I have told folks about it, the sources dry up fast, as every one wants it. It has 1001 uses that make it a high demand item.

Insulation

You can use foam, but I would stay away from it as it does not let the wall matrix "breath" properly. Homes need to be draft proof, (think good wool sweater) not "air tight" think tyvek painters suit or gortex...and we all know what those are like after just being in them a short while. Dry on the outside...clammy, dant and wet on the inside. Great concept...that doesn't work as well as hope in most applications.

Mineral wool board would be my first "man made" insulation, and then this is covered by a "rain screen" grid to hang the siding.

Hope that helps and gets your "juices" of creativity going...

Regards,

j
 
Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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This is very helpful. Thank you everyone, I have ideas to ponder, which is exactly what I had hoped for.

 
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