Where We Re-Side

Almost two years ago, we posted about the state of our home's exterior, and our dreams of what it could someday be. After two years of brainstorming, research, and seeking inspiration from the world of modernists' blogs, our dreams are finally becoming realities.

We have been set on using cedar for a while, and the low profile of tongue and groove siding has a sleek look that appeals to the modern eye. Ultimately, clear cedar (free of knots) gives the cleanest look, however we could not justify the price (3x as much!), so we decided on #2 or STK (select tight knot), which has an acceptable amount of small knots and a slightly more rustic appearance.

As we've documented here ad nauseam, we spent the end of summer and most of the fall working on all the preparations for this project: removing the old siding, replacing rotten framing and sheathing, rebuilding parts of the foundation, and replacing the windows and exterior doors. Oh, and at the last minute we threw in the addition of a larger front entry way. You might think we would finally be ready to put the siding on the house, but of course we had to find a way to prolong the prep stage just a little longer. 

In all our "research" (we just like looking at pictures of cool houses in magazines and on the internet) we encountered the concept of "rainscreen wall construction," which seemed intriguing and made a lot of sense, and it is recommended by the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association.

This type of installation involves using a waterproof housewrap (we used Tyvek), and attaching firring strips to create a cavity between the sheathing and siding. This cavity allows for air flow so that any water that finds its way behind the siding can move down the wall or evaporate, rather than be trapped and cause damage. We used vinyl strips (more water resistant than wood firring strips) and fastened them to the house with stainless steel screws. Also, vinyl screen is folded around the bottom to keep bugs out of the cavity but still allow the space to breathe.

Lastly, each piece of cedar had to be sealed on all four sides prior to installation. We used "Woodscapes" by Sherwin Williams, but didn't love their color selection, so we created our own---a mixture of their colors "Cedar Bark" and "Covered Bridge." This made for a long couple days in the garage, but Matt got through it with the help of too much caffeine and Girl Talk's album "Feed the Animals."

We opted for a simple, modern look with no exterior trim around the windows and doors, but we still needed wood stops to hold the fixed glass units in place. So Matt salvaged some of the cedar boards we had removed from the house (most of the old siding was redwood, but some sections had been replaced with cedar), cut them to size, sealed and installed them.

Finally. The fun part! I came home one night to the first sight of siding:


It is no secret that the facade of the house was lacking in architectural elements. The new roof that extends over the front entry way was a big help, but we also added four sconces over the garage to create more depth. The 12" cylinders shine down only, so as not to contribute to light pollution (check out the International Dark Sky Association).

The siding installation is still a work in progress that we hope to continue over some dry weekends this winter. Thanks to mother nature and global warming for an unusually warm fall that enabled us to get as far as we have. We are excited about the transformations this new year will bring at our home. Thanks for following, and here's to a blissful 2012!


  1. What an awesome transformation. Great job guys!

  2. Great write up on all the extra detail, care & prep work. And wow, it looks great too!

  3. It look FABuLOUS!!! you should be so proud... Great job!!

  4. Love it! it looks completely amazing.

  5. When can we see the INside????