Hardie Plank Siding

As projects often do, our simple rejuvenation of our back deck lead into an even larger project – the back wall siding. Our house still has primarily the original fiberboard siding. While most of it is still in good condition, and therefore not worth replacing, the back of the house was not. I would say that I have no idea how the back of the house (also the newest part of the house) had the worst siding… except, unfortunately I do. It’s that dang 90’s construction work again.

Here’s a look at what the back looked like before…

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Overall, there was a lot of warping, soft spots, and downright rot throughout the back wall. Add that to the holes, ridiculous amount of caulk, and stains and you had a gross looking wall.

Luckily, Andy’s uncle is an architect and a contractor, who loves his nephew SO much that he offered to come help. He also may have owed us a favor that we shamelessly took advantage of… Hey, whatever works! We made sure he was well supplied with beer.

And speaking of beer, Andy and I have always joked that whoever did the 90’s addition to our house was either a homeless person pulled off the street or knock out drunk (or both). I think we figured it out with this project, as there were literally smashed ’90s Buds shoved into our walls in the insulation underneath the siding. This is no joke folks! Fabulous craftsmanship right there.

I was primarily the cheerleader for the beginning of this rather large DIY project, so Andy primarily did the demoing alone. First step – remove all of the siding. This step was actually easier than Andy had thought it would be. Probably didn’t hurt that the siding was just breaking off in pieces. Underneath the siding, we were not very surprised to find rotten fiber boards with no weather proofing. The words “combustible, may smolder or burn if ignited” are not exactly what you are looking for when looking at the side of your wooden house… There was also trails of roach poo. ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING.

IMG_0686 IMG_0687 IMG_0704 We also discovered that there was no flashing protecting the base of the wall – which would explain the rotting. Andy took off the bottom row of fiber boards and luckily found that the studs and insulation were in OK condition and did not need to be repaired or replaced.

Uncle Jef was crucial for the rebuilding element. Uncle Jef is Andy’s mom’s younger brother and a hell of a great architect and contractor. If you are looking to build or remodel a house at Lake Sinclair, he is definitely the man to call. Luckily, he owed us a favor which we shamelessly took advantage of for this project.

While Jef and Andy made there way to Home Depot, I finished painting the cracks in between the boards on the deck.

(WARNING: allowing two men to go to Home Depot unsupervised can result in credit card debt and a marathon Home Depot trip lasting several hours)

After their lengthy trip to Home Depot, Jef and Andy got to work properly rebuilding the wall with the correct plywood and flashing. IMG_0736

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Next came the weather proofing.


And finally the Hardie Plank siding. It was pretty awesome getting to watch the process for this. And boy did they do a great job!

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Jef ended up having to spend the night, as they were unable to finish before sunset because of a couple of small complications relating to an older house. For example, when we got our bathroom electric work redone (see here), we had to run a wire outside the house to the ceiling as there is no crawl space. So the conduit for that wire, is on our back wall and was somewhat of a pain to work around.

We also had another problem – mainly, our house is not straight (anywhere). So the Hardie Plank did not meet flush with the roof in some spots. fortunately, they were able to fix this problem with some nice molding that was practical and pretty.

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I also repainted the window and all of the molding by using a heat gun to scrape off the old cracked paint and then sanded it down to the original wood. Next, I taped off the all the molding and went to work. After the tape was removed, I touched it up with a small art paintbrush. Woody provided moral support of course.

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Finally, we have what looks like a brand new house from the back! No more warped, holey, and stained fiberboard! And our deck looks great too (minus the couple of spots I needs to repaint after painting the wall…).

Our little house sure has come together nicely over the last couple of years!


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