Prepping for the siding, Part 2

Well, today is Father’s Day. I know we all should show our appreciation to our fathers, but I think I’m forced to point out that mine’s better. I may have attempted to move the holiday up 2 weeks to suit my schedule (and do something he liked), but he didn’t have to work outside all day in the heat. But then, he didn’t have to do this last year either. He also named that post. He’s awesome.

I haven’t punking you. We’re getting it up tomorrow. I want to say all of it but let’s not get our hopes up. The plan was to get it up today after doing the prep this week. But instead it rained every day and we did the prep today and I’m taking off work tomorrow instead of pushing everything back forever. So we made a lot of progress today! But before I show you that, I want to show you the object of my envy: a roof deck. It won’t be feasible on my house. But if it were, I could look at this every day.


I also kinda want those twins with porches and Second Empire mansard roofs. But really, my little house is enough trouble. So anyway, back to the real stuff. You saw the drip edge 2 weeks ago. Now we’ve flashed it, torn off the last of the old asphalt, put up more tar paper, and gotten up some of the furring strips to which the new siding will be mounted. I’ll tell you more about this assembly but start with a photo.

P1040362So what we see here is the same drip edge that went up 2 weeks ago. There was tar paper behind it. After adding the brass-toned aluminum flashing and that silvery corrugated corner flashing piece, we put more tar paper lapping over the flashing. It’s cheap, so we just piled on multiple layers. The layer that was on the house for the last 6 months is beat up but it’s still there too. Then over that are strips of plywood cut down and screwed into the original studs through the sheathing. The sheathing also happens to be the original siding, which was dried out and rattly and is mostly held in by the spray foam insulation that I had installed here. So I think adding strips of plywood gives a better surface to nail new material into. Also, having this gap between the building paper and the siding allows the wall to dry out better. This is called a rain screen, which I still think is a dumb name.

Here, one more photo of what I’ve done. Something else you can see in this photo: the furring strips are shimmed out ridiculously because the wall is so crooked. I liked having a crooked house, but square walls will be easier to side. If you were wondering why my drip edge is so big, it’s because I knew the wall needed to be furred out a lot, and I want the drip edge to block my view of the gap behind the siding. Also pictured: the neighbor’s kid ready to jump into the pool. I love having little kids on the block, but that’s a story for another day.


Now another funny thing about this job: I borrowed a scaffold from a good family friend. But my back yard wasn’t big enough to fit it beyond this projecting bay, so we had to dismantle my fence and set the scaffold partially in the fire alley. So now I’ve blocked about one of the three feet back there. So readers, don’t turn me in.


Other things to notice here: we took the fence down, set the scaffold up, and put the fence boards back in around it. The alley is gated, but no need to take chances. Also, those boards are good wood, but they were held in with DRYWALL SCREWS. Not that old, but already failing. And, there’s no gate on my property, which I think is required for a second egress point. Instead, I can hop over the fence into the neighbor’s yard and use their gate. And get better photos of my property. And the fence posts stick up 2 feet higher than the fence. And they built it about a whole foot farther in than it needs to be. It’s not a big yard. I need that foot back. I’m dealing with this later, fire safety hazard and all. Then more wood to do something nice with. I have way more wood than things to do with it already. Perfect.

So in other news, my slowness isn’t the only thing that held up this project. The siding also arrived 3 weeks late. And the distributor had it in stock the whole time. 84 Lumber fired that distributor just because they failed so big at getting me my stuff. I feel special. Anyways, it’s here. And it’s going up, or starting to go up, tomorrow. I’m excited. We’re a long way off from cut flowers on the dining room table, but pretty things are on their way.




4 thoughts on “Prepping for the siding, Part 2

    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      Haha, still not done! And I wasn’t able to get photos while wedged in the narrow space between the my bay and the neighbor’s, and while I had my dad and his friend there. They wanted to work, not watch me take photos. So one more chance to photograph the installation details, and then I might be able to paint the siding and windows and have Siding Post #4 as my house’s first real after photos!


  1. CindyH

    You must figure out something you can do to put up at least enough of a structure where you can sit and enjoy that fantastic view of Philly’s skyline! A balcony or fire escape?



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