Exterior: Completed!

It has been some time since my last post.  Things have been so busy that I just haven't had time to document things as much as what I would have liked.  This being said, I figured I would provide a quick update on the exterior progress....It is now complete!  Keocan General Contracting completed the siding job.  It is well done and the house looks great!

Earlier in the blog series I pointed out that the clapboard and trim were obtained from Cottle's lumber and wood products.  After working with it myself, I can say that it is a great local product.  Several cladding options including pre-finished siding could have been an option but at up to $1.89/lf those options were expensive.  If you're willing to finish the siding yourself, wood cladding can be an option.  Installation will be more expensive than vinyl but that cost can be somewhat offset by the cost of prepping the siding yourself.  We used Benjamin Moore Arborcoat exterior water based stain.  The color swatches for this product are the same as their paint products.   Most manufactures only make stains with muted colors but Benjamin Moore Arborcoat can be mixed in any color.  It is an amazingly thick product and coats the wood great with either a brush or a roller.  We did two coats front and back.  The stain colors were chosen by a representative of The Paint Shop.  Personally I think they did a great job choosing the colors.  We knew that we wanted a bi-colored building in order to break up the span of a single color.  Simply coloring our elevations with colored pencils made it apparent that one color was going to look odd.   The red were were aiming for was like some of the reds we had seen in downtown St. John's.  Id say that our mission was sucessful.  We love the colors.

After the siding was completed the next question was how to caulk the building.  There are many opposing views about caulking siding joins online.  Many manufactures switch up their methods and recommendations every couple of years.  After much research and consulting with Keocan we decided that we would caulk changes of plane ie between siding and trim, between siding and freize boards, etc.  Any butt joins were coated in a good coat of latex stain and thats it.  Since caulking has very little lateral strength we felt that face caulking a tight joint would infact just lead to more caulking maintenance.  tight fitting joints should let in very little water and if some does get in, it will not be trapped by caulking and nature will dry it out.

So here is the exterior...completed! We still have to add a pergola shade structure to the back and a deck but that will come next summer.


  1. David
    Your house is looking really good. I like the red and gray, would not thought of doing that myself. I was wondering what you were going to use for siding. Maybe the shortage of clapboard at Rona should have been a clue. Cottels clapboard, great stuff. First used it about 12 years ago, wouldn't use anything else. I noticed that you nail your clapboard, bit late for this now but i switched to screws a few years back and it works reall well. Eats up a bit more time for i pre drill the holes also. Fabricated a jig to hold the length of clapboard in place while i do this, drills the board underneath as well so that doesn't split as well. Works great on a windy day as well not that we get any of those in NL.
    I noticed that you installed your Tyvek under your siding behind the strapping. I did this on another house and on windy days i could hear the Tyvek inside the house. You have really thick walls so maybe you won't have that problem. On the house im doing a reno on now I'm placing it behind the foam. Probably don't need the house wrap, just a little added insurance. Also found that wraping fly screen around Cobra Ridge Vent works great between the strapping, bottom vent.
    Anyways good luck with the rest of the build, look forward to your updates.

    Paul F

    1. Hi Paul,

      After colouring the elevations with some pencil crayons on paper it was pretty apparent that there would be too much red if the garage was red also. Choosing a more neutral color for the garage and using the color of the door to tie in the color of the house worked well on paper...look like it worked well in real life also!

      I have seen the clapboard screwed before. If I was doing the job myself there are installation techniques that I would have probably done myself, like the cobra ridge between the strapping. In my case, the first siding contractor installed strapping but none of it was o.c. I asked for 16" and got anything but. It would have been pretty laborious installing the ridge vent with the screen and cutting every piece of cobra vent differently although I would have liked to do it. This being said, simply wrapping and folding the insect screen several times before stapling to the strapping provides a springy surface for the siding to push against creating a positive pressure against the backside of the cladding.

      I am at a very windy location and I have not noticed the tyvek as an issue. maybe its the thick walls!

      later and keep posted! more to come!

  2. Hi David,

    The house looks great! I've just finished going through all of your blog posts and I'm very impressed with what you have accomplished. Your attention to detail is inspiring!

    A quick question about the windows. Now that they're installed, do you find them dark? Looking at the specs, the light transmittance seems to be pretty low on all of the Kohler Supreme windows. Have you found this to be noticeable?


  3. Hi Mike,

    Thanks! My feeling is that you can only build it right the first time! I have tried my best to stay true to what I wanted to achieve with this house. I am happy to say that, for the most part, things have come together nicely.

    I have not found the transmittance to be an issue. This being said, the light does have to pass through 3 panes of glass so its not suprising that there is some transmission loss. I have taken thermal images of the windows and the inner pane of glass is basically the same temperature as the inside of the house. No doubt this will go a long way towards increased comfort in the winter.




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