The exterior finish palette for my house is black/graphite aluminum windows, gray barnboard, and oxidized (i.e., rusted) cold-rolled steel. This house, by CLB Architects, basically has the same palette, except that I believe this siding is virgin cedar treated with Lifetime wood treatment.
Posts under ‘5. Exterior Materials and Finishes’
My framer’s 15-year-old son has been on the site this Summer. I proposed a win-win arrangement in which he pre-stained all the rafter tails and purlins for the roof before his dad and crew put them up. This mostly worked well. (In a few cases, one of the framers had to go up and brush a timber or end of a cut rafter.) I paid him $500, which I consider a screaming deal for both of us. This is the only exterior finish that will have to be done on this house, because we’re using reclaimed barn board siding. I used Cabot semi-transparent oil-based siding stain (Slate Gray). I think it looks excellent and matches the barn board very well. I never plan to restain…I’m hoping that even with stain applied, these rafter tails and purlins will weather gracefully.
As soon as the framers got the roof decking on, the roofers came by to do the “dry in.” Normally, this step would comprise laying down “ice shield” (a self-stick membrane) at the eaves of the roof and then “underlayment” (30 lb. asphalt impregnated felt paper or Feltex, a modern polymer equivalent). In our case, we laid down ice shield on the whole roof. It cost about $1000 more in materials, but is another layer of insurance against ice damming. Once the ice shield (or ice shield and underlayment) is put down, the house is dry. It can survive several months of weather with no problems. I’ll be happy to get the real roof on in a week or two, but it’s nice to know that weather is no longer an obstacle to progress on the job.
Jose and gang started installing barnboard siding this week. It looks excellent. The barnwood comes from Trestlewood. They provided edged wood in random lengths and in widths of 4″, 6″, 8″, and 10″. By taking shorter lengths and a fair bit of narrow material, the material ended up costing just a bit more than virgin cedar siding. (A consistent irony of building green, is that reclaimed materials usually cost more than those cut fresh from the forest.) My cost for the barnwood ended up being about $3/sq-ft delivered, while #3 cedar siding currently costs about $2/SF, but usually requires staining, which would probably be another $1/SF. (You could leave the cedar to weather naturally, though, in which case it would be cheaper.) Incidentally, bids for the installation labor for this kind of board-to-board barnwood in Park City came in pretty consistently around $2.75-$3.00/SF including the labor to apply the Tyvek. This is probably on the low side because I have no window trim to install, although there are some fussy blocking details between the rafter tails.
The roofers have nearly completed the steel siding on the house. I’m very happy with the results. We are using 2′ x 3′ 20 gauge cold-rolled steel flat panels. It is very inexpensive (~$2/sq-ft materials and labor), and I think it looks fantastic. It will rust to a reddish brown when exposed the weather for a few months.
I bought a relatively cheap and ugly steel “raised panel” garage door. I then had the roofers apply the steel siding panels to it. Then, the garage door guys came back, weighed the door, and hung it with the appropriate springs. The whole thing cost about $2000, much less than a “custom” door.
Modern house numbers are fortunately not so hard to find these days. However, they vary widely in price and in size. I wanted a nice sans serif typeface in a large (i.e., 8″ tall) size. If you want a “name” font you pay a lot of money for those numbers (e.g., Neutra numbers from DWR are $48 each, but only 4″ tall) . However, you can get some nice affordable numbers from, where else, modernhousenumbers.com. Their supplier water jet cuts these from 3/8″ aluminum plate in several alternative typefaces. The styles are nice, even if there isn’t infinite selection, and even if they aren’t the famous proprietary typefaces.
Here are my numbers (8″ high, 3/8″ thick brushed aluminum, in “Palm Springs”). These cost $29 per number. Excellent value.
These numbers are easy to install, although very hard to get in plane and level on barnwood. (You drill a 3/16″ hole in the wall and insert a 3/16 pin with some caulk on it. The pins fit into the back of the numbers.) I didn’t get it quite right, but I suspect I’m the only one who will notice.
I’ve now observed a few weeks of snow on the roof. So far no ice dams and very few icicles…just what has resulted from the sun melting snow at the fringes of the exposed roof.
The snow slid off one section of the roof (the northeast corner, strangely). It was pretty dramatic when it went. We had a few quite warm days last week (around 35F/2C) and I think the ventilated roof actually allowed melting at the roof surface when warm air vented up through it. The snow bars above the hot tub are working very well.
The cold-rolled steel roof has oxidized nicely over the fall and winter. It looks pretty good. Most of the steel siding is starting to turn as well, but it is pretty well protected from water, and with temperatures mostly below 50F, the oxidation rate is slow. Still, I’m pretty sure that by the end of the summer, most of the steel siding will have a decent patina on it.
However, the steel panels on the front of the house are very well protected. They basically never get wet. By mid-Spring they were looking pristine. So, I decided I would accelerate the process. Here is the siding in that area before I did anything…