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Can I tell you a secret? I’m totally over this renovation. Come on, we knew the day was coming. And that day came two weeks ago when our insane siding project dictated that I would be the one to pick up a hammer and involve myself in some serious manual labor.

design_for_mankind 2010-08-24 at 3.36.47 PM

Now, I’m a lot of things, but burly construction girl is not one of them. In fact, I’ve spent this entire renovation coming up with excuses to steer clear of the project house entirely. Another errand to the hardware store? Let me go! Need some dinner? Oh, I’ll get it for you, dear. Want some quiet time to yourself? I’ll get out of your hair, no problem.

Yet because siding is decidedly a two-person project (and should be more, really), Husband needed my help. And because I’m a great wife, I awoke on Day 1 (Husband’s birthday, to be exact) at 6am and test-drove the roads of Construction Hell.

design_for_mankind 2010-08-24 at 3.36.24 PM

Here was my plan: Husband would see that I was completely inept at providing any sort of physical support and dismiss me promptly at noon, deciding to hire a friend to take my place. In fact, this did NOT happen. It turns out, I’m quite good with a hammer (who knew?) and incredibly efficient with a measuring tape (my math teacher father would be so proud).

So, after Day 1, I had become the official right-hand man of what I like to call Siding 2010: My Bane.

I’m exaggerating a bit, because really, it’s not that bad. And I sort of like the challenge of working with my hands rather than hiding behind a computer all day. Plus, the heat means I get to indulge in a yummy ice cream cone daily at approximately 2pm. (That chilly treat gets me through the day!)

Anyway, the project is nearly finished, and I’m going to give you a quick play-by-play of the incredible work. Seriously, I’m so totally proud of the two of us. I don’t even know if childbirth can top the rush that I’m feeling: the crazy sense of pride that comes from shingling the entire front side of your home in two weeks. Let’s take a look:

design_for_mankind 2010-08-24 at 3.37.03 PM

Day 1: The siding from Build Direct arrives We keep it wrapped while we tear down the existing siding. Because we’re going for a cabin-y feel, we chose fiber cement siding in a cool pewter color.

design_for_mankind 2010-08-24 at 3.37.27 PM

Day 2: Uh-oh. We forgot that we haven’t house-wrapped the whole home. Time out.

design_for_mankind 2010-08-24 at 4.39.00 PM

Day 3: Seriously. House-wrapping takes that long? When you’re married to a perfectionist, yes.

design_for_mankind 2010-08-24 at 4.41.31 PM

Day 4: We start building our patterned rows. This is where I realize that siding is insane. And because we’re working with shingles, this isn’t your average vinyl/aluminum project. No, we have to measure. And think. And measure again. And read directions, because there’s a pattern. And if you mess the pattern up? The shingles won’t line up and your neighbors will mock you.

Day 5: I realize we’re not going to finish this project until 2012.

design_for_mankind 2010-08-24 at 4.42.20 PM

Day 6: The Husband/Math Whiz tells me that 48 + 12 = 64 and we notice his error a bit too late. We tear down three rows of siding and start over.

Day 7: We’re totally on our game at this point. Just call us Siding Robots. The Ex-Siding Duo! Champions of Fiber Cement!

design_for_mankind 2010-08-24 at 4.42.50 PM

Day 8: Deliriousness ensues. We begin a game to entertain ourselves where each time we encounter a piece of siding with a “1″ notch in it, we have to sing a song with “1″ in the title or chorus. And so on, until we reach “4″ when we promptly quit, because, well, no one sings about 4′s.*

Day 9: We’re getting there. I fake sick, but it doesn’t work.

design_for_mankind 2010-08-24 at 4.43.31 PM

Day 10: The heat index reaches 104 degrees today, so we get two ice cream treats. Things are looking up!

Day 11: Almost there. I can feel it in my bones.

Day 12: SUCCESS!


It looks great, yes? We still have a lot of work to do: Paint the brick and trim white, replace the garage doors (white, perhaps?), install the new front door (mustard yellow!) and construct two sweet little window boxes for yellow tulips in the front. And then? Then, we landscape.

We’ve come a long way, baby. Behold, the Before picture:


It may take us awhile to get an After picture we love, but the hardest part is over (I hope?). Special thanks to Build Direct for their endless help. Now I’m off to enjoy some more ice cream and bask in the glow of my bulging biceps. See you next Wednesday!

*Shoot! 409 by the Beach Boys! I could’ve taken the ultimate title!


Design Inspiration

17 Responses

  1. erin / dfm says:

    Oh, thank you, Kirsey! That's very constructive advice, and ha! Wouldn't that be something if I enstalled roofing onto the side of my house? Oh, dear.

    And thank YOU, all! It really wasn't so bad, and the ice cream makes it WAY better. :)

  2. [...] 6 Ways of Choosing Colors at BuildDirect -Design Chat Guest – Erin Loechner at DesignChat -Siding Tales From An Exhausted Homeowner at HGTV -A Few Pretty Things at FLOR -Would You Live in a Glorified Soccer Ball? at ReadyMade Mag [...]

  3. jameshardiebp says:

    Dear Erin,

    On behalf of James Hardie Building Products, we were wondering what brand of siding did you use? Did you go with James Hardie? We're very interested! Great before and after pictures, house looks beautiful!

    James Hardie Audience Engagement Team

  4. [...] no. Keep frontin’. Because it’s time to focus on the front door (now that the mad siding chaos is complete), and I have totally jackpotted in this category. It’s true. I feel like I’m now Queen [...]

  5. Barb says:

    Help, I'm drowning in the 80's.
    My husband built our ranch style home (bless his heart) in 1984. At that time, he only knew how to build a straight roof line. He is not a contractor or prof. carpenter, but a farmer with many skills. The prefinished lifetime warranted masonite siding, (company now defunct) is erroding terribly and I would like to replace it. The chance of changing anything architecturally is "nill" (he's a farmer remember). I would like to go with the cement board, and like the shingle style, but feel the shingle style would keep me grounded in the 80's. I also have windows with dark charcoal casings (also popular in the 80's). I would love white but that is a no go too. I am trying to get away from painting and up keep. What would be a good color or colors for my home that would update it and yet go with those ugly windows? All the pictures on the company websites have homes with white trimmed windows etc. I like earth tones, yet am not afraid of color. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Hopeless Contractor says:

    You brave soul!!! I'm awful when it comes to do it yourself projects…well…of any kind. So when we were thinking about building our own garage I wanted to go the "pole" route. Fortunately I found Carl of Beatty Builders in Ohio. Such a lifesaver!! He made the building and planning a breeze. I was completely stress free which is funny cause normally I'm a mess. Stop into <a href="http://www.beattysbuilders.com” target=”_blank”>www.beattysbuilders.com to see what I mean :)

  7. […] That DFM Built, including our fiber cement siding as her exterior. Read more about that project on the House that DFM Built category page on Erin’s […]

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