Red Barn Renovation: Installing Wood Siding

Red Barn Renovation: Installing Wood Siding

Johnny Williams
Apr 5, 2010

Of all the renovation milestones we've reached thus far — constructing new stairs, spraying foam insulation, putting up drywall — this week's progress excited me the most. On Wednesday morning, the builders began installing our roughsawn pine siding. By Friday afternoon, we were drinking cold beers, looking at a real wooden barn!

Back in the fall, the barn siding was a messy mixture of rotten panels and scrapwood pieces. Light shined in through gaping holes while the wind whistled through the cracks. We hired an architect to draw up plans for the space, who recommended a tongue and groove pine siding. This knotty, roughsawn wood would not only provide aesthetic charm, but would add an additional layer of protection against unwanted air and water intrusion. With all due respect to the previous tenants (actual egg-laying hens), we were eager to move beyond chicken shack chic.

After installing fresh plywood sheathing upstairs and wrapping it in Tyvek, the builders attached wooden "strapping" (also known as "furring strips") to the cinder blocks below. This allows the siding to sit plumb against the building and provides a surface to nail the wood into. To add a bit of character, a trim was installed around the garage door and windows which sits slightly further off the wall than (or "proud" of) the siding. For the record, I too was proud of the siding.

After determining the angle of the roof's slope, the first piece was cut to size and shape using a worksite table saw. Since tongue and groove siding snaps squarely together, it was critical to install the first piece perfectly vertical, with the groove facing left. Then, moving from right to left, each board was joined and nailed secure. While hoisting the long boards atop a ladder was hard work, our guys made it look effortless. And now, the barn has some tongue and groovy siding! Sorry, but I just couldn't resist…

Where To Begin?
Green Cleaning & Disposing Of Toxic Chemicals
Energy Efficiency Tax Breaks
Why I Bought A Wood Stove
Hiring An Architect
Where To Buy Reclaimed Wood
Kicking Off Construction!
Wires and Walls and Stairs, Oh My!
The Magic of Spray Foam Insulation
If These Drywalls Could Talk
What The Heck Is Tyvek?

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