This past week we have begun the arduous process of siding our house. We have no idea what we’re doing. We are learning as any self-sufficient couple does, by doing and reading. It’s been a steep learning curve even though my husband has fabrication skills. This is still something very new to him. It’s why we are working on the North side that faces only horses and cattle on the ranch bordering us. And of course it is the side that is literally rotting off.
A contractor told us to get it done before winter or we’d loose the whole side by spring. Nothing like a little pressure. So far we have found a small rotten section under a leaking window. We had 4 that leaked like a sieve so we shall see what is to come on the next 2. It will be a BIG job finishing the exterior as the windows and sliding doors must be replaced, new siding put on, and the support posts shored up. Yes, one was not large enough to support the huge over hanging roof and the others were badly aged.
But before we could begin this huge project, we had to figure out what we wanted and more importantly, what we needed. We realized we wanted and needed something very different living far from town than what we needed to choose living in town.
Notice the house on the right hand side of the picture in the above photo and here. The new owners changed the color and it blends in forming a shadow like unto the trees. Better for our view and fitting with the personality of many who live here.
It’s the difference between living far out in the country in a picturesque setting and living in town.
Out here most want to blend in and in town they want to stand out.
In town they called it curb appeal – sticking out in a sea of houses. It sells. Here the show stopper is the view so the focal point becomes not your home but the environment. A home that sticks out, looks out of place.
And that was our home. When we began painting the sage green, lots of neighbors came by to tell us how much they loved the color change and that the house had become a joke because it stood out so prominently.
But even though we bought the most expensive paint that was weather resistant, it soon became clear it couldn’t hold together the disintegrating siding. Contractors said we’d loose the heavily weather assaulted side if we didn’t get it replaced by winter.
So the question became, what color and what texture did we want? More importantly, what did we need and what could we afford?
The contractor’s rough estimate of 30 to 50 thousand dollars to do the job, depending on our choice of materials, sent us into a panic. Self-sufficiency was the only way out of our predicament. Not paying labor drops the cost usually by at least half and usually more.
I researched extensively looking for 7 things.
1. It must last for a very long time, like 30 years, so we’d never have to do it again. We’d be too old.
2. It needed to be ranked for high winds and heavy snows. Some winters we get 3 to 4 feet of snow that stays on the north side of the house packed in by the wind. Vertical placement made more sense than horizontal so the snow would slide off.
3. It had to be in-expensive.
4. It had to be fairly easy to install.
5. It had to blend in with the environment.
6. The color had to coordinate with the roof. We can’t afford to roof too.
7. It had to give a ranch house – lodge kind of feel that fit in with the inside decor.
I think we got it, for our neighbors came over while we were working and commented that we won’t be the house that you can’t miss but instead the house you don’t notice at all. Pretty nice seeing as we live at the end of a lane tucked back in for that reason and we have by far the best view in the valley. That is the biggest curb appeal of all. Yet we do have a few ideas for the front to welcome you inside. The side not visible to the main road. Something else we will have to learn to do is put in windows. Often self-sufficiency simply means you can’t afford to pay someone else to do it.
How did you choose to do your outside?