Build / Siding

Siding

I know I say this in almost every post, but this is SUPER IMPORTANT. Siding is so important, in fact, that I might say it again… and again. We wanted our tiny house to be clothed in the finest, strongest, and most stylish materials before embarking on our adventure. Therefore, Guillaume and I spent countless days searching for siding that would reflect our personal style with the gusto to withstand a colossal journey.

How to choose siding for your tiny house (3 super important steps):

Step 1: Consider budget, durability, weight, and (of course) the “pretty” factor.

Batting-Eyelashes

We all want our house to be the “pretty gal on the block.” So think ahead! Like 10-20 years ahead. The prom queen can sometimes let herself go (tanning beds…. stay away from them kids). You want the quiet library chick, because she’s gonna be a hot mom someday.

Step 2: Research more, and probably reconsider your original choice.

embarassed

If you’re like us, you’ll pick a material based on appearance, think about it for awhile, read about it, and then decide against it. So research all your options, including: cedar, redwood, metal, and vinyl.

Step 3: Jump in head first.

jump head first

Okay, you’ve researched. You’ve made a decision (again). Go for it! Stop questioning yourself. Stop hyperventilating. It’s okay. It’s gonna be okay. Go, little bird. No regrets.

——-

We really wanted reclaimed wood for our tiny house because it felt unique and green. Both Guillaume and I like rustic decor (check out our pinterest), so we wanted to incorporate this look on the outside of our house as well as the inside. But after scouring craigslist for weeks, it seemed easier to choose readily available siding at Home Depot.

Lucky for us, we found E&K Vintage woods. They have a variety of beautiful reclaimed siding options and other vintage woods including wood slabs. Their showroom is impressive, and we suggest visiting if you’re in the Los Angeles area. All of their woods are well cared for and kiln dried (which is important).

The siding we chose is 70+ years old, making it older than Guillaume and I combined, and resourced from a crumbling old barn in Wisconsin. Being a mid-west girl, I was smitten not only by its tones of red and silver patina but also by its origin.

Tiny House Giant Journey

Reclaimed siding from E & K Vintage Woods

Tiny House Giant Journey

Reclaimed siding from E & K Vintage Woods

One of our favorite boards actually has shotgun holes and pellets still lodged inside! Of course, we put this piece in a prime location. Trespassers beware!

 

Reclaimed Wood Siding Shotgun - 0001-2

Choosing reclaimed wood meant that we had to take a few extra precautions. While shopping we specifically searched for siding that had the tongue and groove or shiplap joints preserved in good condition. Often when barns are torn down the wood can be damaged in the process, so we inspected our siding carefully and bought from a reliable source (E&K Vintage Wood). Next, we had to accept the inevitable fact that our yield would be a lesser percentage to age frailty. This meant buying about 20% extra to compensate for existing cracks and holes in the wood.

Finally, when installing our reclaimed siding we wanted to take every precaution to make sure it would last. This meant:

1). Redwood Furring Strips

Furring strips not only mark studs for easy installation, but they also add a gap between the siding and house wrap. This will help prevent any moisture from getting locked behind our boards.

2). Pre-drilling

Because our wood is 70+ years old, it was prone to crack on installation. In order to maximize our yield we carefully pre-drilled the boards. We took care to line up our screws to studs, for support and visual appeal. We also applied silicone to the back of the holes, hoping that it would act as a sealing agent as the screw goes through.

3). The Right Screws

Finding the right screws can be difficult. We wanted reliable, exterior grade, heavy duty screws, but we also didn’t want our screws to look too modern next to our reclaimed wood. We used Bronze Star Heavy Duty Screws from Screw Solutions. They look amazing and they’re strong as nails (well, screws actually).

4). Weather Protection

Even though our wood survived over 70 years of Wisconsin rain and snow, we need it to withstand 60+ mph winds when being towed on the highway. We decided to take an extra precaution and put a layer of weather sealant.

And, just in case you wanted more photos… we wouldn’t dare deny you:

What kind of siding will you choose?

-Jenna

_____________

E&K Vintage Wood

Siding provided by E&K Vintage Wood: the finest reclaimed wood.

Screw

Hardware provided by Screw Solutions: outstanding products with outstanding service.

 

Music by: I Am Machi. Thank you for the tunes!
Check out more on their website & friend them on Facebook.

35 thoughts on “Siding

  1. Pingback: Tiny House Costs. A realistic breakdown of expenses and what to expect

  2. Heelllooo again! I’m trying to figure out how to install my fascia board (with my copper roof I have to install it before I put up the drip edge) and see you put it up at the end of the above video but I am confused about what to do with the extra length of the rafter that hangs below. I am curious if you did a soffit under the rafters (or something similar so the rafters and plywood arent exposed) and connected in to your fascia board? I am thinking about doing that and cutting the excess on the bottom of the rafter, plus and extra 3/4″ to make a flush fit for the soffit and fascia to connect. Thoughts? Also do you suggest cutting a 45 degree at the end of each facia board so they overlap the following board slightly (to prevent a visible gap if wood retracts). I guess the last question applies for the siding as well. Thanks as always!

    • Hmmm, those are pretty technical questions. I can only tell you what we did. We did do the 45deg cuts for fascia but not for our siding (too risky with reclaimed wood and we didn’t think it was necessary). As far as the bottom part of the rafters, our have the last bottom part cut at 45deg to create a flat bottom edge. We boxed them so there is a piece of wood running all across the bottom. I’ve seen them open as well with rafters exposed. You just have to make sure they are treated for outdoor conditions. If you box them, make sure it’s vented if you decided to vent your roof.
      I hope this helps

  3. Hey guys! I know this post is way old, but it’s one I bookmarked to reference when it was time to do my own reclaimed lumber siding and the time is finally here. Two questions: What did you use on the lumber as a weather protector and did you choose horizontal orientation for esthetics or another reason?
    Thank you!

    • We didn’t put anything on our siding. It went through 75 years of Wisconsin weather so we figured it’ll be fine, we’ll see. The problem is that we didn’t find a protector that would keep the look of the aged wood and not peel over time. Our siding is horizontal because the lumber is shiplap and it just sheds water better like that.

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  8. Just found your blog and I love it! Your home is amazing and I love the details you provided. I am considering a build for next spring and you are bring up things I hadn’t thought of yet. Thank you! Can’t wait to follow the rest of your journey. Also, love the ‘head first’ fox. Very cute.

  9. wow nice project , next year i want to renovated my roof , but i live in quebec. and it is very important to chose the good matérials. One of my friends share a web site on my facebook and i want to know waht you guys think about those products. here

  10. Love all you have done in building your Tiny Home. We live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and look forward to seeing you this Sunday when you visit ( Sept.28/14) We love your dog, Salies, and have a special treat for her when we see you.
    –Boyd & Barb

  11. well yesterday was an interesting day.. a nice swarm of termites decided to fly on my tiny house… i honestly never thought about pre treating the wood as i am building for termites… after a few hours of killing as many as i could see crawling inside the tiny house. i did some research and found out that a solution called bora care would be best as it soaks in the wood al the way through. just thought i would share this with you guys since i honestly never thought about it, but makes sense ( tiny house built out of wood, termites like wood).

    • Wondering if anyone’s done a comparison of costs and weight between wood and building with aluminum studs and siding like HardiPlank? It would seem to make the home much more weather resistent as well as termite-proof!

      • Aluminum studs has been done in a couple other tiny houses. It’s definitely lighter. The issue being that it’s not very customizable, it’s very expensive and aluminum is one of the worst thermal bridges there is! HardiPlank might be a little too stiff for siding from what I understand. I don’t know much about it personally though.

  12. was wondering, what size screws did you use for your siding? as i am starting on my siding and trying to figure this part out. thanks

  13. Has anyone “clothed” a Tiny House with Hardiplank siding? We’re renovating our 100+ year old home in Norfolk with their siding and shakes and they’re GREAT! Color’s already in, they have all the “look” of real wood but are made of cellulose and cement so are impenetrable to rot and cold…

    • We’ve heard of it, but that’s about it. If I remember well, some people are worried about how stiff or brittle it might be, which could be a concern on the road. Isn’t it somewhat heavy too? (Our reclaimed wood is pretty heavy…)

  14. Watched many of your videos this morning, while enjoying my coffee. I live in British Columbia Canada. We are catching on to the idea of tiny home living up here. Living here requires a winterised home, not like a RV as they are not warm in the cold months.
    I am building a tiny home to sell and will be building more, as this tiny home movement may be the answer for those who are looking to free up their time, and also help the environment by living within a smaller footprint.
    Thanks for your wonderful time lapse videos, they are inspiring.
    Wendy
    Alpinehomes.ca

  15. Just discovered your site from the Tumbleweeds newsletter. Thank you! Covering so many details of such project is just a treasure. Not sure yet if I’ll go mobile but am already living small and would like to make that my own.

    As for my own siding choice, I like the idea of recycled wood but may not have gone so old with a softwood. Some wood, like Cedar, is common here and has built in protection for longevity. Local First Nations make broad use of it for building, including in weathered things like totems and canoes.

  16. Oh, and our siding itself is actually Douglas fir, very lightweight, but isn’t usually best for weather resistance. That being said, ours has a natural patina creating an organic armor.

    Hopefully that answers your questions. We aren’t familiar with Shou Sugi Ban, but it looks really cool! Not sure how it will work on redwood, sorry we can’t be more help there!

  17. I’ve read your entire blog on the house and I must say, your blog is the most helpful piece of information I’ve been able to find. It also provides me with a chuckle and your dog looks a lot like mine so it makes me happy to think I’m not crazy for wanting to bring my pup with me. Love the loft floor addition to give that angled floor and the house is just coming out amazing! I’m graduating college and I’ve done my math. After many financial plans and ideas I have high hopes and plans to make my own tiny house and tow it to California and live in it while I pay off my debt. I had some questions if you don’t mind me asking.

    How thick is the redwood siding you chose? I found another builder who went the Shou Sugi Ban route which is really used on a cyress but can be done with cedar for siding and I really love it but am still in the initial research of it as far as sealing the wood and what not. My main concern however is that I will not get thick enough siding and be in big trouble.

    Also what is the total GVWR you are expecting to be at with your tiny house upon completion? I’ve been looking into a TDI Touareg as they are able to tow 7700lbs and with a tune keep close to their 29mpg highway rating. But time will tell of whether or not this house will stay under the rating.

    Thanks again for your blog and any further help! Happy and safe travels!

    Best,
    Maggie, Koda the dog, and Bellatrix the cat.

    • Hey Maggie,

      Thanks for the kind words. We are glad to hear about people considering going smaller.

      Our redwood trim is made out of 2×4 and 2×6 pieces since we need to clear the thickness of the siding + furring strips (about an inch). Our fascia boards are made out of 1×4 and 1×6 redwood pieces.

      We expect our house to come close to 10,000lbs. All that wood is very heavy. I doubt you’ll get 29mpg with your Touareg, those houses are heavy and far from being aerodynamic. We haven’t had a chance to check our mileage yet expect between 8-12mpg with our 2006 Ford F-250 6.0L Turbo Diesel. We’ll see!

      Good luck with your project, let us know when you start!

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