When I first started out, all I knew is that I wanted wood siding. I saw a lot of pictures of people who built beautiful cedar sided tiny homes and I couldn’t help but want one. I think cedar has a very clean, finished look and that appeals to the modern side of me. At the same time, I wanted an old, rustic look, as that appeals to the nature side of me. In the end, I more or less just happen to stumble upon the siding that I chose.
It’s called Montana Ghost Wood and it’s absolutely stunning. It’s designed as an alternative to reclaimed wood, so it’s new lumber with an old lumber appearance. How cool is that?! Yes, it doesn’t have the cool history that reclaimed wood might have. However, a decent percentage of reclaim wood ends up being not usable because of splits or rot and that’s not an issue with the Ghost Wood since it’s brand new. What I really love about it is that it will allow me to have a rustic appearance that I can mix with some modern flare to get the design I want that appeals to both my senses.
It’s a lap siding and it comes in four different colors – a brown, a gray, a black, and a red. All the colors are designed to look aged and are supposed to change more over time. I went with their “Bannack Brown,” as I like the simple and natural appeal of it. And it’s available at Home Depot, which makes things very convenient for me.
I will say that it isn’t cheap. It cost me about $2,700 just for enough to cover my tiny house. I messed up a few boards during the install and it really sucked knowing that each mistake essentially cost me about $20.
I spent a few extra pennies and bought Sturdi-Strips to use as furring strips behind the siding. The Sturdi-Strips are vented so they work for rainscreen drainage, airflow, and as an insect screen. Hopefully no water gets behind the siding, but if it does I’m trying to ensure there’s plenty of airflow to reduce any extra moisture buildup that I can. The air gap behind the siding also completely extends up to my roof, which is also vented, so that there’s 360 degrees of ventilation around the entire house.
I started the entire siding process by putting the Sturdi-Strips on the house corners, around all the windows, and on top of every stud. I placed extra strips behind any areas I knew would be getting covered with trim, that way there was enough surface area for the trim piece as well as the siding that butts against it.
The front of the house was the trickiest side, so that’s where I started. The first big obstacle was cutting the siding to fit around the fender. I’ll admit, it’s not as perfect as I would like it, but it’s pretty darn close and I later caulked the small gap that was left. Another obstacle was working around all the windows and making sure the siding came up and was as even as possible when it came to cutting around each window. The door was also an obstacle, since it split the wall into two sections that join together at the top. This meant that the siding on both sides of the door had to be even all the way up so that the piece that connects to the sides can sit flush. I continuously measured the distance from the siding to the top of the door and made small adjustments so that both sides were completely even.
I only had to deal with the fender and one window on the rear of the house, which made things much easier. I did my best to measure from the top of the roof down to the siding to make sure it was level all the way across.
This was by far the easiest side. No obstacles and a single board for each row. I wish it was all this easy.
Left Side (Utility Shed)
I built a small utility shed for storing propane tanks and general storage. Originally I thought some of my electrical system would go in there, but I’m leaning away from that idea now. I started by getting the frame built, sheathed, wrapped, and roofed.
Before I did the siding, I cut a hole in the wall for my water inlet and put flashing tape all around it. Once I had the siding cut to fit around it, I caulked all around the hole in the wall itself and the siding. There’s more caulk under the water inlet flange, then it’s screwed in place, and later on I caulked around the outside of the flange. I don’t want any undesired water leaking through.
Then I continued on with the siding and finished off the roof with the finishing trim pieces.
Lastly, I built the frame to divide the area my propane tanks will go from the rest of the shed and made my doors. I’ll be adding a vent in the floor of the propane tank area for any gases to escape if there’s a leak, but that will come later on.
All-in-all, I’m really happy with how the siding came out, especially since this was my first time installing wood siding. Actually, I’ve never done a full-fledged siding installation of any kind.