My Cape-The Exterior Projects

The snow is finally gone, the weather is warming, and it’s time to start the outside projects I have planned for my 1952 Cape.  What I’ve found while working on the exterior has forced me to change my initial plan of tackling the heat loss and air sealing needs of the upper level of my home and instead concentrate this year on the exterior.

When I purchased the home late last year, I was aware the deck would have to be removed and a portion rebuilt.  The deck starts at the front of the home, which faces west, continues along the north side of the home, and finally stops after covering the entire east side of the home.  That’s 68 lineal feet of decking, or approximately 600 square feet.  My plan is to eliminate the majority of the deck, keeping only a 12 x 16 deck at the rear or east side of the home and a small 4 x 6 deck at the front door, or west end.

The deck at the front door, or west end of the home.
After the deck was removed.

The concrete step shown in the photo above will also soon be removed.  My brother, who owns an excavation company will be removing with a jackhammer mounted on the front of skid steer, way easier than busting it out manually.  The new wood deck will be placed where these concrete steps are located.

Tall grasses in front of the deck extending along the north end of my home.
Deck and grass removed, notice the rot on the siding starter board.
A second concrete step was located under the deck on the north end of home.  This will also be removed.
The east end of the home with the 12 x 36 deck.

A portion of the east end of the home has been re-sided with vinyl siding.  I will be replacing all the siding with LP Smartside.  Before that happens, I will need to repair some of the damaged and rotting sheeting boards and large holes that have been drilled in the home over the past 67 years.

Rotted sheeting boards under sliding glass patio door. Door and deck ledger was incorrectly installed and has allowed moisture to collect between the deck ledger board and sheeting.
Hole drilled for natural gas supply pipe.  This is probably the source of the couple mice we had this past winter.
Electrical penetrations in the rim joist will need to be addressed.  Notice most of the original tar paper is still in place.

So, what’s my plan?  First, strip all the existing siding from the home.  I will have to wear personal protection during the removal of the original siding, it most likely contains asbestos.  Repair all rotted lumber and address any penetrations into the home.  I will be sealing the concrete foundation to wood framing connection using a fluid applied air and water membrane.  Remove and replace all windows.  I will be installing a local vinyl window manufactured in Duluth, Minnesota.  Install a self-adhered membrane water resistive barrier called Henry Blueskin.  Install a rain screen to allow for both drainage and drying behind the siding, and finally install the siding.  Working by myself, this will probably take all summer and most of the fall.  I will be posting updates as the work progresses.  Stay tuned.

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