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Siding

About a year ago I was working together with my friend, we installed siding to one wall of a neighbouring house.. I remember that around those times I still felt vaguely unsure about my own house renovation project, and working together with a friend made me more confident about doing more of similar kind of work. And, most of all, I was unsure about my ability to maintain timetables for a longer renovation process. So often it has been that I start a little bit of this and some of that, and then just lose my momentum and get carried on with other things. That won't be good with house renovation, as with things like walls it just is better to get things done and finished. At least if one plans to live in that said house.

Well, today at sunset got the main work of my house siding ready. It still needs some finishing here and there, but that feels like at thing I can do, no problem. I have also gathered all the materials needed for painting the house, but it depends on the weather if I can paint it before winter, or should I wait for the next spring. I'd guess that the inner sides of walls need new materials, too. And it seems like the floor of the main room needs to be rebuilt. Well, destroying and rebuilding a floor is something I will leave for next summer. But I'd like to continue with the entrance part - it still lacks most of the thermal insulation and then inner panelling of the walls. And floor, yes the entrance part lacks a proper floor, too. That just needs to be postponed for a month or two, so that I'm sure my budget stays in balance.

Hmm, and then somewhat unrelated reflections. Most of my previous posts have been about house renovation or programming, or some such diary-like entries of my personal life. There has not been that much philosophical themes, nor political comments. And there is a reason for that. Already for months I've felt an increasing tendency of hermithood. I never had a group identity, I never felt myself part of a nation or a smaller sub-group. And reading the news and discussion on the internet, I've more and more felt that I have nothing to say =) I mean, of course I have a lot of thoughts about the current political situation in Europe and world, and there are themes I've been thinking about for years and years. But then, on the other hand, ever since my teenage years I just wanted to lead my own life in my own way - the mainstream population is anyway going where it goes, and it is none of my business to say where I think they'd better go. If I don't feel myself as belonging to a group, why should I state my opinions about the decisions of that group?

But then, on the other hand, I know myself, so I'd guess that sooner or later there will again be some fictional stories and philosophical ponderings written in the blog. As, my philosophy is not that much about other people, there is a lot of philosophy about the way I think and the way I see my life in the Finnish woods. Hehe - in the summer one of my friends gave me a book to read. The book is about Chinese mountain hermits, a travel journal with interviews. I don't know, but maybe there is something distantly similar in my own tendency to seek inner peace slightly away from the mainstream society.

My house, seen from North-West
My house, seen from North-West
North-East
North-East
South-East
South-East
South-West
South-West
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Phew! The siding is a project I have been putting off on my house. I want to tear all the vinyl siding down, and the old metal siding underneath of that, and then the weatherboard under that, and insulate the walls from the outside, and then re-sheathe the house and put the vinyl siding back up. But I have no idea how to work with that stuff, like all of the edging and corners and stuff, hehe.

Even as hermits, I think it's important to take part in the political process, though. I mean, even if we just want the government to leave us alone as long as we're not hurting anyone else, I think we have to participate in the political process such that our voice is heard that we want to be left alone, you know?

Or something. I dunno, lol. Maybe there's no hope of the common person making a difference (vs the special interests and control-freaks) in the political process in the US anymore, anyway. But I'd feel like I was remiss in my civic duty if I didn't at least try, yanno?

Yeah, there were some things I only learned while working with the siding of my house. There were some problems related to the shape of an old house - there aren't sharp 90 degree edges nor exactly straight lines any more, and I realized that if I had did some things in a different way, the work would have been easier for me. But since I learned that only in the middle of the process, it was kind of a too late =) Well, but I got the main work done in a satisfactory way, and gained some experience, so that's the way to go.

Ah, yes, I agree with you about participating in the political process. I realize I was somewhat vague with my wording - I think my hermit-reaction has not been that much about the general political process, but more about daily social interaction =) I recognize this as a survival strategy I learned in childhood : safety is when there is no-one around and I don't need to talk with anyone. So I have a tendency to walk away from social interaction... I understand that it is not always a healthy strategy, maybe not the best possible thing to do. But I allow it to myself to some degree, as I need my personal space to breathe and to regain my energies. I try to write in more detail later on, if and when I happen to feel like that =)

I think your siding looks really good!

What was your strategy for dealing with the unsquareness? Did you run the siding horizontally parallel to the walls, even if they were not level, and then trim the edges to make it fit into the corner pieces correctly or something?

My main strategy was to abandon all the exact measurements, and just trying to adjust everything so that it looks fine enough =) I wasn't that worried about the corners, as there will anyway be a 5" or 6" board installed vertically on each corner, so that the ends of siding boards will be hidden. So, if the siding doesn't exactly fit in the corners, that will be dealt away with those vertical corner boards. Or, that was what I thought =)

Looking at the first picture, you can see that the upper half of the north wall is slightly bulging outwards. The old log walls aren't standing upright in a straight line, but every wall makes a smooth S-shaped curve. I thought that I don't care that much if the walls aren't exactly right - as long as they can support the weight of the house, it will be fine. But still, only when I had half of the house covered with new siding, I realized that I'm going to have a problem when installing those finishing vertical boards to each corner. Since the siding reflects some of the S-shape of the actual log wall, I don't quite know how the straight vertical corner boards are going to sit on top of a curved wall. We will see =)

But, yeah, to avoid the problem I should have started with installing some upright boards on top of the log walls, so that the inner side of each board is more or less carved to meet the S-curve of the log wall, and the outer side remains straight. And then installing chipboard and siding boards on top of those upright boards would've resulted in straight corners, instead of curved corners.

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