Progress continues to be made on the exterior of the house, and it has been so fun to watch! The side of the studio has new siding, so it’s completely finished now. And for the first time in months, the front of the breakfast room has siding. It has been covered with nothing but Tyvek since last fall, so this was very exciting.
Obviously, I decided against adding stone to the front of the breakfast room. It would have cost between $1500 and $1800, which I actually thought was a very good price for removing a whole stone wall and relocating it, and also included the concrete footing required for the new stone wall. But in the end, I just could’t bring myself to pay that much just to try to make something work that I didn’t like in the first place. That seemed like a silly waste of money.
This was a really strange area originally. The side of the garage and the front of the breakfast room were covered in vinyl siding. But the side of the living room was stone (yes, it’s real) on half of it, and then vinyl siding above.
Here’s what this area looked like just a few days ago…
It was a complete mess, from the overgrown bush, exposed Tyvek, mildew on the siding, and my paint can graveyard that I was hiding in the overgrowth.
So this area has greatly improved (but I still need to take my half-filled paint cans to the recycle center).
Well, it looks greatly improved as long as you block this wall out of your field of vision. 😀
Yep, I had them remove the stone on this wall. No matter how I tried to make it work in my mind, I just couldn’t. The initial siding job that I had them give me a quote for included siding the studio and the breakfast room/pantry (front and back of the house), and stopping right there at the stone wall.
But the more I thought about it, the more ridiculous that seemed to me. I knew that I wanted that stone gone, and it didn’t make sense to have them do siding right up to the stone only to come back at a later date and remove the stone, which would require removing and redoing a great deal of the new siding on the front of the breakfast room.
So I decided to go ahead and have it done now. And while they’re at it, they’re also going to do new siding on the front porch and close up that awkward second side door on the front porch (the one that’s just right there to the left of the front door). So basically in a few days, there will be no more vinyl siding on the front or sides of my house. All of the vinyl siding left will be on the back of the house, and it’s on areas that will be torn down when we do our addition.
But this crazy stone/siding hybrid wall has definitely been a headache for the guys installing the siding. Fortunately, they’re the same guys who framed the studio, so I feel confident that they can figure out a solution to these issues, but here’s what we’re looking at.
With the stone removed, I’ve now got this concrete footer at the bottom of this wall…
The windows were installed so that they sat just behind the stone window sill on the stone wall, so now they stick out quite a bit…
Those two issues — the windows sticking out and the concrete footer — would be no big deal if the entire wall had been stone. They could just furr out the wall with lumber to bring it out to the windows and concrete ledge, and then proceed as usual — OSB, Tyvek, siding and trim.
But this wall threw them another curve ball because the upper part of the wall was built so that the original wood siding came out just enough to overlap the top of the stone. You can see here that it sticks out just a bit further than the windows.
And yet another issue is that that original siding at the top can’t be taken off because it’s completely covered with the spray foam insulation in the attic. If those siding boards are removed, I’ll lose my attic insulation on that entire gable wall. So it has to stay, and they’ll just put new OSB and new siding right over it.
So I have no idea how they’re going to deal with this wall, but I know for sure it’s not going to be a completely flat wall. I’ll still end up with the top part jutting out just a bit over the bottom half of the wall, but I’m still convinced that removing the stone was the right decision. I don’t regret it at all, and I trust them to make it look good. If this were a clearly visible front wall of my house, I might not be so easygoing about it. But since it’s a side wall that’s tucked in there a bit and not clearly visible from the street, I’m not going to worry about it too much.
I’m just so darn excited about the fact that my house will very soon be completely rid of vinyl siding on the front and sides!! And while we can’t do the front porch extension/double gable addition right now, I think just getting new siding and closing up that awkward side door will be a huge improvement.
Now I just need to figure out the paint colors!