Patrick's Barn: Learning to Love Vinyl Sidingcomments (0) January 25th, 2012 in Blogs
I know. I know. You're probably ready to pelt me with rotten fruit, but we decided to cover the front gable and rear elevation of our new barn with white vinyl siding. This decision was driven mostly by our budget, but working with vinyl after a 15-year break, has rekindled a long-ago love affair.
So why am I so smitten with vinyl siding? It goes up amazingly fast with a few simple tools. And it stores in nice tidy boxes that take up surprisingly little space. Admittedly, it doesn't look as good as the random width, native pine I used on other areas of the barn, but I don't have to straighten it, mill it or pre-prime it.
After spending an hour nailing up the accessory pieces and nailers, I was able to install two squares of vinyl siding in about 2 hours, which I'm guessing is about one-tenth of the time it would take to prep and install a similar amount of the wood siding I used. I was able to install much of the vinyl siding alone, but a second set of hands makes it easier to hook the siding onto the previous course.
One complication with vinyl was the result of our barn's post-frame construction. I had to install verticle furring so I could nail every siding course. I placed the battens every 16 in. and nailed them into the barn's horizontal girts. I closed off the bottom of the cavity with some road fabric I have left over from our vegetable garden.
Given unlimited time and money, vinyl wouldn't be my first siding choice, but I was reminded why it's the most-popular cladding in the country: it goes up fast without painting, it looks pretty darn good with little maintainence, and it's really inexpensive. With accessories, the vinyl we got from the home center cost about $85 per square.
More than once during the weekend I was reminded of Ben's and Mr McGuire's brief but prophetic conversation in the 1967 film "The Graduate."
Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.
You can read more about my barn here.
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