Confessions of a siding geek

In the dreary afternoons of November it is truly amazing to look back on the photos of this past summer and see everything we were able to accomplish. All those smiling faces, all that hard work, it’s a reminder of how fortunate we’ve been throughout all of this.

The cabin is tarped up for the winter, and now is the time when we ponder next steps (siding, roof) and dangerously day-dream about things like finishings and floors. In the summer it is easier to remember that we always have to take everything step by step. With my hands on a hammer, I’m grounded. Here in the city, it’s easy to believe we can just fly through the next steps, and even at my imagination’s lightening speed, I’m impatient to get there.

Siding and roofing alternates between being very boring to think about and almost overwhelmingly complex. Throughout so much of our building we’ve had a solid place to start from: a great set of windows, free timber, a site we fell in love with. I just don’t seem to feel that we have that same clear sense of direction for how we finish the house. However n the process of trying to figure it out I’ve become something of a siding geek.

Some choices are easy: no to vinyl, since it fails most of the L’s except low-cost.
Logical:  We are quite close to trees so something with some fire-resistance at least for most of the cabin. This means metal or some kind of fibercement siding. But is it loveable? We don’t want anything too industrial looking though. I think we are agreed that the cabin should have some sense of natural variation. Inset cedar tongue and groove? Shakes? is there a ‘logical’ approach to this kind of ornamentation of a house? Logical/low (visual)-impact:  Colours and materials that work with dark metal window frames, fir posts and cedar decking. The east side of the cabin should be fairly dark coloured so it doesn’t stand out on the hill. The dominant colours of the hill are rock grey, dirt & bark brown, and cedar green.
Logi(sti)cal: We probably need to buy most of our siding materials from a commercial supplier (vs second hard/re-purposed)since they can put it on pallets and deliver it to the dock for the barge.

i think the look we are going for is natural but tough aka rustic modern. That still leaves an incredible number of variations and possibilities though and on a long rainy afternoon, a thousand different websites and photoshopped pictures and google sketchups to ponder as we anxiously wait for spring.

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