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Residing house

Posted by mari_joan (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 21, 09 at 10:16

Husband and I are debating best way to finish the siding job on our 1840 house. We are having a carpenter re-side with pre-primed clapboards and stainless steel nails. Question. Should we set the nails and putty or caulk over each one before we prime and paint? Or just leave them and prime and paint?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Residing house

Aren't the nails covered by the next row of clapboards?

And the siding nails of which I know have large heads that cannot be set like finish nails.

Plus, the whole reason for using SS nails is to prevent rusting and rust staine---no need to treat/cover.

RE: Residing house

If your carpenter knows what he is doing, other than the top row, you should not see nails. He nails at the top of of the siding then the next row covers those nails.

The top row, he should countersink SS screws (so you dont see nail pops) then use a 30+ year caulk to cover the screws before painting.

RE: Residing house

1/2 x 6 wood clapboards are not normally blind-nailed because if the exposure is greater than 3 inches it is assumed that they will cup, however, even though I have been designing homes in New England for 40 years, I have never seen clapboards blind-nailed and wouldn't allow that method on my projects.

Stainless-steel 5d or 6d ring-shank siding nails (with very small cross-hatched heads) should be placed just above the butt line in the thickest part of the clapboard and hammered so they are perfectly flush with the finished clapboard without dimpling the wood (no nail guns).

Some carpenters sink them a slight bit and then the painter putties them but I think it's a substitute for poor carpentry skill.

RE: Residing house

Thanks for the responses.

Macv- We did this job ourselves on another part of the house three years ago. We used SS screws and counter-sunk and puttied each one. We also used "rain slicker" under the clapboards and made sure that there was as little space for caulking as possible. None of these "niceties" were mentioned by the carpenter. I was willing to pay him on an hourly basis to do the job the way we wanted but husband was afraid of taking him out of his comfort zone. We find it very difficult to find a tradesman who is willing to take the time to really do the job right. I fear they have been conditioned by society as a whole to get in, get the job done and get out. 99% of clients wouldn't know the difference or care to pay for it. By the way, we are in New England also (south shore of Boston).

RE: Residing house

I know some carpenters who would do it right without any instructions and quickly but they might charge too much per hour. I assure you they would not blind-nail clapboards in this climate nor would they use screws. They would also tell you that putty is a job for a painter, not a carpenter.

RE: Residing house

We screw because we are amateurs (even after working on an old house for 25 years) and we invariably have to remove something and screws are easier to remove and replace than nails. I understand the puttying is the job of the painter (us!). I guess what I don't understand is if the carpenter quotes you $50 an hour and you accept, what difference does it make to him how long it takes as long as you are willing to keep paying. I know I am ranting here and perhaps we haven't spent enough time interviewing carpenters and when we ask people for recommendations they are as not as picky consumers as we are but I feel destined to work on this house for the rest of my born days because no one else will ever do a good enough job to satisfy us. And we can't let it go.

Wah, wah, wah . Thanks for listening.

RE: Residing house

Installing siding isn't a difficult task for a carpenter unless he's trying to do it by himself from a ladder like a handyman. I'll ask some carpenters if they will work for that rate on the South Shore.

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