Remember the seemingly endless siding replacement project of last summer? No? Well, I do. It was replacing/repairing some siding on the front ell of the house, and the window in the bath. Ugh. Well, I can happily say we are 99.9% complete after recently finishing up a few of the final project components.
We recently installed the new hose bib, graded the soil around the foundation, laid heavy duty weedblock fabric, then covered the fabric with a layer of gravel. This is to improve the drainage and ventilation in this area, which is in the north corner of the house and shaded by a flowering crab in the front garden. The site gets very little
sun, and before we removed an old rhododendron last summer, very little air circulation. Once that was complete, we moved on to repairing the final bit of rot in the corner trim at the far end of the ell.
Using a shiny new oscillating multi-tool, we cut away the rotten part of the trim, and of course, found more underneath. Dan kept cutting and checking for rot, and continued
cutting until only sound wood remained. We ended up needing a 4 foot piece of the top layer of trim, and a narrow 3 foot section of the underlying trim. This little tool made a difficult task so easy. I am so glad we stumbled across it at our local hardware store.
While Dan cut new pieces of trim to fit, I coated the 100+/- year old
lumber with wood preservative, and once dry, primed it. We then fitted the new trim in, caulked well, and painted. We need a final coat of the green trim in the column center, but that will happen once the weather cooperates.
The final part of the project was to replace the wooden skirting covering the last 4 feet of the foundation crawl space.
That section of the house was a porch at some point and was later enclosed. We removed the old skirting, graded the soil, added some stainless steel chicken wire to deter burrowing critters who find that crawl space oh-so-tempting, and the made new skirting from rot-proof, no paint/stain required composite decking material. The final part of the task was to cover the wire with weedblock and gravel.
The house had old wooden gutters in the front, mostly rotten, of course, which we replaced with plastic gutters a few years ago, before blog and project recordkeeping began. A big part of this rotten problem we believe was caused by the old gutters, but new gutters must also be regularly cleaned out — the many trees near the house regularly drop leaves and twigs into the gutters. Water cascading out over a clogged gutter down the house certainly didn’t help this problem.
We also cut back some of the lilacs and hydrangea planted near this foundation, but will need to do some additional thinning to give the area a bit more breathing room.
It is great to have this project crossed off the list.