A Perfect Spring Day...
In February?

Dateline: 24 February 2017

Me, in my element.

The weather here has been so unseasonably warm and pleasant that I was able to get to work on siding the back of my house. If you read my recent series, Building Our Upland Dream Home, you know the story of my half-sided house. This year I'm gung-ho to get the rest of the house sided, and Marlene couldn't be happier.

I can't recall exactly why I never finished that small section of siding up near the peak so long ago. I suspect that I had more pressing things to tend to at the time. Also, working up so far off the ground with a ladder was kind of tedious.

But pipe scaffold makes the job so much easier. I bought the scaffold sections a few years ago when I re-roofed the house. It takes awhile for me to set the scaffold up by myself, but once it's done working up off the ground is so much easier!

In Part 6 of My Dream Home Series, I mentioned the Red Label #2 Western Red Cedar shingles I bought for our Dream Home back in 1984. Here's a picture of the 33-year-old shingles I still have...

Those shingles are in an old chicken coop shed, and still perfectly good. They will all get used, but I decided to buy some better quality R&R sidewall shingles to put on other sides of the back of our house that need siding.

The three square (six boxes) of Western Red Cedar sidewall shingles you see there cost me a whopping $1,272. The wonderful thing about those shingles, as compared to the #2 Red Label shingles, is that they do not require fitting. The sides are parallel and the bottoms are square to the sides. So they will go on fast. Time is of the essence here, as my mail order business will ramp up and become an enormous time-consumer in another month or so.

I wonder what a box of those shingles would have cost back in 1984? I wonder, in hindsight, and theoretically speaking, if it would have been a good investment to buy a truckload of those shingles back in 1984. I mean, would their value have paced or even exceeded inflation?

According to  my local lumberyard, the cost of all lumber products are going up considerably right now. Apparently, a lumber agreement between the US and Canada has run its course and there are problems with getting a new agreement in place. As a result, the import of Canadian lumber products has been curtailed. Supply is limited. No one seems to know how this will play out. If you want to build a house this year, you are going to face a considerable increase in lumber costs. But I digress.

Here's a picture of my backyard from the top of the scaffold...

You can see a little snow still still hugging onto the north-facing slope of the gully behind our house.

And here is the finished siding finally on the peak of my house...

Before the scaffold comes down, I will wire-brush the siding and stain it. And I'll put shutters on the sides of the windows when I'm done. It's a very good feeling to get this project underway. Unfortunately, rain is in the forecast, and winter is supposed to make a comeback this weekend.


  1. When a man says "I will do it", his wife should not remind him every few years.

  2. Elizabeth L. Johnson said,
    I have a wish-list (now 10 years old), of undone things to our house-building. So I am thrilled for Lovely Marlene! Thank you for the finishing of the shingles; every wife's wish-list of sorts in their own homes! I'm sure many wives are grateful for you and Marlene.

  3. Elizabeth L. Johnson said,
    Correction: Are 'glad' for you and Marlene.

  4. Per the wired bundles in your chicken coop,in 1990 private property harvested #2 grade west coast cedar retailed for $17.00 per bundle. #1 grade was about $21.00 per bundle.

  5. Pipe scaffolding? Use what you have, but is there no where you could have rented a couple of aluminum pump jacks and deck piece? When I re-sided my house with Hardee Board, I bought a 4 pole ,double deck set up. Then we did my house, Russell's, and then Kirk's.Then turned around and sold it all for $150 more than paid for it

    Yeah Mon, parallel and re-butted are the only way to go when shingling, It saves hours of fitting and trimming!

    1. I did a lot of work years ago with pump jacks made with nailed-together 2x4. Never liked them. Bad memories. Probably if I had used the aluminum ones they have now with a good aluminum platform I would have another opinion. Seems like all the tools I used to use are now made better and are safer to work with.

    2. The thing I remember the most about the 2x4 poles and the 10-12'planks to stand on, was the " inch and a half step of death" when you forgot where you were on the overlapping planks and took that unexpected step! Lot's of flailing around trying to grab something that wasn't swaying or leaning over in the wind!