We are presently in the middle of installing the redwood siding. This weekend Caleb and I installed the horizontal redwood lap siding on the west wall, and finished preparing the east wall.

We are using 12′ long redwood 1×6 boards, construction heart grade and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This means that the boards came from sustainably managed forests, and the trees were neither harvested by clear-cutting nor were old growth. There is no way and no how I would use redwood that was not FSC-certified or reclaimed. “Construction heart” means the wood has knots in it, but is all heartwood and therefore has higher resistance to decay and insects. It should last a very long time.

I picked up 45 boards, special ordered from Big Orange. About half will be stained, half painted, depending on where they will be installed.

Last week we stained the redwood. The stain we used was BioShield #3 penetrating oil. It is a rather pricey low-VOC stain that seems to hold up very well. It also doesn’t stink and cleans up pretty easily with citrus thinner. I used this stuff on our redwood deck last spring and so far it looks great; I shouldn’t have to freshen it up for another year or two. On siding I think two coats should last five to eight years. Not bad for a stain.

We stained a little over 20 boards. We will probably have to stain a few more.

Here is the setup we used for staining the redwood siding. Basically I fixed a couple 10′ 2x4s on top of my wood sawhorses and spaced them 12′ apart. We hammered a couple nails in the ends of each board so we could stain them, and let them hang free to dry. This let us stain all six sides at once.

I know kung fu.

Once it was stained and dried, we could install it. The boards were graded for use as fence pickets, not siding; I couldn’t afford actual siding. I just carefully selected the best boards for appearance and strength, either cutting around knots and defects or finding ways to conceal them, all while trying to minimize waste. It was a little more time consuming but I think it was worth the savings.

The results look great.

Starting to come together...

Some of the cuts were very complex, like around the fascia for the existing house (yeah, needs new paint) and around the steel kickout flashing.


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