I need to hang Hardie board siding on my house but can't find anybody to
help me. Funny how that happens. Anyhow, is there some sort of jig that I
can use to help me hang the siding in place while I nail it.
i know people who hang it alone by nailing a small nail in the
preceding course to hold up the end of the next. you can also get a
malco overlap gauge
Ask your siding supplier for break-off siding clips. They'll know what
you're talking about.
You may also want to purchase or make something like:
When I put on Hardi-backer siding, mostly by myself, I created a
measuring stick out of a piece of OSB scrap, wide enough so that it
also allowed me to balance and hold up the board flush into position
over the lap below, while I struggled momentarily to drill and then
screw in the Middle screw along a section. Then, I checked, drilled,
and screwed each end, and then completed the process for each stud
If you haven't started yet, I highly recommend putting a layer of 3/4"
R-Guard Insulfoam over the wrapped OSB. This stuff is sold at Home
Depot in our area for a rather low price and has major
benefits--insulation of the framing and exterior is the best place to
put insulation, especially from extremes of summer and winter weather,
and the a bug and another vapor barrier is much better than house wrap
alone. During the heat wave we experienced recently, the side of the
house with this was by far the most comfortable and less in need of
a/c. We found same thing last winter for these rooms.
Before installation of the foam layer, the OSB is fully wrapped with
roofing felt or house wrapp, or both, and then I put non-rusting
bi-metal flashing along the sill plate, stepping up the foam 1/2" up
from the foundation. I caulked along the foundation flashing, inside,
outside and along the foam edge. I used a couple cans of spray glue to
tack on foam sheets to the felt, and then used the pink Owens-Corning
house wrap tape to seal seams between foam sheets. The glue just holds
long enough to get the Hardi-backer siding in place, that's all. The
flashing at the sill plate will eliminate the need to have a bottom
starter course to raise the bottom edge of the hardi-backer siding, but
I also raised the bottom lap 1/2" off the foundation to eliminate water
wicking into the Hardi-backer, and then caulked again along this edge.
The Hardi-backer when screwed on with good quality deck screws will
pull up snug and compress the foam material slightly. Use one of those
quick-set reversible bits, to quickly swap between the drill and screw
bit on your cordless drill. Make sure to recess the screw heads a bit
for flush layers, and put a wide bead of caulk along the screw heads
before you fumble to get the next board up. After installing all the
siding, caulk the foundation and overlaps again. I many contractor
boxes of 35 yr white caulk, but you don't want any cracks where insects
or anything can climb inside. But, if they do, the foam will be there.
There's a bunch of odd ideas in this... some of the advice is be OK, but...
I am guessing you're using Hardiplank, so if you are using the panels
this doesn't apply: There is a tool that can be used to hold one end.
It will still be a lot slower than having two people. It's hard to
describe: Get some thin 0.050" or so steel, about an inch wide and 10"
long. Bend like a "J", and drill a hole in the top. Tack a nail in the
nail hole into your house and rest the plank on the bottom of the "J".
Nail the plank to the house, remove nail, slide jig out, and repeat
process. Not fast, but works.
It's not Hardi-backer, it's Hardiplank or else HardiPanel. The OP
doesn't say. HardiBacker is backerboard, a product used in kitchens and
restrooms as a "moisture and mold resistant substitute for drywall".
mostly by myself, I created a
Sounds like this will work OK.
Foam is awful stuff if you want your house to "breath". In some
climates foam will trap moisture and cause condensation problems,
leading to rot and insect problems. The wood inside your walls will stay
During the heat wave we experienced recently, the side of the
Flashing and wrap = good. Felt = good.
Fussing with glue will make the job very tedious and messy. It's not
You could drill and screw, and if you're having to work with delicate
foam underneath, then that's probably mandatory. But Hardie says you
can use a framing nailer... this will be much faster. For close to the
edges a drill *is* a good idea, since the Hardiboard can fracture near
After installing all the
It's highly unlikely that caulk will keep out insects. Or foam. There
will always be uneveness where bugs can get in, and they will if there's
a food source (rotting material, and other bugs that eat the bugs that
eat the rotting material). Trying to seal everything with caulk will
take way too long. Sealing things up too much can slow drying.
Dry studs and OSB are important, if you are applying siding over green
lumber the above issue can be a major one. Mine is the dry climate of
California, I had time to wait for the lumber to dry out quite a bit
during the summer. The foam reduces condensation problems because the
interior wall temperatures are more stable. House wrap is supposed to
be a moisture barrier as is roofing felt for the most part. The top
plate of the wall does breath into the attic a bit.
The spray glue was quick and easy, and simply tacked the foam to the
wall long enough to install the siding.
Framing nailer is not really a good idea with Hardibacker as the
backside of the material chips off, making a large hole. If you are in
a hurry like construction teams building track homes often are, then
nail, if you have time drilling and screws will be the better way to go
for sure. Nails tend to pull out over time. With screws, the siding
becomes a structural improvement on the wall. You can also control
just how snug you want the layers to be over the foam much easier.
Nothings perfect, but caulking has pretty much sealed the overlap
cracks my house off over the past three years. Caulk also ensures that
the hanging edge is more or less glued to the layer below. Obviously,
the flashing and foam block off access to the food source of the OSB
and framing members better than housewrap alone.
I know the above system works fairly well, because I had to cut into it
already when installing an inwall electrical subpanel. The 1-3/4 chunk
of OSB, felt, foam, Hardi-back, and caulk has been saved to show future
owners a cross section of what the exterior looks like.
You choose the method ultimately...
Good comments, Alan. Your dry climate lets you do things differently
than here (central Midwest... current condition at 7pm is 98F, hot and
There was a trend to "seal things up" here using the 80's
"superinsulated house" approach, and that's been a mess... lots of wood
rot. Here, what you save in energy costs with the foam you will more
than spend in having carpenters replacing your rotting window sills and
I built my house in '58 and haven't had a rotting window sill yet.
Plain old white pine.
I built a garage/shop in '91 and have replaced the two window
sills, all of the brickmold and several batts on the sidewall.
What did I do different? Nothing. The damn lumber just isn't any
good anymore. I guess it's because of all the re-growth timber.
The garage isn't heated or insulated so you can't blame it on
that. I soak the replacement parts in Woodlife.
you save in energy
Good point. I had a bunch of rotten wood in the sills in my garage...
it's unheated and un-cooled, so there should be no condensation due to
temperature differences. And it doesn't have a bathroom in it or other
moisture source. It just had low grade wood to begin with.
Maybe the window manufacturers hunt for the very softest wood they can
find. It's crap.
The main part of my house was built in the early 1950's and the doug
fir studs are in excellent shape. When I knocked out the south wall to
put in the addition with big windows and French doors to face the
waterfront, I saved the lumber and reused much of it, right down to the
blocking. It has tight grain and fewer knots overall. Due to its
hardness, nailing is sometimes a hassle, but I use a lot of screws and
Simpson Strong ties anyway.
I was even able to save the redwood bottom sill plates and reuse them!
Interestingly, the roof had 3/4" by 5 tongue and groove redwood
purloins used to hold the cedar shakes (that had long since been
covered over by asphalt shingles). I took these, cut them to size on
the table saw, filled in the nail holes with an epoxy/sawdust mix,
screwed them on for corner molding over the hardibacker, caulked and
painted. I've even used some of this ample supply of once roofing
lumber to make corner and baseboard moulding inside the house.
I've had engineers tell me that old wood is not a strong as new lumber,
but I don't believe that. I salvaged some long true 2x12 lumber from a
stack my neighbor was taking to the dump. I pulled nails, drenched the
good boards in clear preservative, stained them, and sealed the grain
with a satin polyeurathane, and then used them for a rustic open beam
ceiling supports in the family room addition.
As long as the wood is hard and free of rot or cracks, I can't see how
the new lumber can be stronger. The redwood is like new if sanded a
little, and it won't ever rot or be eaten by termites. I certainly
couldn't afford to buy this quality redwood if I were lucky enough to
even find it.
Right now, I'm planning to salvage some 3/4 by 6 doug fir purloins to
use as flooring in a new garage attic storage space. I'll run use the
router to create the overlapping edges, drench in preservative, finish
nail, sand, and paint. I'm not sure what I should do on the cheap to
insulate and prevent potential squeaks between these boards and the
plywood subflooring. I've considered using some thin plastic packing
material sent to me by on-line vendors and saved over the past couple
of years, but alternative suggestions welcomed.
The mention mold issue is a frightening one, and were we in a high
humitiy area, I'd definetly reconsider my methods mentioned above. The
high temperatures in Central California could cause some condensation,
but external insulation (not just batts between studs) that covers the
sheathing and framing should reduce temperature swings, thereby
reducing condensation inside the walls. Sealing off the walls should
help keep mold spores from sucking their way into the wall cavities.
The house wrap generation didn't include external insulation as part of
the practice, I believe.
But, for the final question here, the new spray foam (sold by
www.tigerfoam.com) eliminate the condensation problem if all dried wood
studs and interior sheathing is covered--before placing the batts?
They claim it eliminates condensation the wood, and that mold won't
grow on the foam.
I don't see how they can make that claim. These days they're gluing
together plywood to make "beams"... what's next, pressed-wood beams?
But as you say, if you could even find the old solid wood, you can't
I can't speak for California conditions, but here we get a lot of
internal moisture due to cooking and showers that needs to exit the
house. If the house is sealed tightly on all continuous surfaces with
something that won't "breath", then the moisture will travel out through
any gaps, and that is usually the windows sills and trim, and between
the seams of the hardboard siding (on a house with that siding). So the
best strategy if you want the house to last is to always use materials
that breath, not vapor barriers.
In our California home, we have a fans in the bathroom and kitchen, so
the need for moisture to exit through cracks in walls should be a
non-issue. Even if the fans are turned off, the pressure can escape
this way, and through open doors and windows, I suppose.
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