We got busy on Sunday, nailing and painting the cedar shingles on the summerhouse.
There's four layers of shingles at the bottom edge, before we started to go up the wall - one under the Tyvek, then another three on top, pushing out the bottom of the wall into a slight curve, to shed water away from the foundation slab (if any rain gets on the walls much, with the large overhang at the eaves and front). Some of these were cut a little shorter for a more gradual line and/or stepped at the bottom so water can't run back under them.
The shingles were first used on a chalet bungalow built in 1968 and we salvaged them when it was demolished a couple of years ago. Over the years, they've been treated with various timber products and some got a bit sooty, so we had a two stage cleaning process going, first with a brush, then a scraper. We're turning them over and using the backs instead of the already exposed side, so any deeply weathered grooves in the wood are turned to the inside. They should wear a bit longer that way.
As Glyn nailed the shingles in place, I followed round with the paint - Cuprinol 'Garden Shades'. I don't want them to look too even or flat, so I'm just giving them one coat. In theory, cedar doesn't really need painting, but the weathering on the shingles makes them look a bit messy otherwise.
I'm glad we left a good gap behind the summerhouse, both for maintenance and to keep it away from the back fence. It makes working round the back much less of a squeeze. When we rebuild the garden shed, we'll do the same.
More cleaning. We bought a set of small metal scrapers in Lidl a few weeks ago and they have turned out to be the perfect tool for the job!
The corners will be covered with a UPVC 'L' section, but we are taking the shingles right up to the corners and shaping them properly for a snug fit. It will be easier to fit the UPVC to this if the corners are done neatly.
The cedar is easy to cut with the Japanese saw.
We've used a string line to keep the shingles level around the building, but moved them up and down slightly on that line, to avoid having hard horizontal lines running around the summerhouse. We've also varied the width of the shingles from about 14in wide to as little as 3in.
Sometimes it is easier to trim the corner shingle in situ if there is just a little to remove, or even do it with a craft knife, as the cedar splits quite easily. It is a strange wood to work with, because it isn't too hard, splits along the grain very easily yet is very weather resistant.
We kept going until around 7.30 p.m., when it was getting a bit too dark to see what we were doing. I think we've made a good start. Cladding seemed to go slowly at first, I guess because of the multiple layers at the base of the wall, when it seemed like we weren't making much progress, but now it has started to move more quickly. I'm not sure how much work we'll get done this week, because wet and windy weather is forecast.