New Siding Project – Part 1

It’s time to tackle a project we’ve been putting off for some time:  new house siding. Our current siding is slate which Harland painted when he bought the house about 10 years ago.


And beneath the slate is the original wood clapboard siding.  There is no vapor barrier, meaning our house is drafty and expensive to heat and cool. So we’re going to put on a vapor barrier, a layer of foam-board insulation, and finally the vinyl siding.

Like any older home remodeling project though, we have to take care of a few side projects before we do the siding.

First we have to get rid of the old basement stairway entrance on the east side of the house.


When Harland first bought the house, the plumbing in the basement kept freezing near this entrance. Since there are 2 other entrances to the basement, one from the inside in the kitchen and one from the outside on the north side, Harland went ahead and blocked up this east entrance. Now we need to remove the above-ground part of the stairway because it comes up above the siding and is in the way.


So today Harland has rented a bobcat with a jackhammer attachment to break up the concrete. Then he’ll bring in some fill dirt for the stairway.

While he’s at it, he’s going to take out the small patio near the basement stairway today.Because of settling, rainwater runs toward the house. We’ll be putting in a new larger patio where we can put a few chairs, a table, and the bbq grill.

And Harland’s also going to take out the front sidewalk today because it’s broken in several places and is becoming a trip hazard.


Besides the siding, new patio, and sidewalk, we’re also going to trench in the electric line that goes from the pole to the house. No more worrying about the tree limbs in the line or ice storms taking the line down.

Besides just general stress from the mess that any remodeling project brings, this one has an extra stressor for me. All my flowerbeds are right up against the house which means all the plants will be trampled. There’s no way around it.  I’m holding out hope though that since we’re at the end of summer, they’ll not care too much about being trampled and will be back next spring. I hope….

I’ll share regular updates with you as this project progresses along.

More to come…



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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17 Responses

  1. Alica says:

    Sounds like quite a project! It’s great you can do so much of it yourselves…that will save you a bundle. Have fun…it will be fun to see the progress!

  2. Becca says:

    Wow….this is exciting! I love home projects (not mine)!
    Wish i were there to help.
    Have fun…..looking forward to status updates.

  3. Glenda says:

    Gee, will I know the place when I come for my Fall visit? We shall see! Ray and I took off all the old siding like what you have years ago. We didn’t put on a vapor barrier against the black paper covered plywood just the foam R-board and then vinyl siding. The only bad thing is there is only about three inches of insulation between the studs. So in full force prairie winds they can be cold. We installed new thermal windows later and that has helped greatly. I know you are glad that this is all outside work. I hope it all goes smoothly. We have to keep Harland busy while the crops and calves are busy growing!

  4. Tina says:

    Cool! Sounds like you will be busy. Enjoy and I hope they spare your flowers.

  5. Chester's Mom says:

    What are the beautiful purple flowers around your house?
    Do you all have a storm cellar or even have to worry about tornadoes where you are?
    Hope your project goes smoothly.

    • Suzanne says:

      The purple flowers are phlox. They spread themselves around. Not worried about them coming back cause it would probably take a herd of elephants to kill them.
      Our house has a full basement. I’ve spent some time in it waiting for the all -clear when tornadoes threaten our area in the spring.
      Thanks Chester’s Mom!

  6. Louise W. says:

    Quite the project which I’m confident you will be so happy when it is done. Plants are amazingly resilient and should. Come out just fine.

  7. MaggieMae says:

    Looking forward to watching the work in progress. Where do you two get all of your energy?
    So happy to hear Kitty is back to her curious self. I even said prayers for her recovery. 🙂

    • Suzanne says:

      Harland has more energy than I do but I get caught up in his whirlwind. 🙂
      Kitty says a big THANK YOU for your prayers, and to everyone else too!

  8. That’s more than a little project! I think you’ll be happy with the results, though.

    Just ask the guys to kindly be careful as they can be with your flowers. No reason for them to needlessly be trampled. Good luck. Looking forward to the updates.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    You’re both welcome to come to my house and practice putting up siding!

  10. Carol says:

    Suzanne, what color siding have you selected? Will you add shutters? We need to replace our roof, hope it lasts another winter. Your flowers are lovely!

    • Suzanne says:

      White siding. All the buildings here are green roof with white siding. We’re Suzanne and Harland of Green Gables Roof.

  11. Jeanne says:

    Wow, that’s quite the project! I hope it all goes well, and that your flowers survive!!

  12. Lynda M O says:

    Hang in there, Sunshine, it’ll be over before we know it and the pics will be the only memory of the dusty noisy week of ickiness.

    As for the trampling of the flowers-perhaps if you recall Michael Valentine Smith and Grokking it can be put into that frame of reference and the flowers grok that they are part of the larger vista.

    Remodeling is such a bittersweet time.

  13. Lorraine says:

    A little stomping on the plant won’t hurt it. Mulch them over in the fall and they should come back in the spring…

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