Monday May 2, Wednesday May 4 / Thursday May 5 / Friday May 6
Machining the weatherboards had been a major disappointment – we didn’t have nearly enough. The shortfall meant we only had enough boards to complete around half of the cladding. The west wall cops most of the weather, and we were still waiting on the windows to arrive for the bathroom, so we decided to use the weatherboards we had first, focusing on finishing the other two sides of the building.
One of the design ideas was for the cladding to reference the local fruit industry by resembling apple crates. The weatherboards are supposed to resemble a series of stacked ‘apple crates’ around the building (located beneath the windows). Each apple crate module is 4 boards high, and would typically come from the same tree. Although the structural grid of the building is 1200mm, the modules for the cladding aren’t always exactly even (around windows or on the corners). I sorted the boards into similar lengths and also timber species.
The weatherboards, like any lightweight cladding material, are battened off from the stud work to provide an air cavity for ventilation, improve thermal performance and increase durability. Behind each vertical join in the weatherboards we tacked a strip of damp course membrane to prevent water reaching the timber batten behind. The black strip of damp course will also act as a shadow line if the boards shrink end ways (we don’t expect them to) or are not fixed tight – with a slight gap.
We also oiled the ends of the boards before we put them up to prevent water getting into the end grain – this has been a strategy for all exposed timber. I would be happy for the timber to grey off and age gracefully but suspect at least one coat of oil will be needed to protect the timber from the elements, improve the durability and prolong the life of the cladding.
In order to receive an ‘Occupancy Certificate’ (this will be discussed in a later post) ALL of the cladding needed to be installed and bushfire construction requirements achieved (no gaps greater than 3mm).
I decided on a ‘temporary’ cladding solution for the remainder: to use Colorbond roof sheeting as cladding. Corrugated iron is a very common material for roofing but is also sometimes used as a wall cladding: it’s lightweight, quick and easy to install, and surprisingly cheap.
I gave my roof sheeting mate Tim a call and ordered the lengths I needed. Because it was only going to be a temporary cladding solution (less than 12 months) I ordered seconds in random colours, knowing we would install them ‘upside down’, or ‘back to front’ (the back of the sheets are all the same colour). Like previous ‘temporary’ solutions I was keen for it to work well but not look too good, for fear that it might remain as the finished article.
Another mate with a ute (mates with utes make the best mates) delivered the sheets, all cut to length. Having straight, square edges made for easier installation, without the hassle of cutting the sheets (they are steel). Just like the weatherboards, the Colorbond is also fixed on timber battens, but with flashings and trim needed at the corners to block the gaps from the corrugations.
The plan is to still mill the remaining logs, wait a few months for the boards to dry, before machining them and replacing the Colorbond cladding with timber weatherboards to complete the apple crate effect.
Costs: Weatherboards – $0; Colorbond – $283 (including cutting fee and fixings)
Disclaimer: Any advice contained within this blog is of a general nature only and cannot be relied upon. Details provided are in good faith and relate specifically to this project. Any author will not be held responsible for advice or information presented.