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Mitered corners with cedar siding

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  • Mitered corners with cedar siding

    I am starting a house in which beveled cedar siding (horizontal, no rabbets) will be installed. I want part of the house to have mitered outcorners, but I am having a hard time finding a good detail for installation. The supplier says, per the manufacturer, I can apply a bead of caulk to one side first. The installer hasn't done this before, just butted to a corner board. I have been looking around, and I really don't see any houses with mitered outcorners. Is there a reason for this? Has anybody done this type of installation before? Can anyone point me to a good installation detail? The house will be 2x4 walls, 1/2" sheathing, and housewrap.

    Thanks for any help.

    Bill Frommel

  • #2
    Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

    It seems to me I have seen this detail done in the past, however as a butt lap, not a miter. I would think that a miter is more trouble than it is worth.

    A miter would introduce a full height vertical opening in the siding, as it seems unlikely that it would remain closed after repeated wetting and drying cycles.

    A good installation detail would be to use a corner board, preferably with a rabbet to tuck the siding endgrain inside

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

      I've done them- I install the corners first, and make them a hair long on both sides so they're floating a little. I don't use caulk, I glue them together and use a brad nailer with short stainless brads; even if (when) the glue fails to hold the pieces together, it will seal the ends well, and is less obnoxious than paint.

      For cutting I prefer to make a jig to hold the piece at the right angle. The upside-down thing never worked for me...
      http://www.lavrans.com

      "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

        I have been mitering cedar and redwood siding all my life, we call corner boards "Hick Boards" or "Hack Boards" after carpenters who can't miter. Here is a picture or a mitered corner on a home I built 30 years earlier, I took it when we came back to replace the old aluminum single pane windows with triple pane. The siding pictured is 10" resawn beveled redwood siding, beveled siding takes more skill since the miters are cut on compound angles, just mitering square boards is easier.

        I do see some problems with your proposed installation, on the house pictured the diaphragm sheathing was placed on the interior of the walls in the home, you never want to put wood siding over wood sheathing because water can get trapped between the siding and the sheathing, there is also #15 asphalt felt over the studs, not plastic housewrap that can trap water. I also never use caulking or sealant because it too can trap water. The siding shown in that picture came from a truck and trailer load that I bought direct from Pacific Mill up on the Humboldt Coast (until the Hippies shut it down), it sided three homes for me, 4,000, 5,000 and 7,000 square feet, including wood and machine shops along with a pump house on the 7,000 foot house.
        "The only communists left in the world are in American Universities."

        --Mikhail Gorbachev

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

          Originally posted by Dick Seibert View Post
          ...load that I bought direct from Pacific Mill up on the Humboldt Coast (until the Hippies shut it down)...
          Not only did you give up reading books, but your own linked materials. The hardest part of doing the mitered corners now is getting the quality material after you old farqs chopped it all down.
          Donald on the basis of his net worth valuation-

          "...feelings, even my own feelings, and that can change rapidly day to day"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

            Originally posted by Mark
            The hardest part of doing the mitered corners now is getting the quality material after you old farqs chopped it all down.
            As a matter of fact there are areas of California overgrown with redwoods, an attorney friend went to prison for tax evasion, he was assigned to a fire camp keeping the records for the prisoners stationed there to fight fires. He wrote me a letter telling me that the redwood forests were getting so overgrown that they presented a fire hazard, that when when he got out we should set up a saw mill in that beautiful country.

            One of the mantras of the Greenies is "sustainability", wouldn't it be better to build our homes out of good material that will last virtually forever rather than these cheap sealed-up toxic boxes that rot out every couple of decades? The way it's going we will have to continually build disposable homes, tear them down and build new ones filling up the landfills and oceans with the crap from our disposable homes. If we could control the population at some point we wouldn't need new homes to consume even more forest products.

            It's "terrorists" like Julia Butterfly Hill who are destroying this country, not "old 'farqs' like me" who have built homes to last.
            "The only communists left in the world are in American Universities."

            --Mikhail Gorbachev

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

              Regardless of the politics, Dick brings up a good point.

              If you can devise a rainscreen system for your install, so the siding isn't laid directly over the sheathing and paper, you will get less movement in the siding and less rot. Prime all sides and you're a little more stable.

              OK- priming all sides; here's my take. Upon reflection, I think I look at it like veneer. You never veneer just one side because you wind up with an unbalanced board, and it will cup to the veneered side. Priming won't stop the board from taking up moisture, but will slow it down. It will still release moisture, too. There will be more paint on the exterior side, but that side also has more moisture falling directly on it. It sort of balances out. That's what's going on inside my head, at least.

              Anyway. Space the siding off the sheathing & WRB. I've never used anything but tapered clapboards when installing wood. Take the time to make a good jig to cut the miter.
              http://www.lavrans.com

              "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

                Lavrans:

                Why go though all the efforts to properly flash a rain-screen? Sheathing does nothing but brace the building and seal walls up stopping the breathing (or air-flow for those who don't like the word "breathe"). There are many ways to brace a building other than sheathing.

                I know a lot of people talk here about pre-priming siding, I've always known that it's a good idea but hated bringing my painters in to create a sticky mess for my carpenters, in fact they have to hang around to prime the ends as the carpenters cut. I have only used pre-primed siding twice in my life, both times my owners read about it in DIY books and I refused to do it, both of them took off work and did it themselves, but we then had to put up with owners hanging around and get paint all over our hands. I've never had any problems and I have siding in perfect shape for almost 60 years now. The secret of siding is to buy the best you can find, you have to pay more but it's worth it if it lasts longer. I think more people get in trouble using high moisture content siding and then sealing the moisture in with paint, if air can get to both the back and the face of the siding, if's good material, and it's installed at about the same moisture content as the ambient air, it should last indefinitely. I've opened up Victorians with redwood well over 100 years old, so old it had square nails, there was no paint on the backs or butt joints of the boards and it's in perfect shape.
                "The only communists left in the world are in American Universities."

                --Mikhail Gorbachev

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

                  Originally posted by Dick Seibert View Post
                  As a matter of fact there are areas of California overgrown with redwoods, an attorney friend went to prison for tax evasion, he was assigned to a fire camp keeping the records for the prisoners stationed there to fight fires. He wrote me a letter telling me that the redwood forests were getting so overgrown that they presented a fire hazard, that when when he got out we should set up a saw mill in that beautiful country.
                  So we are to place a lawyer "friend", a tax evading one at that, on a silvicultural pedestal? Go back and read the link you yourself provided. Perhaps we should shoot the rest of the First Nationers, too, just because...
                  {from Dick's linky}
                  ...where redwood forests have sustained people for thousands of years.
                  ...it wasn't until the mid-1800's that European settlers realized the potential value
                  ...seemingly unlimited supply of redwood
                  ...were able to cut the massive redwood logs that stood for up to a thousand years before being felled by loggers.
                  ...In the 1920's, Pacific Lumber pioneered sustainable forestry practices. It never cut more lumber than it could replant. For generations, this practice kept the company's mills buzzing, employee jobs secure and profits steady.
                  Even a crafty barrister can, or should be able to do simple math. Min maturity age for coast RW is over 600 years, sierra is a goodly bit slower growing.

                  Hey, but on the bright side we do agree on no caulk and that quality material makes for better and longer lived finished results. One also needs to once again factor in that not all of us live in such a tame climate zone as you.
                  Donald on the basis of his net worth valuation-

                  "...feelings, even my own feelings, and that can change rapidly day to day"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

                    Originally posted by Dick Seibert View Post
                    Lavrans:

                    Why go though all the efforts to properly flash a rain-screen? Sheathing does nothing but brace the building and seal walls up stopping the breathing (or air-flow for those who don't like the word "breathe"). There are many ways to brace a building other than sheathing.
                    That's a point- but the OP note that it's 2x4 with plywood and will have felt. I'm assuming that, if it's a house, it's already built because I don't think there's anywhere (where codes are in effect) where you can build a 2x4 exterior wall anymore.

                    So, if the plywood is already on there, strapping the walls to keep the siding from sitting up against the ply/felt is probably a good idea, right? I'd say it'd be faster to do that than to pull the sheathing and cut braces in and fit steel moment frames in throughout the house.

                    I do agree about not needing as much, and that you don't have to have sheathing behind the siding, unless you've got insulation behind the siding. Then you're going to have a water trap- something those 100 year old Victorians didn't have. So, again, it seems like the simple act of at least installing a shiplap sheathing, or just go ahead and install plywood (heck, you can cut slots in it if you want it to breath) and then your felt, then your strapping, then your siding.

                    I don't have a problem priming the cut ends of siding. I've already got the end-cut solution and paint brushes floating around for treating the cut ends of PT lumber & beams. So you get a little paint on your hands- it's not much. And it's a better product.

                    It's interesting- the 1920s mansion I've been working on does a mix of priming and not priming. It's Red Cedar siding, and that isn't primed or painted on the back, but all the window and door trim, column wraps, etc., are back primed. It's all CVG Fir trim, etc. Window sashes are Cedar.
                    http://www.lavrans.com

                    "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

                      Originally posted by Lavrans View Post
                      That's a point- but the OP note that it's 2x4 with plywood and will have felt. I'm assuming that, if it's a house, it's already built because I don't think there's anywhere (where codes are in effect) where you can build a 2x4 exterior wall anymore.

                      Lavrans,

                      We build 2x4 exterior walls here all the time with new work. Are you saying that where your from you can't? Or, am I reading your post wrong?
                      Joe Carola

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

                        Originally posted by Joe Carola View Post
                        Lavrans,

                        We build 2x4 exterior walls here all the time with new work. Are you saying that where your from you can't? Or, am I reading your post wrong?
                        Exterior walls over living space? We can't fit enough insulation in a 3 1/2" space to pass code requirements. I can't imagine that you could with your greater temperature swings.

                        You're right though, I should have pointed out over living space, and I don't really know if the OP was talking about a residence or just a structure.

                        Oh- and standard construction, assuming FG insulation in the walls, not exterior insulation, etc., etc.
                        http://www.lavrans.com

                        "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

                          Originally posted by Lavrans
                          So, if the plywood is already on there, strapping the walls to keep the siding from sitting up against the ply/felt is probably a good idea, right? I'd say it'd be faster to do that than to pull the sheathing and cut braces in and fit steel moment frames in throughout the house.
                          I agree, but because of the complexity of flashing rain screens everything around the fenestrations should be opened up and flashed like recessed windows,
                          Originally posted by Lavrans
                          t's interesting- the 1920s mansion I've been working on does a mix of priming and not priming. It's Red Cedar siding, and that isn't primed or painted on the back, but all the window and door trim, column wraps, etc., are back primed. It's all CVG Fir trim, etc. Window sashes are Cedar.
                          That is interesting, and it's jogging my memory, I can remember when we sided a home there were no painters around, but by the time we got to the trim the painters were there priming the home, I can remember them back priming as we did trim because the carpenters hated to touch the painted trim and I remember them grumbling about it and making me go get it from the horses on which the painters were painting it, I also remember them digging the white lead from the bottoms of their paint cans, putting it in tiny paint cans and giving it to us to put the white lead in our miters (we carved out the back of the miters with our linoleum knives). When working on these old mansions are you finding trim not back primed, yet finding white lead in the miters only? BTW, by the time I was contracting I tried not to have the painters anywhere near the carpenters, I hate painting and all those smelly chemicals, I once asked a painting foreman why all painters were drunks, he said ti was because of smelling the fumes all day. .
                          "The only communists left in the world are in American Universities."

                          --Mikhail Gorbachev

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

                            Originally posted by Lavrans View Post
                            Exterior walls over living space?
                            Yes, 2x4 walls over living space when framing additions and houses. No code issue at all.

                            Bottom line is that 2x4 walls are used for exterior walls over living space in certain places where there is no insulation code issue.
                            Joe Carola

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Mitered corners with cedar siding

                              some say priming the whole back may not be a good idea,maybe better off just priming the lower third of the backside ,give the siding a little ''breathability''

                              i dont think its a good idea to nail into the end grain
                              Tom

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