It was still Thanksgiving weekend, a 6-day vacation for me, and the day after I framed the woodshop wall, I started sheathing it.
I used OSB plywood with an APA rating of 24/16 to sheath the external wall. As I added plywood sheathing, I didn’t completely cover the window or door openings, and used a router with a straight bit and guide bearing to cut out the windows and doors. That worked very well, and it also covered me with sawdust!
After the plywood wall was installed, I took the front edge of the Dow Sill Seal (I mentioned this in my last post), and folded it up – over the bottom edge of the plywood – and stapled it in place. The idea here is to keep splashed water from hitting the bottom of the plywood and wicking up into the plywood and causing rot to occur.
I then used two layers of weather barrier from Jumbo Tex on top of the plywood, and folded the edges over the window and door openings. The weather barrier also went completely down the wall, over the sill seal, to the ground.
And then I was ready to install the window.
Did you know it is possible to install a window upside-down? I had no idea that could be done! Learn from my mistake!
There is no “Up” or “Down” or “Install this side up” on the window, or on the window packaging. I looked hard for them! Finally I shrugged, and figured that it didn’t matter, and installed it. And then finished installing the fiber-cement siding on top – so that’s the way the window is going to stay now!
As a hint for you, OPEN the window. When open, you should be able to lift the window up and out of its track. If it is upside down, it will tend to FALL out of its track. I’ve added a strip of wood to the track so it won’t fall out when I open the window – but it is most definitely upside down, and if anyone asks me where my blunders are in this project, I will happily point this out!
So… when I installed the window, I next added the adhesive-backed, 6-inch wide aluminum flashing around the window. Water flowing down the wall will not go between the window and the weather barrier now… instead the flashing will divert the water around the window and down.
I also installed the aluminum flashing along the base of the new wall. The idea is for water and moisture to run down the wall, over the flashing, and to the pavement below.
After that was finished, I started installing the exterior siding.
When I first started this project, I wanted to make a stucco wall that blended into the existing stucco, making the whole thing look like it had always been there – like one unbroken wall. I quickly realized that stucco is a difficult project, and that people who do stucco well are artists of their profession! If you do stucco for a living then I’ve got to hand it to you. It looks very difficult!
But stucco works very well in direct sunlight in the Central Valley weather here in California. The summer conditions are brutal here. Plastic disintegrates, asphalt melts, wood warps and dry rots. It’s terrible. So instead of anything that just wouldn’t last, I chose fiber cement panel siding. This stuff is great! It’s basically concrete walls that you lift into place and screw to your underlying wall. It is hard, and impervious to the Sun. And yet you can still drill it, cut it, or even use a router bit on it!
Make sure you wear a mask or respirator when cutting fiber cement panels. Cutting the panels generates a lot of silica dust. If this dust gets in your lungs it is seriously bad news.
I cut panels to shape using a 4.5-inch grinder with a masonry blade attached to it, and I fit them to the door using a router and straight bit with guide bearing. There was a section over the eve of the door that didn’t get covered by a major panel, so I cut a piece to fit that gap.
The panels are held in place with standard interior / exterior wood screws.
To be continued…