I’ve decided to break the siding down into two parts, mainly because the siding is split into two; lower half and upper half.

This post will cover the lower half of the house, from the ground, up to the belly band.

It seems that I can monitor my progress now based on the days between my blog posts, which tells me that I’ve completed the first section of siding in under two weeks!  Well, almost. I’ve got a few panels left, but I’m feeling inspired to write, so it’s got to happen while the iron is hot!!

I chose 10″ bevelled cedar siding for the lower half. The siding is overlapped by approximately 2″ so you actually see about 8″. I decided to use a combination of screws and nails to hold the boards up. I used 3″ stainless steel ‘trim-head’ screws. I used stainless so that they didn’t react with the treated rain-screen and ‘trim head’ so that they couldn’t be seen.

Using screws is way easier when working alone, I placed the board by measuring up from the bottom of the previous board, lined things up with a level, then screwed in one end, sliding myself along, screwing in the middle and then a third and final screw in the opposite end. I will go back and add nails to all the boards on each stud, but for now the nails are perfect to hold things in place. I just wanted to expedite the fitting to weather proof the house as quickly as possible.

When I went to pick up the order of siding, I was only given 8′ long boards. I was asked if they were going to work for me, to which i agreed, only to later understand the complications and considerations that need to be given to deciding on the right length boards.

Sizing the Boards

As I started measuring the boards to cut, I realised that in order to reduce the amount of waste, it’s a great idea to measure the sections of house where the boards are to go. This way you can determine what part of what boards match up in which areas.

So before I cut anything, I measured each section of house; between the windows, from the window to the back corner, between the corner and the door etc etc. I wrote these lengths down and then divided the lengths as efficiently as I could into 96″. I then numbered each section so that I knew how I was going to cut a board down and where each part of that board was going to go. It all worked out perfectly and the 8 foot boards were an excellent choice, easy to transport and handle for one person. The back wall of the house is exactly 8′, so for a few perfect boards, I didn’t even have to cut them!

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As I will not be painting the boards , I had to be a little picky when it came to the quality. I ended up returning 23 boards in total as they didn’t make the grade. This has left me only 6 boards short of completing things, so I’d actually over ordered anyway. Getting this refund was a nice surprise at this stage of the build, when the budget is getting tighter!

Once the new, better quality boards arrive, it shouldn’t take too long to finish the job.


I decided it was going to be better to install the penetrations first, rather than having to rip through my siding at a later date. This slowed things down a little as I hadn’t completely figured things out. I needed to take a detour into electrical for a few research sessions.

I was planning on an electrical outlet near the front door, but it was taking me too long to figure out, so decided to scrap that idea. I am actually way happier that I did. The only things I’ll be wanting to plug in outside is tools and so using the electrical service box on the trailer tongue will be perfect for this. It will also keep the integrity of the appearance of the house too, as those exterior outlets are pretty ugly and they also add width.

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After some kitchen design considerations, I have added an oven vent, yet I do still have to add a vent for the shower and the composting toilet. Depending on how quickly we can decide upon those design features will dictate if these penetrations come before or after the siding. I am hoping to get it figured out and for me to add some cedar mounting blocks onto the outside of the wall before siding around them.  I will them later and drill a hole right through to the inside once we’re ready to install the fixtures.


Caulking the boards can be a little messy, but with a bit of practice, they all started to look pretty neat. Make sure you go with a high quality caulk, one that is paintable or stainable, if you are choosing that route. I have used two different caulks so far and prefer how the ‘Geocel‘ applies and sets.

Once I have completed the lower section, it’s time to move into the upper half of the building. We have chosen to used cedar shingles for the dormers and the top of the gable ends. Before I can start the construction phase of this though, I must figure out the rain-screen and the window trim! This is going to be particularly fun for the octagonal window.

Wish me luck!