So my building season has ended. The outside, barring a few details, is finished.
The last article ended with me getting ready for the roof. They do wood roofs quite differently here than in the USA. My roof is a blend of the two systems. The only problem encountered was to make the person installing the shingles understand American methods, which I preferred for aesthetic, and other, reasons.
Still, in some details I deemed the local wisdom to be better than the American approach – doing things as quickly as possible- and although language was a barrier we still ended up producing a wood roof which I consider to have the best of both country’s methods incorporated.
As an example, where in the USA such a small roof would be completed in one day. This person and his helper worked a full seven days on the roof and as much time splitting the shakes. He seemed to care where every shingle was placed. The roof is made of Aspen, a tree similar to the American variety in leaf, although the bark is darker. It is a traditional roofing material here. I am not completely convinced that its lifespan will be equivalent to Western Red Cedar. We shall see. They tell me that such roofs can easily last 35 years which will certainly be long enough for me!
As the roofer was progressing I began the task of siding. This began with a layer of 2 in. extruded polystyrene insulation set between 2×2 furring strips. This was followed by a layer of wind/moisture barrier and then additional furring strips to create an air-space behind the siding. Lithuania is a wet climate. Taking extra steps to keep things dry is essential. Taking extra steps to keep things warm is also essential.
I also installed the columns out front. Solid 8x8s freshly milled from logs, so I had to be quick to get them painted (stained) on all sides and in position to limit splitting and twisting.
I was pleased with the way the columns connected to the bases. I like things clean and simple.
Next came the siding itself. Red Pine is the only wood used in this house. In the USA it is called “Scotch Pine.” Here there are great forests of Red Pine, and they can be very beautiful. The forest floor is covered with blueberries and mushrooms in season. You might think that such forests are too beautiful to be cut, but they take very good care of their forests here. Forests are sacred to the people, and the economy of this nation. They have all been cut many times in the span of civilization of this part of the world.
A Red Pine forest.
The Siding goes on.
After an extensive search I found a company here representing a German paint manufacturer, who had the stain quality, and color quality I was looking for. Red Pine is not a wood which can stand outside on its own, and a deep penetration stain of the highest quality was necessary. You can see the fascia and posts already stained, prior to applying surrounding materials. I am essentially lazy. I know how much work it saves to apply paints and stains at the right time. The sooner wood is protected from the sun, the better.
One day I got in the mood to build the front door. Notice the strange keys…
The front door minus glass, with one coat of stain.
At this point the summer was coming to an end, indeed it was already fall, and I was almost ready to stop for the year. Still, I needed shutters and windows…and I had some time for some fun…
And finally the windows arrived…and everything was far enough for this year.
In April…back to work.