Assess the condition of the wall, as well as the assembly components
Protect the rim joist assembly and foundation below with a WRB
CREATE AIR BARRIER
Create an exterior air barrier to be sealed to the foundation wall and (at minimum) the subfloor (ideally the bottom plate of the stud wall). We will continue the air barrier on the interior wall and seal it to the bottom plate and subfloor
REPAIR & REPLACE CLADDING AND WATERTABLE
Repair and replace the siding where required, and recreate the water table detail at the base of the siding, (this was removed during the flood but can be seen in older photographs)
FINISH FOUNDATION WALL
Finish the exterior foundation wall with parging
Recladding with Cedar Siding
Although we have tried to preserve all siding we took off, some of it was damaged (or was badly split even before removal) and will need replacing. The rear elevation that was removed will also need new siding so we placed the order together. We brought in a sample piece, but it seems lapped cedar siding is still the same dimensions as it was 100 years ago, so nothing custom required!
All siding was primed using an oil based primer – this was recommended to us since newer cedar will release some oils. The backs got two coats of primer, and the fronts a coat of primer and a base coat of cream coloured paint.
We drilled pilot holes into the boards before nailing. We used the jig here again to avoid denting it with our less than perfect hammer swings. We also found it helpful to only nail it in loosely until the course below it was in place.
Building the Watertable Detail
The water table detail definitely took some work! This is a fairly common detail in early 1900s homes so we were able to read up on it before getting started. The most common angles appear to be 10 or 15 degrees, we opted for 15.
We started off with 1x6s of Hemlock – this wood, though expensive, was chosen for it’s lack of knots and made for a very smooth finish. These were ripped on a 15 degree angle and used as the top piece. For the bottom we used regular SFP 1x6s, with a 15 degree angle cut from the top.
The next step was cutting a 45 degree angle vertically on all the pieces so that the seam would be minimized. In retrospect, if doing it again I would probably cut the 45s in the same direction, but we wanted the cuts on the side to be ‘pointing’ backwards so that from the front, any seams would be minimized. This meant that once the 45s were cut, they officially had a side of the building (no longer interchangeable). We also staggered the seams between the top and bottom pieces by about 4-6 inches.
We laid them out multiple times and each piece was primed and painted and its position written on the side. The corners were particularly tricky – the bottom piece was chamfered at a 45, but the top piece needed to be chamfered at a 45, front to back, as well as 15 degree angle, top to bottom. It seems simple written down, but took all our combined math skills! These pieces, once cut, only fit in their particular spot.
We assembled them on site. We started with one corner and then used the previous piece, once on the wall, to copy the exact staggered length to the next piece. We drilled countersunk pilot holes on each end and in the middle, pushing the bottom piece as required to straighten it out for a flush back. We then removed the the top piece, glued the top, and reattached it, this time with screws at approximately 12” OC. We caulked and painted the holes afterwards, drilled countersunk pilot holes in the bottom piece, and attached it to our rim joist. (These screw holes will also be caulked and painted but we will wait until the front and rear elevation pieces are in place to do this.)
The North West corner is the only area where the rim joist is set back on the foundation, so we furred this out so the drip edge and trim would not be sunk back behind the parging below.
The end result was not perfect, given the uneven surface behind it, but all in all, it was pretty good!
Parging the Foundation Wall
One exemption to the usual rules for historically protected buildings is the new foundation. Not only is it on a new foundation several feet west from it’s original location, the foundation was also brought up higher above grade to comply with rules for buildings in a flood fringe. Originally this building was just barely above grade.
Sharland House during move. Note: Not Block’s photo, will credit if we can find out who took it!
(Above, Sharland House at lower elevation prior to the flood)
There was also cement board mechanically attached to the foundation. We aren’t sure exactly what the intentions with this were, but we are guessing it was to protect the damproofing. Aesthetically, keeping the cement board was not an option. We decided the most neutral and practical option would be to parge over or around it. We had already broken off pieces when attaching the VP160 and our goal was to put stucco mesh underneath the remainder, nail it to the ladder sill and rim board above, and parge over the assembly.
Where this worked it worked great, it helped keep the stucco mesh in place (stucco on its own would not adhere to the dampproofing). Unfortunately, there were lots of bolts, and for the most part, we were unable to do this as it was very tightly fitted lower down. However, we took each section as it came and in the end, it seemed to work. We trenched down about 8” to give us more flexibility in future landscaping.
We are waiting for the other elevations to do the second and final coats as we don’t want a seam at the corners.
That’s it for now for the exterior floor assembly! We expect the asbestos abatement to be complete soon at which point we will be able to tackle the north and south elevations in a similar way.