Beach House Exterior – Starting the Garage

Earlier this year I pulled out the double garage door, put in a single one, and also added a large window. I’m converting half the garage to a studio / shop.

Now that I have all the shingles I’ll ever need, I can start installing them.

image-2016-09-25-030I had already flashed and trimmed the window and garage door, but I needed to put on new  corner boards. The old ones were just nailed on  and not caulked well, so I assumed there would be problems underneath. I was right.

The bottom edge of the plywood on the front had image-2016-09-25-032some rot, as well as carpenter ants. I was able to pull away a few inches of rotted wood with my hand, up about two feet. The rest didn’t look very pretty, but it was solid, so I left it.

I cut the plywood back to the vertical slot and put a new piece in, using stainless steel screws. I treated all the edges, plus the entire corner, with end-cut solution for pressure treated lumber. I may or may not need to do this step, but it definitely can’t hurt – and it also kills the ants.

image-2016-09-25-034Once the end-cut solution dried (10 minutes), I taped up the corner with self-stick flashing tape. This is to keep water away from the edges in the future. The face of a piece of plywood is fairly robust and rot resistant – and the edges are not. They suck up water like a sponge.

I taped the seams from the replacement plywood piece I put in, which is not so much to stop water, but air. The T-1-11 siding is tongue and grove, which should stop air flow pretty well, so I didn’t do it all over the siding.

I put 15# felt on the plywood and around the corner. I put some rip-proof material (Tiger Paw) on the edge around the corner. The side of the garage is probably going to be exposed for number of months, and this can stand up to high winds and UV.

The corner now has a double layer of protection against moisture, and shouldn’t fail over the years. Since the wet salt air comes from the southwest, this corner takes the beating on the garage.

I cut the corner boards and put some plastic spacers on the backside. This will give an 1/8″ air space to help with drying. The plastic is lawn edging that I ripped in half. I bought twenty 25′ rolls at the Restore for $1 each.

I screwed the corner board in place, then caulked it (shown here) and added the other one. I’ve been using BASF elastometric caulk on the house – it’s expensive but does a great job.


The plastic strapping goes on every 5″ to match the shingle exposure. I had to set the layout so the shingle nails would go through it.

This detailing is a lot of extra work, but I think well worth it. The spacing behind the shingles gives them a chance to dry out. The 1/4″ gaps between the shingles allow for a lot of ventilation, so the solid straps are fine.

Tool Showcase

Ryobi 18V Caulking Gun


This is a great tool for working with exterior caulks. It allows for even application, and saves my hand from cramping up. It cost $40, and if this one broke, I’d go buy another right away.

Lessons Learned So Far

Here is the progress after about 8 hours of work. I needed to stop, button it up and head back home. The strapping will hold the felt paper on, as the wind always blows from the ocean side on the left.


I like doing a small, contained section like this so I can test my methods and decide on any changes I want to make before attacking the larger project.

I won’t use the plastic green strapping after this. It’s very hard to safely cut on the table saw and chop saw. It grabs and jumps a lot since it’s so flexible. Also, it’s 1/8″ thick – and I decided I want a 1/4″ – 3/8″ width to ensure good air space even if the paper bubbles up a bit. Is it a problem here? I don’t think so, but I want to change it. I need to decide what I’ll use for battens on the rest of this.

I was not planning on putting shingles over the window this weekend, so I didn’t put the aluminum drip cap on the top trim. Not smart – it needs to go under the felt paper and strapping. It’s only 5 minutes to fix it, but it was a silly mistake.

Hand nailing the singles wasn’t bad. I’m using 4d stainless ring-shank nails, per the manufacturer’s specs. I tried using a mini palm nailer, but it tended to over-drive the nails, and driving them in is easy. It would be lot easier to use gun driven staples, but I think that’s a bad idea. I looked at some poor shingle jobs in the area, and I noticed staples were used. I think since they aren’t ring-shank, they pull out a bit due to high winds and heating / cooling.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s