Week of September 11, 2007: Now we're really getting into all the prep work for the cedar siding. Alphonso does a mockup on the front of the house. It turns out to be quite labor intensive. As mentioned before, there are wood furring strips every 18"o.c. that line up with the metal studs that are behind the rigid insulation. In lieu of the wood furring strips every 6' o.c., there are stainless steel hat channels. These will line up with the punched opening windows. So a few things to keep in mind: All the furring strips, hat channels and wood siding need to be pre drilled. The screws attaching the wood furring strips also needed to be layed out so they don't interfere with the exposed screws holding the cedar siding. (I think we ordered 2000 stainless steel screws.) Jigs become your best friend and then you get as many people to help as you can. Papa (Alphonso's dad) is a never absent volunteer who brings Dunkin Donuts for Gianluca and Sandy. He keeps his conversations short while working and plows away whenever he stops by. He becomes invaluable as Alphonso's go-to guy for some hiccups along the way.
Meanwhile, the spray-in insulation is being installed in the exterior walls. Once all the exterior walls are filled, the contractor comes back with a huge scraper and slices off the excess so the insulation will be flush with the face of the metal studs.