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Old 08-24-2008, 10:55 PM   #1
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Challenging Siding Solution Needed


My garage side wall sits 1 inch away from a patio slab which is higher than the garage slab. Due to water damage and carpenter ants, I replaced the sole plate and studs.

I need help solving for the type of siding material to replace. There's many products like cement/fiber, vinyl and aluminum. Originally, it had cedar shakes which held up for many years. What can handle the water off the patio?

The bigger trick is water-proofing the high slab at the wall edge. That gap has to be caulked or perhaps 90 degree metal flashing installed to prevent water from running down to the garage slab level? Next, the inner void gap (next to the sole plate) should be sealed. I've considered water proof, expansion foam.

All suggestions are helpful, I'm at a stand still!
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:18 PM   #2
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Challenging Siding Solution Needed


Jeez that's a tough one. Whatever you do, it won't be "right" and it won't meet code. That being said...Let's find some options.

First, I'm concerned about the structural integrity of the wall. In order to be a strong diaphragm, the wall sheathing MUST be nailed to the bottom plate of the wall at 6" oc. Since your bottom plate is kind of buried, I'd suggest installing metal wind bracing straps on the interior side at 45* angles (forming a "V" or and "A shape) from top plate to bottom plate. Simpson (www.strongtie.com) makes roll strapping and wind brace straps that would do the job. Especially since this is a garage, making those walls wind-resistant diaphragms is incredibly important in most homes.

Ideally, you would have poured a 12" tall x 8" wide concrete stemwall to elevate the bottom plate above the level of the slab. This would have been pretty easy to do and would have solved all of your problems. If you're not too far along, I would strongly consider doing it. You'd be saving money in the long run, and the wall itself wouldn't be all that expensive. Definately a DIY job for you...You can frame a wall...You can pour concrete and install rebar and anchor bolts!

Where you're at now, the best thing you can do (other than pouring a short stemwall) is properly seal the bottom plate and install some corrosion-resistant flashing against the wall and bent along from the slab before installing siding. Definately install building felt or Grace ice and water shield against the wall sheathing overlapping the flashing.

Use a bug and weather resistant siding like Cedar. Backprime the lower courses with good oil based primer on all surfaces before installing.

Any chance you could cut a foot or two of the slab off and create a gravel bed instead? A concrete saw would make quick work of it. That might buy you a couple inches, plus the pervious surface would help.

Splashback from rainstorms, snow drifting, ice damming, bugs, and runoff will destroy this installation again...No matter how much caulking and sealing you do.

The code requires 6" from grade or slabs to the lowest edge of the siding, FYI.

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Old 08-25-2008, 12:22 AM   #3
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Challenging Siding Solution Needed


That was an amazing response! Thanks, very pro.

This free standing structure (1930) didn't include wind braces originally but it sounds important. You recommend straps every 6"? That sounds like a lot! Washington state - not really tornado country.

The stemwall sounds interesting. Could I use some thin form material (1/4" plywood) next to the studs/plate? I could pour down next to the studs and fill the gap, making a barrier curb. Saw cutting and busting out 2 feet of the 4" slab would be brutal for me and the neighbors, ha! neighbors... right. Not eliminated, just concerned it's a major job.

Could be cedar and the flashing plan still. Cedar chosen over man-made materials? Wow, missed that one. Should I attempt sealing the flashing on the concrete side? I'm thinking a gutter on the roof edge will help run-off.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:52 AM   #4
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Nope, don't need straps every 6". You'd really only need about four straps, which would make a GIANT "W" configuration on the wall. Not so much a tornado thing, but more of a general wind thing. Without sheathing plate to plate (or x-braces), a stud wall is like a house of cards.

Not sure that you could pour next to the wall...Not sure that I follow your idea either. The stemwall would have to be poured in one piece. Two separate adjacent pours would weaken it. It could be formed with a 2x12 on the garage side and a slightly narrower 2x on the exterior side. Using 2x's over/perpindicular to the forms on edge, you could even temporarily support the wall to the forms if you needed to.

No siding material is going to hold up for you in this application, no matter how much flashing and sealing you do. Fiber cement siding will not deteriorate, but will wick moisture just like wood, and it would conceal rot/damage inside the wall.

Cutting the slab isn't really a daunting task. A rented concrete saw would make it fairly easy. The hardest part is dealing with the removed chunks of concrete...Got a hole in the yard you need to fill in?

Please consider pouring that stemwall if you intend to keep this house!
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:04 PM   #5
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Challenging Siding Solution Needed


Okay, I get it now. "6" OC" is a nailing pattern on the siding to the plate, not brace spacing - duh. You were clear, I thought lots-o-braces was some work around.

Now the pony wall scares me. I had an idea to form a "splash wall" next to the installed plate/studs where the siding would only touch the walls' top. This cheesy approach avoids a complete redo. Bracing the structure, chopping the studs, resetting the plate, jacking, anchoring ... aaaaah! I just did that!

I am liking the saw-cut. Got a bid for $250 for a two foot chop and breaking up the strip into manageable pieces. The walk-behind saw rental was $95. Not a bad price for the dude with the toys. I think I can chuck hunks over the fence when the neighbor's not home
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