Hanging the metal siding

We attached the sheet metal siding to the west and north walls today.

These 29 gauge 36 inch wide panels are commonly used in budget roofing situations but can also be used horizontally or vertically as siding. Metal has a clean, architectural look and is probably as close as you can get to a perfect siding material for a tiny house. It’s lightweight, inexpensive and lasts a really long time. Mixed metal and wood is really common these days for good reason, you get an average cost that is much less painful to swallow then going with all wood, an average embodied energy that might be a little bit easier on the planet, and interestingly a contrast that seems to make each material more attractive then either would be alone.

Like anything that we haven’t done before there was a bit of a learning curve handling and installing the material but for the most part it really is pretty easy stuff to deal with. The hardest part was just making a perfect pattern for the wheel well and cutting it out. Metal can be cut with tin snips without needing to be painted afterwards but if you’re going to cut it with an abrasive tool like the die grinder that I used you do have to paint the surface otherwise it will rust quickly. I’m not sure that using a cut off wheel is the smartest way to cut sheet metal given the possibility for the tool to catch and kick, but I’m crap with tin snips and surgical with a die grinder so I decided to go that route.

We pulled our heights from the trailer as opposed to using a level. The metal is fastened on each rain screen batten with surprisingly beefy screws. The metal is cut about a half inch shorter than the space it needs to fit to allow for a little bit of expansion and C metal wraps around the edges for a nice finished look. One incredible stroke of luck is that our window ended up being at the perfect height for the 1st sheet edge to tuck right under the window trim! We couldn’t plan that if we tried but I’m definitely taking a note of the exact measurements so I can replicate it in the future.

– Brian

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