Saturday, 4 February 2017

Cladding the bungalow workshop

Rain stopped play on the bungalow for a few days.
That and a bad back.

It's done nothing but rain for about a week now. And when it didn't rain, it was cold and damp and drizzly. And sometimes freezing and foggy. Which basically means our OSB3 panels need time to dry out (or, at least, for the surface water to dry off them) because we don't want to go trapping a layer of moisture between the OSB3 walls and our outer-skin plastic layer. And just when it stopped raining, and the sun made even the briefest of appearances to help dry the wood, my back went twang and all building work had to stop anyway.

Normally I'm not one for uPVC. I don't really like the harsh, white look and the slightly-nasty, feels-a-bit-flimsy, plastic-y feel. But since moving into a house with uPVC double-glazing everywhere, one can't help but agree that it's good at the job it's designed to do - it keeps draughts out and generally helps keep the place nice and warm.

And given that I'd already bought and fitted uPVC windows and doors for the bungalow, and I was looking for long-term maintenance-free cladding, I decided that maybe instead of shunning white plastic, I should fully embrace it instead. So I clad the bungalow in white uPVC panels.

The hollow white uPVC cladding comes in tongue-and-groove fitting, is water-tight, light-weight and - according to the vendor - the hollow sections can help improve/increase insulation! I don't know anyone convinced by the last claim, but it's quite popular on all kinds of buildings.

We got hold of some 2.5m lengths, which are 300mm wide. We're fitting them vertically (most people fit them horizontally, but I don't want the bungalow to look like a big white beach hut - even if that is essentially what it is!). All but one exterior wall will be clad with this stuff.

The wall on the partition between us and the neighbour's garden will be clad in wood, so that - from the neighbour's side at least - it fits in with the continuing span of wooden fence panels. So before cladding that wall in wood, we made sure it was completely water-tight.

Which meant fixing some 1200 DPM plastic along the entire wall - so should the cladding fail, even if it's in a good few years time, our OSB3 walls should still be safe from getting damp and/or rotting.

Wherever we had a sheet of board running close to the ground, we made sure it was protected by plastic. Then, over the OSB3, we stuck the uPVC panels on. At first, we were going to cover the entire board in plastic (as we did with the partition wall) but in the end decided that - because the uPVC is entirely water-tight - we'd be better off gluing and screwing the panels straight onto the boards. We used GripFill which has great grabbing qualities, and "hidden nails" to fix the panels (pinning each panel through the tongue, which is then hidden by the next overlapping grooved panel).

So we're pretty water-tight now.
The roof still needs some top felt, but that's as much about aesthetics as anything at this stage - with the plastic layer on at the minute, it's more than weatherproof; there are just a few scruffy edges to tidy up, and then ensure every join has a generous bead of silicon to keep the driving rain out, and it's time to get onto the fun stuff and move in!

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