THE QUEST FOR CONFORMITY
One of the biggest controversies in the study of sociology is over the question of conformity. Some have said that individuality and diversity make a society strong. Others believe that too much diversity is a threat to the state.
When it comes to siding, I consider myself a fascist, communist, totalitarian, tyrannical despot-dictator or worse. I insist...no, I demand that the siding on the addition conform strictly to that already in place on the rest of the house. (The money factor and an error in judgment led me to be more libertarian with the shingles on the roof.)
The existing part of my house has beveled cedar 10-inch horizontal siding. To get the addition to conform with this ancient siding (to extend my sociological metaphor) was like trying to get a hip-hop rap artist to conform to Victorian English standards. The difficulty was not with the addition or the rap artist, but in the fact that Victorian England isn't around anymore.
I called five lumber yards before I decided that I might never find the siding. I considered refacing the entire front side of the house. I considered using two different types of siding. I considered placing a bomb under the project and building a whole new house with the insurance money. I even looked into having the siding milled.
Before I embarked upon one of these dramatic courses of action, I decided to call some of the smaller lumber yards in town. To my amazement, one of them had the desired siding. The salesman told me they had only a few boards. Those same boards had been in stock since 1967 and no one else carried them because no one used 10-inch beveled siding anymore. I bought all they had. To make up the difference in what I needed, I resorted to the siding I had taken off the house where the addition was to be connected.
The old siding had about ten layers of paint and had been lying in a pile in my back yard for a year. Fortunately, cedar is highly resistant to weather and rot. After spraying them with a hose, scraping old paint and cutting off splintered wood, I set to work.