Go to How Not to Build an Addition Index! This page includes notes on sail area.


Windy days can make the one-person installation method untenable. Imagine climbing a ladder with arms spread wide, fingers gripping the sides of a ply-board, and nose as well as puffed cheek pressed against the board. Your feet clumsily search for each step on the precarious ladder. You push and manhandle the ply-board up four steps before a breeze catches the side of the board. It sets you airborne. You think you are one of the Wright brothers...for about 3 seconds. Suddenly you are tumbling in the grass with the plywood flying over your head. The result: a cut hand and three slivers in your nose.

The surface area of an object exposed to the wind is called sail area. The more sail area an object has, the greater the effect of wind on the object. I have always contended that a house has enough sail area to make a passable airplane. However, building a house aerodynamically would not be a good idea. I never found airplane seats comfortable, and I don't suppose I would want to have to search up and down the block for my house every time there was a wind storm.


There are many types of siding: brick, vinyl, aluminum, T-111, shingles, cedar...the list goes on...

Up to this point, the casual observer will never see the work you have done on the addition. Thus, the soundness of the foundation and the structure has been more important than appearance. However, we now begin to discuss parts of the project that will be on permanent public display. Remember, your addition is to be judged by a cursory glance from the road. It might be wise to take more care and consideration with regard to the appearance of your siding than you might have for framing or footing.

Next Page

Sheathing and Siding:
Secret Hanging Method
Subtle Hints
Sail Area
Up and Down

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Introduction | Decision Making | Design | Permits | Buying Materials | Demolition | Digging | Masonry | Framing | Electricity | Plumbing | Inspections | Roofing | Sheathing / Siding | Soffits | Insurance | Insulation | Fat Fireman Rule | Drywall | Finish Carpentry | Tile | Painting | Carpet | Done

About the Author:
W.J. Rayment built an addition on his house, and in the course of the project learned from his many mistakes. This on-line compendium is his effort to help you learn from his experience. The advice and stories are often humorous, sometimes silly, but always informative. for yourself or as a gift for family or friends.

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