Fancy Stuff & Finishing Up

Before you get near the top of your windows, door and walls, you’ve got a couple of things to think about. The first has to do with flashing. The best window and door installations include an L-shaped metal layer installed behind the shingles and arranged to shed water over the top of window and door frames. To learn more about how to install flashing, check out the next video.

VIDEO: Window & Door Flashing

Eventually you’ll need to set up scaffolding to continue working safely and productively. You’ll also have to start shingling around the eaves and working around protruding rafter ends. Finally, as you work on the gable walls, you’ll need to start cutting your outer shingles at 45º to match the underside of your roof. In practice this is simpler than it sounds, especially since you’ll have gained lots of experience by the time you get to these challenges.

Before you tackle any of these things, make a decision about whether or not you’ll be installing fancy shingles up in the peak. This feature is an age-old tradition, and it adds a lot of beauty for little extra effort. The approach we followed involved a pattern of pointed and rounded shingles, as you see here. For details on how to make these special shingles, watch the video that’s up next.

VIDEO: Making Fancy Cedar Shingles

TECH TIP: Better Than Weathered

Leaving shingles to weather naturally is the least labor-intensive option, but there’s a problem. Weathering won’t happen up near the eaves, and it will happen quite a lot near the ground. Black splotches of mold are likely to set in too, and this can sometimes make for a ragged, disheveled look. That’s why we applied a one-time, non-toxic, waterbased product to our shingles. Over the course of a few days it creates an even, weathered appearance that’s much nicer than regular weathering. The product is called Eco Wood Treatment ( and it goes on best with a pump up weed sprayer.

Cedar shingle siding isn’t for everyone. Compared with modern methods of synthetic siding, it’s slower, more troublesome and finicky. But if you’re someone who cares about lasting, natural beauty and you want to leave a legacy of craftsmanship behind in your cabin, you might agree that the time and effort put in to creating beautiful, classic and durable good looks is a pretty good trade.


All exterior siding is in place and you’ve got a weatherproof exterior on your cabin. The long inner porch beam is now in place too, the one that sits close to the wall.