The siding contractors have finished installing the first of three siding materials on the house - charred cedar. This type of siding originates from an old Japanese technique called shou sugi ban. Traditionally, planks of wood are set on fire and allowed to burn for a few minutes before being extinguished. This creates a dark layer of carbon on the surface of the wood that serves as a natural layer of protection. The benefit of this technique over staining is that it is low-maintenance and will not fade over time.
A truly authentic application of this technique would have leave the wood planks with deep veins, which I didn't want in a modern application. The contractors instead used a blow torch to burn the surface, rinsed and scrubbed the planks, and repeated the process three times to achieve an even tone in the wood without over-burning it.
|Blow-torching cedar siding. That looks like fun! (he had a big smile while he was doing this)|
|Rinse, scrub, and repeat|
|Front of the house in full sunlight|
|Back of the house|
|Western side of the house|