Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Siding Part 3 - Corten Steel

House update: As of March 4th, I have my certificate of occupancy! I'm mostly moved in, but the blog is still not caught up. Not surprisingly, it's been a bit busy as of late... 

The second material to be installed on the exterior of the house was 14-gauge hardened weathering steel (or Corten). This is a type of steel that is designed to rust. With this particular steel alloy, the layer of corrosion on the surface protects the metal underneath, so the steel won't rust all the way through. As with the cedar siding, the intent is for this siding to be zero-maintenance. I should never need to do any painting other than the occasional rinse to keep it looking good.

Corten steel siding starting to rust on the house
The application of this siding was relatively simple, but the subcontrator had a very difficult time installing it. Each sheet of steel was very heavy and they broke many saw blades cutting it all to shape. The sheets are screwed into the wall with stainless steel screws and a generous application of caulking. The seams between the sheets are protected with a wide piece of weather stripping and caulking. We had some pretty heavy rains over the last couple months and there hasn't even been a hint of water infiltration, so I feel pretty good about this application.

Raw corten steel sheets

corten steel siding against charred cedar

soffit above the master bedroom sliders

steel siding on the deck

steel siding on the deck
I'm really happy with how it turned out. The steel makes the house look like it's been here for years already.


  1. Congrats on moving in!! Your steel siding looks great. Did you act as your own main contractor? Hope to see more updates on the interior too. Cheers!

  2. Thanks! I used an independent GC for the build that was recommended to me. He stuck through it and made it work, but the whole project was definitely a bit over his head. That's probably for another blog post.

    Posts on the interior will be coming later. I'm still working on furnishings!

  3. Corten Question. Have you noticed any oil canning with the 14 gauge Corten Steel?

  4. I haven't seen any! I think it's too thick to exhibit that effect.