Tree Rats Are Turning Me Into Joan Crawford

When our house was built in 1977, it was sided in a beautiful Western Cedar.  If it were not for all the animal and water damage, it would still be beautiful, alas, it is not.  It is their playground and they taunt me.

It has become apparent in our 9 months of living here, that our battle against the squirrels will never be over as long as the cedar is still on the house.   Indian chili pastes and sprays wash off and only last a short time.  I think they are probably developing a taste for the capsaicin buzz by now anyway.  As soon as we’ve patched up all the holes, they conspire in the woods and attack again….sometimes a new hole, sometimes right next to the old one….my personal favorite:  just pick the highest, most difficult to reach hole and eat right through the patch to the hardware cloth, then chew just far enough around it to access the old hole.  I have a metal plate in my hallway ceiling where one overzealous nester decided to try and chew through the sheetrock to greet new horizons.  Looking up and seeing that beady eye looking back at you is enough to send any sane homeowner into a frenzied, irrational tailspin.  As I frantically jab and scream at the hole in the ceiling with a coat hanger attached to an extension rod,  my children must wonder, “What’s happening to Mommy?”  Tree rats are turning me into Joan Crawford.  That’s what’s happening to Mommy.

There is no way we can DIY this one.  It would take years.  We just can’t lift panels that heavy, that high by ourselves and so we are at that place we hate to be….having to hire out labor.  I think T-111 will look cheap and present the same maintenance level.  We’ve had a quote for Hardie vertical panel (smooth with trim piece battens) and are awaiting the one for Galvalume (12 inch rib in 26 gauge).  As much as I love the look of the cedar, I just think the maintenance has already proved to be too much.  Our house backs up to a state natural area and the wildlife is plentiful.  We’d just prefer to admire the wildlife out the window as opposed to shaking our fists in the air like old farts every time we see a squirrel come near the house.

Our budget is, of course, the primary concern.  No Ipe rainscreens here.  We need an economical solution.

Front of House
Latest Breach
Siding Chewed
Siding Up Close
1977 Cedar Siding
Holes Before Patching