Ok, so when did the calendar nearly pull June out from under me? With all the rain and cool weather, it's felt like a never-ending April/May around here. And we've been stagnating too.

But not this weekend. Sunday we began by finally installing the final ceiling fan in the upstairs office! (It's only been 2 or 3 years now...) Advertised as the "5-minute fan," we timed the entire process and found that it's more like the "half hour fan." But that's still great timing.

Then we had a serious siding discussion. As in, what else do we need to do to prepare for the job. I pointed out - hey - we're going to need to replace the front door. And hey - what about those screens for the french doors that we bought back over a year ago...

So Mike pulled the screens out from the garage attic. And wouldn't you know it, they were the wrong size... the screens we bought over a year and a half ago. But I still happened to have the receipt since we'd had warranty issues with the door when we first got it. (Keep all your receipts for warranty service on Jeld-wen doors. Makes it super easy.) Sure enough, we were able to return the old screen at Lowes and pick up the correct one lickedy split. (Although we didn't have time to install it.)

Then we measured our front door and looked through the Jeld-wen door catalog. Yes, they're steel doors. No, I'm not ashamed to admit that. Fiberglass is just way too expensive, and I'm totally happy with my Jeld-wen french doors. Plus, when my french doors were leaking and I invoked the 25 year warranty, Jeld-wen came and fixed them no questions asked and I've since had no problems whatsoever. And their designs are pretty cool - so who cares if they're steel or not.

I showed Mike the design I liked and he measured the rough opening for me and wrote it down in the catalog so I can take it to the deepHo and get a price. (They're all special order, of course.) But since I have absolutely no balance on my HD card (woo-hoo), I don't feel so bad about making one big purchase at no payments no interest for 6 mo's. I estimate it will probably be around $1,000 including all the hardware and such.

With the doors taken care of, the next order of business - the siding itself. Mike visted our neighbor Matt at Morse Lumber Monday morning to get a true price on the pre-primed cedar clapboards we had planned to use. But Matt said, "Why do you want to use cedar? We have a product called HardiePlank - it's pre-painted, less expensive, easy to install, has a wood grain finish, you never need to paint it, and it lasts forever."

Well, that's a no brainer. Mike came home and told me about it, and I got so excited that we both went back to Morse that afternoon and ordered enough for the entire house front. Total price - $1500. That worked out to $9 per 12' section of HardiePlank, or 75 cents per square foot. The product comes in a variety of colors, but Mike and I picked out a light grey.

Of course I think the grey is too grey, but I thought the white was too white and the off white was too yellow. And I didn't want to skew towards green or blue either. This means I'm going to have to repaint the garage, which is such a light grey, it's practically white. Oh well. I'm not too concerned about it, since the HardiePlank seems like such a great product. And I'm eager to get this siding show on the road too.

Our order will be in this week. (Eeeeeeee!) Although we won't be able to start work this weekend. (Father's Day and all.) Our friend Paul is going to help install the stuff starting the weekend after this. In trade, we're giving him a 4-wheeler. (Gotta love trade-offs) This is so exciting. Matt, who installed the product on his own house, said we'd probably be able to get the entire front done in a day - it's so easy to install. That's what I like to hear.

Now there's only one more thing to do to prepare - we need to stain the deck. Mike procured a power painter thing that we can use. I may even be able to do it myself! We just have to test it out and purchase some stain.

I'm so excited - we're moving forward at long last!