Working around pump jack braces
August 1, 2013 4:11 PM   Subscribe

I'm installing siding, but the scaffolding I'm using will be attached to the wall where the siding goes. How do I work around this?

I have a fairly high elevation near the peak of the roof (25+ feet), so I'm going to use steel pump jacks to provide a work platform. The pump jacks ride on wooden poles, which have to be attached to the side of the house by steel braces at intervals of not less than ten feet. (Manufacturer's product page for the braces. Installation instructions (PDF).) Each brace is attached to the house at two points.

The difficulty I'm having is to figure out how to do the siding installation with the braces attached. If I simply leave a hole (I should mention that I'm installing cedar shakes), I don't know how to go back and fill it in, because the shakes overlap and the nails need to be covered by the overlapping layer. They're nowhere near flexible enough to move out of the way.

Leaving a hole and a gap in the overlapping rows doesn't work, because each overlap is staggered. I'd end up with huge areas I'd need to finish with a ladder, which defeats the purpose of using the pump jacks.

The best thing I can think of is to remove the brace, and reinstall over the shakes, screwing through them into the stud. There are a couple of drawbacks to that. One is that I'll then have screw holes through my nice new shakes, which I'll have to patch. The other drawback is that the brace is designed with a set stand-off distance. If I re-attach a brace to shakes, that set stand-off means that lower braces will be further from the wall than upper braces by as much as 3-4 inches. That means the poles aren't vertical any more, although that may not be a show stopper.

I feel like this should be an obvious problem, but I'm just failing to come up with a solution which doesn't feel like I'm doing it wrong.
posted by Ickster to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've only used pump jacks once, and I wasn't the one that set them up, but we used metal poles for that, anchored to the roof (and that was definitely more than 10 feet). Is there a reason why you are using wood poles instead?

If you want to go with the bracing over the shakes method, maybe you could use a spacer the depth of the shakes when you do the initial install, then take the spacer off when you reinstall over the shakes and you'll still be at the same distance.
posted by ckape at 4:49 PM on August 1, 2013

This doesn't answer your specific question but the guys that did cedar shakes in the peak of our roof used a couple of ladders with brackets, joined by a heavy board. A lighter version of this. It was very quick to set up and take down.

This place near you rents a pair of brackets for $24/wk and also the ladders for about $100.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:53 PM on August 1, 2013

Response by poster: There are steel pump jacks which use site-built wooden poles, and there are aluminum pump jacks with aluminum poles. The latter costs something like 10x the former. Not in my budget.

I was also considering getting another ladder (I have a 32' one already) and ladder jacks, but I'm leery of renting, because I never get a project done in a week. Or two weeks, for that matter. I have a pretty complete set of pump jack hardware, bought off Craigslist for $110.
posted by Ickster at 5:20 PM on August 1, 2013

Over at the Old Town Home blog, they've been posting about the siding job they did a few years back (retro-blogging?). And just this past Tuesday, Alex posted about the pump-jack scaffolding they used. I bet if you emailed him, he'd share (more specific) specifics about how they did it. They used the same ones you're using.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 5:27 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for that link. I'll get in touch with him and see what he did. If I get an answer, I'll add it here.
posted by Ickster at 5:57 PM on August 1, 2013

Best answer: So, you start at the bottom for the shakes, right? How many points of contact are you dealing with? You can nail shingles in their centers. They'll get covered with paint or you can use a nail set to tap them in and then fill. Though, at that height, you'll likely not notice a few nails. Make sure you leave an appropriate space as you work around the contact points, then go back and just do those shingles on a ladder (very carefully and with a spotter). Maybe do some searches on shingle replacement. People need to replace one or two shingles all the time. There's a method.
posted by amanda at 8:19 PM on August 1, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, amanda. That sounds like a perfect method. I knew I was over-thinking the whole mess.
posted by Ickster at 8:35 PM on August 1, 2013

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