Title:
Outside corner unit for a siding system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A corner unit for a siding system is disclosed. In one embodiment, the unit has a plurality of pairs of integral receivers for receiving and covering the ends of adjacent first and second siding strips terminating adjacent to the corner of a dwelling or other stable support structure. The unit also includes a plurality of pairs of outwardly projecting portions that simulate the appearance of overlapping structural members at the corners. Each adjacent receiver and outwardly projecting portion in a different horizontal plane may also have an integral connector portion that simulates the appearance of grout or chinking. When used with siding strips having a similar portion simulating grout or chinking, the realism of the overall simulation at the corner of the dwelling and along the adjacent walls is enhanced. The unit may also be formed of a single piece of material, such as injection molded plastic, to facilitate installation.



Inventors:
Jurvis, Erik K. (Houghton Lake, MI, US)
Jurvis, Rochelle G. (Houghton Lake, MI, US)
Application Number:
09/811224
Publication Date:
09/19/2002
Filing Date:
03/16/2001
Assignee:
JURVIS ERIK K.
JURVIS ROCHELLE G.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/288.1, 52/311.2, 52/313, 52/519, 52/284
International Classes:
E04B2/70; E04F13/18; (IPC1-7): E04B1/10
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080209823Modular window wellSeptember, 2008Gernstein
20020011046Method of producing construction material for promoting healthJanuary, 2002Motai et al.
20080115442Composite Sandwich Wall PanelMay, 2008Cheng
20080134615Combination of a structural block and a facing element attached theretoJune, 2008Risi et al.
20100088997FLOOR SPAN CONNECTORApril, 2010Lin
20090000223Ventilator with Condensed Water DrainJanuary, 2009Gottler
20080029553Storage BinFebruary, 2008Culleton
20090205284BAMBOO-BASED PLATE MEMBER HAVING A BUFFER STRUCTURE THEREINAugust, 2009Wang
20050188630Simulated divided light products and processes and systems for making such productsSeptember, 2005Schlyper et al.
20070266659Perimeter foundation panel, and method of useNovember, 2007Lapierre
20070130881Dimensionally stable wood and method for making dimensionally stable woodJune, 2007Birkett et al.



Primary Examiner:
CALLO, LAURA ANTOINETTE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OWENS CORNING (GRANVILLE, OH, US)
Claims:

In the claims:



1. A siding system component capable of covering both a first end of a first siding strip and an adjacent second end of a second siding strip at an outside corner of a stable support structure, comprising: a body having at least one integral pair of receivers, each receiver having an oversized opening for receiving and at least partially covering one of the first and second ends of the adjacent first or second siding strip, and at least one pair of outwardly projecting portions for simulating the appearance of a pair of overlapping structural members projecting in different directions from adjacent to the corner, whereby the partial covering of the first and second siding strips by the oversized openings in each integral receiver, respectively, simulates the appearance of a continuous log or timber extending adjacent to the corner.

2. The siding system component according to claim 1, wherein a plurality of pairs of integral receivers and a plurality of pairs of outwardly projecting portions are provided, one of each said pairs each being substantially aligned in a common horizontal plane.

3. The siding system component of claim 2, wherein an integral portion is provided between each adjacent pair of receivers and each adjacent pair of outwardly projecting portions in different horizontal planes, whereby said integral portions between the receivers and the projecting portions align in common horizontal planes to simulate the appearance of grout or chinking between the receivers and outwardly projecting portions, respectively.

4. The siding system component according to claim 1, wherein the receivers include an outer surface having indicia simulating the appearance of a log or timber.

5. The siding system component according to claim 1, wherein each of the outwardly projecting portions simulates the appearance of a cut end of a log or timber.

6. The siding system component according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the outwardly projecting portions forming one of the simulated structural members is hollow and communicates with at least one of the pair of receivers, wherein at least one of the first or second ends of the first or second siding strips may pass through the receiver and at least partially into the hollow outwardly projecting portion.

7. The siding system component according to claim 1, wherein the first and second ends of each siding strip are outwardly bowed relative to a vertical plane to simulate the shape of a log or timber and the opening in each receiver is similarly sized and shaped for receiving the outwardly bowed ends.

8. The siding system component according to claim 1, further including at least one fastener receiving section for receiving a fastener for securing the component to the stable support structure.

9. The siding system component according to claim 8, wherein the fastener receiving section includes either a tab projecting from the component adjacent to one or more of said receivers or a lip extending vertically along at least one side portion of the component.

10. The siding system component according to claim 1, wherein a centerline of one of the pair of simulated structural members is orthogonal to a centerline of the other second simulated structural member.

11. The siding system component according to claim 1, wherein the body is fabricated from a plastic material using an injection molding process.

12. A system for at least partially covering an outside corner of a dwelling defined by first and second adjacent walls, comprising: a plurality of first siding strips for attachment to the first wall; a plurality of second siding strips for attachment to the second wall; a corner unit having a plurality of pairs of integral extending elements, at least one of said extending elements being positioned adjacent to an end of one of said first and second siding strips, and said corner unit further having a plurality of pairs of outwardly projecting integral portions for simulating the appearance of a pair of overlapping structural members projecting in different directions from adjacent to the corner.

13. The siding system according to claim 12, wherein each pair of said extending elements is positioned in a different substantially horizontal plane.

14. The siding system according to claim 12, wherein each pair of projecting portions simulating structural members extends in a different horizontal plane.

15. The siding system according to claim 14, wherein adjacent pairs of projecting portions simulating structural members in different horizontal planes each have an integral portion formed therebetween to simulate the appearance of grout or chinking.

16. The siding system according to claim 12, wherein each pair of said extending elements comprises a pair of receivers, each of said receivers having an opening for receiving and at least partially covering one of the first and second siding strips.

17. The system according to claim 16, wherein at least one of the siding strips is outwardly bowed relative to a vertical plane and the opening in each receiver is sized and adapted to receive and cover a portion of the outwardly bowed siding strip.

18. The siding system according to claim 12, wherein at least one of said extending elements abuts an end of one of said first and second siding strips.

19. A method for covering the corner of a dwelling, comprising: securing a corner unit adjacent to the corner, said corner unit including a plurality of pairs of integral extending elements and a plurality of pairs of integral outwardly projecting portions simulating the appearance of overlapping structural members projecting from the corner; positioning at least one first siding strip adjacent to a first one of said extending elements and securing the siding strip to a first wall of the dwelling; positioning at least one second siding strip adjacent to a second one of said extending elements and securing the siding strip to a second wall of the dwelling adjacent to the first wall.

20. The method according to claim 19, wherein at least one of the extending elements comprises a receiver having an opening, and the method further includes inserting an end of one of said first or second siding strips into said opening.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD AND INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to the construction/wall covering art and, more particularly, to an outside corner unit for use in a siding system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The art of constructing dwellings or like structures from natural logs or timbers is well known, and for many homeowners is desirable for the natural, rustic look and feel afforded by the resulting dwelling. Despite significant technological advances in recent years and the proliferation of commercial enterprises offering such services, constructing an entire dwelling from logs or timbers remains an expensive, time consuming and labor intensive proposition, requiring countless man hours and a great deal of natural resources to complete. In recent decades, a concern has also arisen over the excessive exploitation of natural resources, such as timber. This concern has prompted many in the construction art to switch to building materials fabricated of metal, vinyl, or the like. Another potential shortcoming is that, unless properly constructed by experts, dwellings formed of logs or timbers may lack the ability to contain properly conditioned air and keep out moisture, both of which may significantly increase the overall cost of owning such a dwelling.

[0003] As an alternative to using actual logs or timbers, others in the past have proposed various types of siding members, such as strips fabricated of vinyl or like materials, having outer surface indicia simulating the appearance of a natural log or timber. When a plurality of these siding strips are applied to the outside of a dwelling or other structure in an abutting or overlapping relationship, the appearance of a traditional log cabin is simulated, yet conventional construction materials are employed beneath the siding strips to provide the structural framework for the dwelling. As should be appreciated, siding strips formed of vinyl or the like are cheaper than wood per unit, easier to install, lighter in weight, relatively durable and generally resistant to the effects of moisture. Also, the use of conventional building materials beneath the siding strips (i.e., framed wall construction with insulation, an outer layer of wood sheeting, and an inner layer of drywall sheeting) improves the overall efficiency of the dwelling in terms of energy containment.

[0004] Despite these advantages, past proposals for vinyl siding are generally lacking in some key respects. For instance, it is desirable in some cases to provide siding that, when installed, provides a realistic simulation of an actual log cabin or like dwelling. Of course, conventional log cabins or dwellings usually include grout or a similar material between the logs or timbers, which typically has a white or light grey color. This grout is commonly referred to as “chinking,” and not only serves to seal the interstitial space between the adjacent logs from moisture and the outside environment, but also creates contrasts between the adjacent pairs of logs that are considered by many to provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance to the overall structure.

[0005] In past proposals for simulated log siding or the like formed of vinyl, some have completely ignored the need for chinking (see, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,181,358 to Mead and U.S. Pat. No. 5,694,728 to Heath, Jr. et al.), but the result is siding that fails to truly simulate the appearance of a log cabin and is therefore aesthetically unappealing to many homeowners. Others have sought to make the appearance more realistic either by placing plaster/caulking or affixing separate “chinking” strips between each adjacent pair of siding strips once installed in place (see, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 4,288,954 to O'Donnell and later U.S. Pat. No. 6,000,177 to Davidson). In either case, this added step is disadvantageous, since it significantly adds to the installation time and concomitant expense. Since plaster or caulking tends to shrink, embrittle and separate from adjacent structures over time, frequent removal of the old material and re-application may be required, which is obviously a time consuming and expensive undertaking. Also, the use of chinking strips is troublesome, since loosening or bowing may occur over time if the strips are not properly or reliably attached. Of course, like plaster or caulking, loose chinking strips increase the required maintenance effort for the homeowner, and if not kept in check, serve to degrade the overall appearance of the dwelling.

[0006] Another limitation in conventional simulated log siding systems is the manner for covering the outside corners where the pairs of siding strips covering adjacent walls and extending in common horizontal planes terminate. Several basic proposals for corner components have been made, but all either: (1) fail to realistically simulate the true appearance of a corner of a log dwelling, which usually includes logs projecting in a first direction and having notches that receive similar notches formed in the ends of logs projecting in a second, different direction in an overlapping fashion; or (2) complicate the siding installation by requiring a large number of component parts to cover the corner

[0007] A corner unit falling into this first group is found in U.S. Pat. No. 5,878,542 to Cornelius. In the '542 patent, the corner unit is simply square or round in cross-section and includes no projecting portions that would simulate the appearance of overlapping structural members, such as logs. A similar type of arrangement is found in the above-referenced '358 patent to Mead, as well as in the '728 Heath patent.

[0008] Other past proposals falling into the second group are those generally involving a plurality of log-shaped pieces that are individually secured to the adjacent surfaces of the corner (see, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 4,320,610 to Rupp, U.S. Pat. No. 4,627,204 to Smith, U.S. Pat. No. 4,640,069 to Felser, U.S. Pat. No. 4,878,328 to Berge, U.S. Pat. No. 4,967,526 to Yost, U.S. Pat. No. 5,638,649 to Hovland, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,787,661 to Sharp). Of course, while the desired simulation is achieved, these proposals all suffer from being extremely time consuming and expensive to install. Despite the rugged and somewhat uneven appearance of the logs in an actual cabin, severe misalignments or skewing among the several corner pieces during installation may result in a corner having an unacceptable appearance, especially when compared to the near-perfect alignment of the adjacent parallel siding strips. Maintenance efforts and costs also inevitably increase, since some of the plurality of corner pieces are bound to loosen before others.

[0009] An alternative approach for covering a corner in a log siding system is found in U.S. Pat. No. 5,586,422 to Hoffner. The '422 patent discloses positioning separate components having cylindrical portions that resemble crossed logs adjacent to pairs of siding strips at a corner. Again, while there is some limited improvement, this approach requires a fairly large number of component parts to cover even part of the corner of a dwelling.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The present invention is an improved outside cover for a siding system, such as a log siding system, that: (1) is easy and inexpensive to manufacture; (2) requires a minimum amount of time and effort to install; and (3) includes features that provide a simulated, but realistic, appearance of an outside corner in a conventional dwelling formed of logs, including even the appearance of grout or chinking.

[0011] In accordance with a first aspect of the invention, a siding system component capable of covering both a first end of a first siding strip and an adjacent second end of a second siding strip at an outside corner of a stable support structure is disclosed. The component comprises a body having at least one integral pair of receivers, with each receiver having an oversized opening for receiving and at least partially covering one of the first and second ends of the adjacent first or second siding strip. The component further includes at least one pair of outwardly projecting portions for simulating the appearance of a pair of overlapping structural members projecting in different directions from adjacent to the corner. The partial covering of the first and second siding strips by the oversized openings in each integral receiver, respectively, simulates the appearance of a continuous log or timber extending adjacent to the corner.

[0012] In one embodiment, a plurality of pairs of integral receivers and a plurality of pairs of outwardly projecting portions are provided. Preferably, one of each pair is substantially aligned in a common horizontal plane, and an integral portion is provided between each vertically adjacent receiver and each vertically adjacent outwardly projecting portion extending in a different horizontal plane. These integral portions align to simulate the appearance of grout or chinking between the receivers and outwardly projecting portions, respectively. The receivers may also include an outer surface having indicia simulating the appearance of a log or timber, while each of the outwardly projecting portions simulates the appearance of a cut end of a log or timber. Also, the first and second ends of each siding strip may be outwardly bowed relative to a vertical plane to simulate the shape of a log or timber, in which case the opening in each receiver is similarly sized and shaped for receiving one of the outwardly bowed ends.

[0013] At least one of the portions forming one of the simulated structural members is hollow and communicates with at least one of the pair of receivers. Hence, at least one of the first or second ends of the first or second siding strips may pass through the receiver and at least partially into the hollow structural member.

[0014] To attach the component to the corner of a stable structure, such as where the sidewalls of a dwelling meet at a right angle, at least one fastener receiving section is provided. This section may be in the form of a tab projecting from adjacent to at least one of the receivers. Alternatively, a lip extending vertically along at least one side portion of the component may be provided.

[0015] Preferably, a centerline of one of the pair of outwardly projecting members is orthogonal to a centerline of the other. Also, the body is preferably fabricated from a plastic material using an injection molding process, but the use of other materials is of course possible.

[0016] In accordance with a second aspect of the invention, a system for at least partially covering an outside corner of a dwelling defined by first and second adjacent walls is disclosed. The system comprises a plurality of first siding strips for attachment to the first wall; a plurality of second siding strips for attachment to the second wall; and a corner unit having a plurality of pairs of integral extending elements. At least one of the extending elements being positioned adjacent to an end of one of the first and second siding strips. The unit further comprises a plurality of pairs of outwardly projecting integral portions for simulating the appearance of a pair of overlapping structural members projecting in different directions from adjacent to the corner.

[0017] In a first embodiment, each pair of the extending elements comprises a pair of receivers. Each receiver has an opening for receiving and at least partially covering one of the first and second siding strips. At least one of the siding strips is outwardly bowed relative to a vertical plane and the opening in each receiver is sized and adapted to receive and cover a portion of the outwardly bowed siding strip. In a second embodiment, at least one of the extending elements abuts an end of one of the first and second siding strips.

[0018] In accordance with a third aspect of the invention, a method for covering a corner of a dwelling is disclosed. The method comprises: securing a corner unit adjacent to the corner, the corner unit including a plurality of pairs of integral extending elements and a plurality of pairs of integral outwardly projecting portions simulating the appearance of overlapping structural members projecting from the corner; positioning at least one first siding strip adjacent to a first one of the extending elements and securing the siding strip to a first wall of the dwelling; and positioning at least one second siding strip adjacent to a second extending element and securing the siding strip to a second wall of the dwelling adjacent to the first wall. At least one of the extending elements comprises a receiver having an opening, and the method further includes inserting an end of one of the first or second siding strips into the opening.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] FIG. 1 is a partially cutaway, partially cross-sectional front perspective view of the outside corner of a dwelling or the like on which the corner unit is attached such that the ends of adjacent first and second siding strips are covered to create a substantially continuous or uninterrupted visualization, the chinking portion provided on several of the siding strips is aligned with a corresponding integral chinking portion on the corner unit, and outwardly projecting portions on the unit appear to overlap, with all of these features combining to realistically simulate the appearance of a log cabin;

[0020] FIG. 2 is a partially cross-sectional top view of one embodiment of the outside corner unit for use as part of the overall simulated log siding system;

[0021] FIG. 2a is a partially cross-sectional top view of a second embodiment of the outside corner unit for use as part of the overall simulated log siding system;

[0022] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

[0023] FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the outside corner installed on a dwelling, with only a portion of the simulated log siding strips on a first sidewall installed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION AND PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

[0024] Reference is now made to FIG. 1, which illustrates a dwelling D comprising a stable mounting structure having first and second adjacent walls W1, W2 (see also FIG. 4) or similar surfaces meeting to form a corner C. The walls W1, W2 are generally formed of sheets of plywood or oriented strand board nailed or otherwise fastened to the underlying framed construction (only the double stud DS typically located at the corner of a framed dwelling is shown).

[0025] In the typical siding system, a plurality of siding strips S1 . . . Sn are applied to each wall W1, W2. Conventionally, each siding strip S1 . . . Sn is elongated and fabricated of vinyl, plastic, aluminum, a composite material such as a glass fiber reinforced polymeric material, or other well-known materials conventionally used to fabricate siding. The body of each strip S1 . . . Sn may include an integral portion P1 having a contrasting surface (preferably white or light grey) as compared with other portions of the strip and adjacent strips, see FIG. 1. Thus, when a plurality of strips S1 . . . Sn are provided with a shape and/or surface indicia that simulates the appearance of a log and mounted in an abutting or overlapping fashion on the side of the stable mounting structure, such as the dwelling D, the contrasting appearance of the exposed grout or chinking portion P1 between each strip S1 . . . Sn realistically simulates the appearance of a log cabin or like structure. A detailed description of one version of a siding strip having an integral chinking portion that may be used in conjunction with the corner unit 10 may be found in commonly assigned, co-pending application Ser. No. 09/624,672, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

[0026] At the outside corner C of the dwelling D, it should be appreciated that the ends E1, E2 of corresponding pairs of the siding strips S1 . . . Sn in a common horizontal plane are generally positioned adjacent to each other (and would actually intersect if extended beyond the corner C), despite being supported by different walls W1, W2. To at least partially cover these ends E1, E2, while realistically simulating the appearance of a corner in a conventional dwelling form of logs, timbers or similar structural members, the present invention comprises a corner unit 10, as well as a related method of covering a corner C in a simulated log siding system.

[0027] As perhaps best understood with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 together, the corner unit 10 is formed of a unitary piece of material and includes at least one, and preferably a plurality of integral pairs of receivers (also referred to herein as extending elements) 12a . . . 12n; 14a . . . 14n, each sized and shaped for receiving and partially covering the ends E1, E2 of the siding strips S1 . . . Sn. More specifically, since the siding strips S1 . . . Sn are outwardly bowed relative to the vertical plane to simulate the appearance of “half-round” logs, the receivers 12a . . . 12n; 14a . . . 14n also preferably have a similar C-shaped configuration (see FIG. 3). Moreover, since the ends E1, E2 of the siding strips S1 . . . Sn are received in the receivers 12a . . . 12n; 14a . . . 14n, it should be appreciated that these receivers are slightly oversized (that is, each has a slightly greater inside radius than the outer radius of the corresponding siding strips S1 . . . Sn; see FIG. 3). The ability of the receivers 12a . . . 12n; 14a . . . 14n to partially cover the siding strips enhances the realism of the simulation, since it gives the appearance that the “logs” are substantially continuous.

[0028] Also, in the case where the corner unit 10 is designed for use in a simulated log siding system, the outer surfaces of the receivers 12a . . . 12n; 14a . . . 14n are also provided with surface indicia I and colored to further simulate the appearance of logs. For example, a plurality of randomly spaced, relatively narrow embossments of random shapes and lengths may be provided on the outer surface. These embossments in conjunction with the particular coloring selected give the appearance of the natural wood grain found in a log or timber with the outer bark removed or one that has been cut or sanded.

[0029] In addition to receivers 12a . . . 12n; 14a . . . 14n, the corner unit 10 includes a least one, and preferably a plurality of integral pairs of outwardly projecting portions 16a . . . 16n; 18a . . . 18n. The outwardly projecting portions 16a . . . 16n; 18a . . . 18n are oriented to give the illusion that they appear to pass through each other. This simulates the presence of structural members, such as logs, that are notched and mate in an overlapping fashion at the corner of a conventional log dwelling or the like. As should be appreciated from viewing both FIGS. 1 and 3, the ends of the projecting portions 16a . . . 16n; 18a . . . 18n are preferably completely round or cylindrical such that the simulated appearance is one of “fall round” logs. Like the outer surfaces of the receivers 12a . . . 12n; 14a . . . 14n, the outer surfaces of the projecting portions 16a . . . 16n; 18a . . . 18n are also colored and provided with surface indicia I, as described above, to further simulate the appearance of logs when the unit 10 is designed for use in a log siding system.

[0030] As should be appreciated, each pair of receivers 12a . . . 12n; 14a . . . 14n and each pair of projections 16a . . . 16n; 18a . . . 18n are preferably positioned in substantially the same horizontal plane. Between the vertically adjacent receivers and projections in different, parallel horizontal planes, such as receivers 12a and 12b or projections 16a and 16b, an integral connecting portion P2 is provided. As with the chinking on the siding strips S1 . . . Sn, this portion P2 is preferably light grey or white in color to simulate the appearance of grout or chinking between both the half and full round simulated logs. The integral connecting portion P2 may also be provided with surface roughening or other indicia that further enhance the realism of the simulation.

[0031] Hence, when viewed from one end (see FIG. 4), the integral connecting portion P2 between each “full round” simulated log created by adjacent outwardly projecting portions 18a and 18b gives the realistic appearance that grout or chinking is present. Likewise, a similar simulation is created with the projections 16a and 16b, as well as between the “half-round” outer surfaces of the receivers 12a . . . 12n; 14a . . . 14n. Preferably, the integral connecting portions P2 between the projections 16a . . . 16n; 18a . . . 18n and the receivers 12a . . . 12n; 14a . . . 14n are positioned to not only align with each other, but also to substantially align with any integral chinking portion P1 formed on the adjacent siding strips S1 . . . Sn when installed.

[0032] Each corner unit 10 also includes at least one, and preferably a plurality of sections for receiving fasteners F used to secure it to the wall of the dwelling D or other stable support structure. In the embodiment of FIG. 4, the fastener receiving sections are shown in full line view as outwardly projecting tabs 20 that extend from each integral connecting portion P2. The tabs 20 include one or more apertures 22 adapted for receiving fasteners F (such as nails, see FIG. 2) that extend into the adjacent wall W1, W2. The rear surface of each tab 20 is preferably substantially smooth and flat to abut in close engagement with the corresponding wall W1 or W2, or another stable mounting or support structure. Of course, instead of nails, other types of fasteners, such as staples or screws, may be employed, which may obviate the need for using or forming aperture(s) 22 in the tab 20. Other alternative arrangements for fastener receiving sections are also possible, such as providing a vertically extending lip L (see phantom or dashed line depiction in FIG. 4) along a corresponding vertical side of the corner unit 10 adjacent to one or both batteries of receivers 12a . . . 12n or 14a . . . 14n.

[0033] The corner unit 10 is preferably formed of injection molded plastic materials, such as vinyl and similarly structured polymeric materials (although the use of materials such as aluminum, glass reinforced polymers, or the like is also possible). Hence, each projecting portion 16a . . . 16n or 18a . . . 18n is preferably thin-walled and hollow, with the hollow portion being in communication with the adjacent receiver, such as receiver 12a or 14a. The unit 10 may be individually formed from sections a few feet in length (e.g., 3-4′), or may be formed as a single elongated section (8′ or more) that is cut to the desired length prior to use. Of course, combinations of single elongated sections cut-to-length and individual sections may also be combined as necessary for a particular job.

[0034] To apply the siding to the outside corner C of a dwelling D or other stable support or mounting structure, it is necessary to affix the corner unit 10 in place. A precursor may be to cut the corner unit 10, if necessary, to ensure that it is the proper height for the particular job. This is preferably done by placing fasteners F, such as nails, in the corresponding fastener receiving sections, such as tabs 20. A first end E1 or E2 of a single siding strip, such as strip S1, is then slid into one of the receivers 12a . . . 12n or 14a . . . 14n such that it is at least partially covered, thereby avoiding the need for extra end caps for the siding strips, connectors or other structures. As discussed further below, a flange portion 26 (i.e., an upper portion, see FIGS. 3 and 4) of each of the strips S1 . . . Sn is removed from the first ends E1 and E2 prior to the ends being inserted into the receivers 12a . . . 12n or 14a . . . 14n. In the case of a first siding strip S1, such as at the bottom or top of a wall W1 or W2, it may also be necessary to use a starter strip (not shown in FIG. 3), as is known in the art and disclosed in the above-referenced co-pending, commonly assigned patent application.

[0035] Once properly in place, the siding strip S1 is then fastened to the wall W1 or W2 in any conventional manner, such as by placing a fastener (not shown) through an aperture 24 (see FIG. 4) in the upwardly projecting, integral flange 26. The flange 26 also preferably includes a C-shaped channel for receiving a J-shaped projection extending from a lower side portion of an adjacent siding strip, such as strip S2 in a snap-fit engagement (see FIG. 3 where C-shaped channels are illustrated only for flanges 26 of strips S1 and S2). This creates an interlocking arrangement that is desirable in terms of efficiency and reliability.

[0036] As should be appreciated, it is preferable that there is no such flange 26 along at least a portion of the end of the siding strip S1, which allows it to slide freely into the corresponding receiver 12a . . . 12n or 14a . . . 14n. Thus, if present, it may be necessary to cutaway a portion of this flange 26 from the siding, such as by using a knife or other cutting implement. Usually, the end portion of the strip S1 . . . Sn received in and covered by the corner unit 10 is just a few inches long. However, in view of the hollow nature of the projecting portions 16a . . .16n; 18a . . . 18n resulting from the injection molded construction of the corner unit 10 in the preferred embodiment, the strip S1 . . . Sn may be slid through one of the receivers 12a . . . 12n or 14a . . . 14n past the corner C, and possibly until the end of the receiver is reached (see reference numeral 28 adjacent to receiver 12n in FIG. 2).

[0037] In any case, the insertion and application of the siding strips S1 . . . Sn is then repeated until the corner C and adjacent sidewalls W1, W2 are fully covered. Once this is done, the result is a realistic simulation of a dwelling formed of logs. However, through the use of the corner unit 10, the simulation is accomplished without the significant time, effort and expense associated with conventional log construction.

[0038] An alternative embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 2A, where like elements are referenced by like numerals. In this embodiment, ends E1 and E2 of the strips S1 . . . Sn abut against ends 120 and 140 of the receivers (also referred to herein as extending elements) 120a . . . 120n or 140a . . . 140n. Hence, ends 120 and 140 of the receivers 120a . . . 120n or 140a . . . 140n do not overlap or cover ends E1 and E2 of the strips S1 . . . Sn. Connectors (not shown), such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,586,422, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference, may be used to connect the ends E1 and E2 of the strips S1 . . . Sn with the ends 120 and 140 of the receivers 120a . . . 120n or 140a . . . 140n.

[0039] It is further contemplated that ends E1 and E2 of the strips S1 . . . Sn may extend over ends 120 and 140 of the receivers 120a . . . 120n or 140a . . . 140n such that the ends E1 and E2 overlap or cover the ends 120 and 140 of the receivers 120a . . . 120n or 140a . . . 140n.

[0040] The foregoing description of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Obvious modifications or variations are possible in light of the above teachings. The embodiments described were chosen to provide the best illustration of the principles of the invention and its practical application to thereby enable one of ordinary skill in the art to utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. All such modifications and variations are within the scope of the invention as determined by the appended claims when interpreted in accordance with the breadth to which they are fairly, legally and equitably entitled.