Chapter 4 - The Exterior "Skin"

The "Skin" - Siding and Trim


Several longtime residents who remembered what the house looked like prior to its covering with aluminum in the 1960's warned that the siding and trim were in rough shape when covered way back then. Also knowing that when aluminum or vinyl siding is applied, most contractors will opt to remove any irregularities in the "nailing" surface, unfortunately destroying forever any special features.  On houses of this period typically there are soffits that protrude in an arching, sloping fashion between floors. These helped with water runoff as well as adding an architectural element of style and grace. Window trim also was typically hacked off if it was deemed "in the way". The other thing that adds to the destruction of the original siding is all of the nailing that is necessary for the new vinyl or aluminum siding to adhere. This will split and break old shingles.

So going into the removal process, there did not exist a spirit of optimism for this house.



So here is the North face after removal of some of the siding.
Note the location of what was a soffit between the first and second floor.
This is what looks like a brown stripe. The brown is the original underlayment paper


Here is a portion of the South face.

Note the 2 original windows were covered up and a new opening was made at sometime in the relatively recent past


More of the aluminum being removed from the south face.


The side sleeping porch. Note the outline of where the original door was located.


A closeup view of the north face. Note the hacked off portions of the window sills and window moldings.
The contractor apparently chopped these off so the aluminum trim would fit.


The front of the house gable.

Note there were originally three different shapes of wood shingles used in alternating bands.

They were all badly broken and warped. Way beyond the possibility of salvage.

Unfortunately but clearly the house needed a new skin.

In addition most of the roof soffits were well rotted with gaping holes and needed replacement. 


The only place on the house where the shingles were relatively ok were the small dormers,

but still there was damage here as well.


There were originally crown mouldings above the windows. Now only ghosts of them remain.

Another case of its easier to place aluminum siding over flat regular shaped surfaces.










Front door area stripped.(left photo) Note the original outline of the double door area.

Photo to the right shows what the door looked like before aluminum removal.








Badly rotted section will need to be replaced


Here is the house beginning to be stripped down ...... waiting for its new coat after 110+ years.

More to Come........