So now the decisions
needed to be made. The owners wanted the house to maintain as close a look to what it had originally had as possible. Vinyl
siding or anything like that was NOT EVER an option. While Vinyl and aluminum to some may look neat, that type of siding literally
suffocates the wood beneath and eventually it will rot due to lack of air. Wood needs air to remain in tact. The choice was
between real wood or the newest solid composition boards called fiber cement. Strict preservationists would probably have
opted for real wood, but the owners chose fiber cement, a solid silica based composite that looks and feels and cuts like
wood, but doesn't have any of the negatives of wood. Negatives being the rotting and the necessity of painting. Today's
paints are a far cry from the paints of yesteryear largely due to environmental concerns. The chemicals that made the old
paints last so long were the contained the very additives that were bad for the environment. So today's paints do
not have the adhesion and durability of yesteryear's paints. Fiber cement boards come in pre-colored versions if you purchase
enough of a quantity and probably will outlast their wood counterparts by a lot, so the owners opted for this choice.
The same option was selected for the gables, but in a scalloped fiber cement shingle that does not come pre-colored
but pre-primed and actually does need to be painted. As far as color, the original color of the house was a butter creme yellow,
so this was the option selected. Most Victorian houses originally used 3 colors, so the owners chose butter yellow for the
siding, green for the trim and porch floors and a white accent.
Here are photos at various stages of the new siding and shingles
being applied and the soffits being replaced.
Where possible the original trim
was saved and reused.