The exterior of the
house is in the process of being completely transformed to restore
some of its classic farmhouse beauty and most importantly modernized
to make it maintenance free. The pictures above show before
and after... however true beauty of what it looks like today
cannot be seen in these pictures as the original picture was taken
in August (summer) and the current picture is from January 2006
(winter) - the green in the landscape definitely makes a difference.
Can't wait til spring...
First, we had to
replace the old slate roof. It was leaking pretty bad
and repairs were made in the past that were not conducive to saving
it. We opted to replace the roof with a modern 30 year shingle
with a dimensional finish to keep the slate look.
During the roof
project we tackled another little annoyance - bats!
Apparently bats have been calling the attic
home for many years. While the bats themselves may be
because they eat mosquitoes, what they leave behind doesn't smell
very good. We evicted the current tenants, sealed up all the
openings and hopefully they won't be back.
How nice they can look, however when not maintained for 50+ years
the "look" wears off quickly once you get your heating bill.
We replaced all the windows with new Pella vinyl windows. All
the windows were picture framed with wood and capped with white PVC
coated vinyl. You could feel the difference in the room as
soon as the windows were installed - no more drafts! We
will most likely install shutters at some
point, we're still contemplating colors.
a distinguishing feature on many old farmhouses is its two front doors. We had
this look (from the outside) with one door into the living room and
one door into the kitchen. However one of the doors was not
functional. In fact, not even visible from the inside as the
door into the living room had been covered up in the past with wall
board. With great debate and a little arguing, we decided to
eliminate the door into the kitchen and replace it with a window
while restoring the living room door to being functional, including
replacing the original transom over the door. On the rear of
the house is a vestibule which had a storm door on the exterior and
a separate rear entry door on the house. We decided to move
the entry door to the exterior of the vestibule which opened up this
space (with a little help from a sawz-all) to the interior of the
house and created a new mud room. We also replaced the single
window in the mud room with two new larger windows to open up a view
of the rear property from inside.
everyone had an opinion on this one! Several of our friends
said we should use wood siding to keep the old farmhouse look.
We agreed, but where will these friends be every couple of years
when the wood needs to maintained? We opted for vinyl siding.
We first sealed the exterior with half inch foam board then
installed a Tyvek house wrap. We used a D4 (4" Dutch
lap) vinyl siding with a stone clay color -this really improved the
stone... you can never have enough stone in an old farmhouse.
The house sits on a stone foundation however at some point in its
life it was sealed with a layer of concrete. We decided to
restore the look of the stone foundation by installing an 18" band
of stone along the side of the house next to the driveway. We
only had to do one side since the other sides will not be visible
once we install the planned decks. We also converted the front
wall under the porch from siding to a stone finish. We also
will be covering the porch foundation, chimneys and converted mud
room with stone. This work is in progress, however the
transformation is amazing!
the house has a beautiful covered porch that is awaiting its day for
revival. We added a wood railing - a temporary upgrade
required by our homeowner's insurance - yet we do plan to replace
the entire deck, posts and railing (again) on the porch in the
future. We will also be finishing the exposed sealing with
planking and recessed lighting. We are longing for the day to
sit on the porch, read a book, play a game of checkers with the kids
(hopefully they'll still be kids when we're done) and just enjoy
nothing has been done to date on the landscaping except normal
maintenance - mowing the lawn and raking the leaves. While
this is a chore and takes a lot of time it is a lot of fun for the
whole family. Check out the landscaping section of this site
to see everything we are doing (or plan to do) with the property.