Henny Penny Farm

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Farmhouse Exterior

August 2003

January 2006

Click Here to see a larger Before and After

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 considered good 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.

Wood windows...  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.

Doors...  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.

Siding...  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 look!

Stone, stone, 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!

Porch...  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 nature!

Landscaping... 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.

 
Copyright 2006 Henny Penny Farm

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