Monday, August 2, 2010

Knox Hill Project: Weekly Update

Hard to believe it is August! Work has been progressing on the West side of the exterior of the house this week We have been removing the old siding put on in the 1920's and exposing the original clapboards which are in remarkably great condition. Its interesting to note how clean what we previously uncovered is compared to what we just exposed. Amazing what some rain can do to do part of our cleaning job. Thus far there have been no major surprises, the siding is in great shape actually a little better since there are few windows on this side and typically you run into issues around windows because of caulking.
As we expected the ONLY original window left in the house has some issues around it, the cute little diamond window under our landing will need some attention. I think it can be restored using albturol expoxy but I took some careful measurements of the frame trim so I can replace the trim which is badly weathered, and we will need to do a little siding repair in the immediate area.
Inside still doing the gold leafing on the hanging rail and we are also leafing the small crown molding and the bottom frieze trim pieces we bought. When done it will sparkle.

One thing we are dealing with is the house next door (3 inches away) on the west side which is vacant again. The house has some real issues with it, like the revolving door tenancy, and the fact right now its just plain ugly. Not thrilled about a fridge on the front porch which is a real hazard to neighborhood children (email to city on that). The owner has indicated he'd be willing to sell but he wants way more than its worth. If it were a reasonable price I'd buy it just to control it and have buffer between us and the other houses close by. Maybe if he continues to lose money on it he will decide to get rid of it. The front porch is severely rotted and needs attention but he is not going to do anything about it. Underneath the crappy vinyl is crappy 20's siding like our house had and who knows what is under that. That house was built as a carriage house and servants quarters for the house in front of it, Needs major work and right now I have my own projects to take on any more, but I wish he'd do something positive with it.
Wow the gardens look beautiful in front. People always stop by and compliment us. Our elderly neighbor across the street is out of the hospital and she always tell us the gardens make her smile.
The neighborhood cats love our ponds and its a favorite spot for them on a hot day.


Karen Anne said...

Looks great.

What is the siding that's coming off? Did they do vinyl then? I don't understand why anyone would cover up clapboards. Okay, some people say vinyl is easier maintenance, but what justification is there (not that that's a justification) for covering clapboard with shingles?

Paul Wilham said...

The 20's siding is a cement based "tile' product that is grooved and sometimes scalloped.

You MUST always have this product tested,We sent it out to alab and it turns out that ours is mineral wool based based but often times its asbestos based so you have to know what you are dealing with.

It was touted at the time as "Maintenece free" and never needed painting.

Just like vinyl it doesnt last forever, the colors fade and you eventially have to fix it,

Byron said...

even today "hardi plank" is a cement based siding. i wonder if it is at all similar. i have to admit i'm not thrilled about the maintenance of my wood siding, but i could never do vinyl