I’ve been putting off blogging about the exterior of the Sixty-One Park Farmhouse because it was such an enormous job. It took me a few days to wrap my head around all that had been completed because it’s really a blur. I was looking back at photos from last March when demolition was still underway and we decided to take the aluminum siding off. Here’s what the farmhouse looked like when we first started:
We started with demolition on the inside and then moved to the outside. At some point during the life of the farmhouse aluminum siding had been put on which was great for us because it preserved a lot of the original wood siding underneath. That wood being revealed is over 100 years old:
Brett always likes to point out to Sienna and I how the parts of every old house served a purpose. Even the wood was chosen for a specific reason (for strength, or ability to withstand the elements). It is all these little details that we don’t think about today, and why the house has taken so long to put back together with no short cuts:
When the storm windows were removed we realized that the original windows were still in place, with the old wavy glass. Sadly most of them would have had to be rebuilt so we decided to replace them but I saved them for a future project:
The guys really tried to think as far out as possible so that they would not have to go back and do anything twice or do something out of order, which meant stopping work and refocusing when they ran into something that had to be done. Like on this particular morning, the old kitchen window (which is now the laundry room) became the first window to be replaced. It was a very early morning project as you can see from the headlamp Brett is wearing:
Then the porch windows were replaced. We were able to keep siding that was under the porch or otherwise protected from the rain and sun, but other than that we decided to replace most of the other areas:
In the photo below Jaime and his dad were prepping for new siding. The new white boards are called “band boards” and they ground the house, drawing a distinct break between the foundation and the house itself.
We actually had a local mill custom make all the replacement siding so it was the exact same size as the old and could be easily blended right back in. Each piece received a coat of primer to the front and the back and then an initial coat of paint, just so it wouldn’t be left unfinished on the house for too long. It is tough to get good help these days…my chickens left tiny little feet marks across every single board more than once:
The old house was typical of most old houses in that it didn’t have any sheathing or waterproofing. It also didn’t have any insulation, so we found every little rot because when the inside of the siding got wet, it just dried out over the years. Modern codes and insulation requirements required us to add sheathing and waterproofing:
We have the best partners in the project, Jaime and his wife Jaime. Yes they have they exact same name! Jaime made these little wood stacking things so that dozens of boards could be painted at once. I call them “stacky thingies” but apparently they are called sticker stackers:
And voila, the new siding goes up:
Here’s Jaime using a “swing stick” or “story pole” to narrow up the siding so it matched when meeting above and below the window, just like the old-timers. Such a simple tool and I can think of all kinds of projects this would probably help with: quilting, tiling etc. And yes, he’s working by headlamp here, before the sun was even up. He and Brett saw almost 250 sunrises in 2017:
The siding actually took a long time because the guys only work in the mornings before work. They would get about a half a wall done per day. They also work every Saturday. They are so incredibly committed, I don’t know how they do it. Here’s a time lapse of one of the walls being worked on in September:
Here’s Brett prepping one of the windows for installation before siding was fixed. I remember that day because he had to get rid of a hug hornets next early that morning in order to work up there:
By November the siding was done except for some small areas that still needed paint:
Here’s the “before” photo again:
And the “after”:
And a beautiful morning sunrise:
I have a lot more to catch you up on but it will be available as an Airbnb this coming summer so stay tuned!
You can see more of the history and progress posts about the restoration of this 100+ year old farmhouse by clicking here.
You can also follow along at the @Sixtyonepark Instagram account too!