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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I have an 1896 American Foursquare. I see the old owners had a contractor redo the porches with interior trim. He didn't seal all sides of the wood and now it's all falling apart.

What would you all recommend? PVC. Wood? I just want it to last more than two years. Also my siding is over 100 years old and is about done. Cement siding? Just looking for some opinions. I like the PVC products just can't seem to find them locally. Thanks
 

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On a 1986 foursquare, I would try to maintain the feel of the period, and re-side with something historically accurate looking at least. That would be my first concern. I would go with what was original. More often than not the siding is the sheathing, and you can nail it off and side over it, then you don't have the lead disposal issues.

Bugs me to no end when I see someone throw some hardi cedarmill 8 1/4 on a nice old home just so it looks "like a new house".

That's not to say cement won't be appropriate for your home.

Any siding material will last decades if installed and maintained correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
totes said:
On a 1986 foursquare, I would try to maintain the feel of the period, and re-side with something historically accurate looking at least. That would be my first concern. I would go with what was original. More often than not the siding is the sheathing, and you can nail it off and side over it, then you don't have the lead disposal issues. Bugs me to no end when I see someone throw some hardi cedarmill 8 1/4 on a nice old home just so it looks "like a new house". That's not to say cement won't be appropriate for your home. Any siding material will last decades if installed and maintained correctly.
I am with you. It's a 1896. Did I say 1986? My bad. No vinyl. We (the wife and I) want to keep it as original as possible. But it looks as if there is more paint than wood left. Also it has sheathing underneath. 3/8" boards.

Lead paint isn't an issue as I am the home owner. No RRP for me! I am a licensed contractor and RRP renovator anyway.

Should I just repair what I have? So much fricking trim. Lol. And the wife wants to add more.

I am basically looking at buying a wood shop?


Also we are in Michigan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
totes said:
Great looking house! I love a foursqaure. The 1986 was a typo on my part. It needs the siding replaced? Or just the trim?
Thanks. We love it. It needs both. All the trim was just surface painted and trim nail guns everything. The previous owners got taken. I think the only thing that's original are the columns. The siding is in poor shape. All the paint from the wood is curling. And many areas are just paint. Many.

So do I strip the paint, repair and paint? Or just fur it out and side it?

The more I research I see that PVC is $$$. So I am thinking of just buying a shaper and make my own from cedar? I am new to old houses as we tend to just demolish them.
 

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What a beautiful girl!

IMO: when a person purchases an old home, they take on the responsibility of being the caretaker/caregiver. That being said, you restore most old homes, you don't renovate/transform them, especially the special ones. Replace items with like materials. As an example, around here, most siding and trim on homes from that period are yellow pine and/or doug fur. So we replace the siding and trim with yellow pine/df. However, you can buy the yellow pine siding/trim treated (don't know with what, but it isn't green) We also have chemicals and coatings that they didn't have back then and the stiff still lasted 50-100 years. You don't replace the old windows, you build period correct storm windows and screens. Sure, you replace/update MEP but you still should make what you see, "period correct"


I've owned and restored 2 homes from the late 1800's. One 5000 sq ft. Georgian and a 3000 sq ft colonial. They were both money pits. I sold them for more that I purchased them for but when I think about the hours of labor....they were both a huge loss. However, I would probebaly do it all over again, it's something that you love to do, not so much for the money.
 

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What a beautiful home. Congratulations. A lot of people around are taking old vics and using vinyl. I personaly don't like it; they lose their history. We just bought a vic ourselves. We plan on using pine siding, where we need to replace. A local lumber yard makes it. They have some reg pine left, but all the new stuff if pressure treated. (not sure about that, i've never used it).
We are painting the back side of the siding, before it goes up.
Bad part of a wood home is upkeep, but it is elegant.
 
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