For the City of St. Joseph, Mo., vinyl siding is the preferred exterior cladding option, when restoring weatherworn homes for owners on a fixed income. Vinyl is a competitively priced siding and provides the look of traditional wood siding without needing periodic maintenance. However, the City occasionally runs into snags when one of these homes borders a historic district. Agencies like the Missouri State Historic Preservation office typically insist on the use of traditional building materials, such as wood and slate.
“Anything that adjoins a historic district comes under their scrutiny,” says Don DePriest, construction activities manager for the St. Joseph Office of Planning and Community Development. “So, if there’s a project we’re doing that could affect a neighboring historic district, we do all we can to preserve the district’s historical integrity.”
One such project came up in 2008, when the City granted approval to an elderly homeowner for a home restoration loan and noticed that her house bordered the St. Joseph Park and Parkway System. The City’s general contractor, Superior Exteriors of Northwest Missouri, suggested using CertainTeed® Restoration Classic™ vinyl siding to re-side the home. The product had proven success in several historic home re-siding projects and provided the desired wood clapboard-style look for the small, 1920s-era home. After reviewing a presentation by the City and CertainTeed, the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office gave the project team the go-ahead. Superior Exteriors began work with a crew of five in May 2009. The first step was removing the home’s existing siding, which had deteriorated and posed a potential health hazard. When the crew installed 16 squares of Triple 3-inch Restoration Classic™ clapboard siding in Sterling Gray over the home’s exterior, and 3 squares of Cedar Impressions® 6-1/4-inch Half Round polymer shingles in Colonial White in the gables. In addition, they replaced the front porch’s black metal posts and rails with fiberglass Doric columns and installed Restoration Millwork® vinyl trimboards along the perimeter of the porch roof. The Restoration Millwork trimboards made a normally difficult job easy.
“Working with a half-round porch is usually quite a challenge because it’s difficult getting some trimboards to curve with the porch,” says Mark Puckett, co-owner of Superior Exteriors. “The Restoration Millwork trimboards contoured easily around the front porch and made that part of the job much simpler.”
“The Restoration Classic siding gave the appearance of smooth painted cedar siding to the home,” Puckett says. “It has more of a satin finish, so it looks a lot like the paints used in the early 1900s. It looks great on the house.”