Sunday, October 23, 2016

Oak Park Bungalows

I've been working hard on the house and will soon be posting some news on the color choices, details of painting and construction update but right now I thought I would share some images of some of my favorite OP bungalows. I am not sure that this is a housing type that most people think of when they think of Oak Park but we have a many fantastic examples here. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Soffit and Fascia Demolition and Reconstruction

A view of the exposed soffit, after demolition.
The next phase of the project is well under way. Over the past couple weeks, demolition was completed on the soffit. When we took down the old beadboard, we found significant rot on the beadboard as well as the fascia and soffit supports. The soffit was also previously supported by 1x4 material and was sagging. The house looked a bit like Droopy.

We always wanted the soffit to be varnished beadboard so that the wood character was visible but if the soffit wood were in good condition, we were willing to save it and paint it. Unfortunately, there just wasn't enough to save to make it worth it so we are sticking with the plan of replacing the soffit board with new that matches the old exactly.

Rotted beadboard, ready for the dump.
Rotting soffit with squirrel nest above.

One "discovery" during demolition of the soffit was that the eaves had been filled, by squirrels, with a mixture of insulation and mulch to create huge squirrel nests. The mess and smell were nauseating. I am glad that the squirrels never made it into my attic and I am glad that we removed this problem from the house.  

Reconstructing the eaves.
A detailed view of the front gable and eaves during construction of the new supports and fascia.. 

The soffits were reinforced with new 2x4s and were leveled as much as possible. The fascia boards were also rotted so those needed to be replaced on most of the house as well. These too were replaced with boards that matched the size of the existing ones.  
The straightened out eaves on the front of the home.
The Droopy look is now gone and it makes a huge difference to the appearance of the house. I am happy with the work so far but can't help but still have that anxious feeling about the project. The weekend weather does not look like it is going to cooperate so I am not sure how much we will accomplish this weekend.   

Meanwhile, my basement and garage have become a staining and finishing area for the new beadboard. We are using a light "cedar" color for the stain and I am using the same brand of stain and varnish that I used on the interior of the home. I have about 2/3 of this work done now but am not sure when we will put it up.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Color inspiration on my morning run

I am very fortunate to live in a neighborhood that has no shortage of well maintained landmark homes to draw inspiration from. Even outside the historic districts, there are plenty of excellent examples of bungalow paint colors and exterior renovations that are really well done. This morning, I decided to take some extra time, and log a couple extra miles, looking for some paint color inspiration in the neighborhood. Here are a few of my favorites.  

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Exterior Siding Demolition is Complete

Demolition of the exterior siding was completed this week. There were a lot of great discoveries and a lot of not so great discoveries. All in all, I think we are in pretty good shape. 

Lets start with the great discoveries. When they removed the siding, they revealed that the gable is clad in shingles. It is a nice contrast from the 3" exposure clapboards that clad the rest of the house. They also seem to be in pretty good shape. 

The demo also revealed that we have corner boards and a frieze board trim around the house. Mose of the clapboards are also in good shape. The finish on them isn't so great but it is far better than what I feared I might find. 

The worst part of the demo reveal is the eaves. All of the beadboard soffits are rotted. If they were in better shape, I might consider keeping them but instead, we have found a beadboard that matches it perfectly and will replace the beadboard with a replica. We will be staining it so it should provide a nice accent around the entire home. 

We've always had a single door to the cubbie hole beneath our front porch. The demo revealed a second door but there are some challenges with how we make this workable. 

Most of the window trim is in good shape. I think that I have three sills I have to replace but that shouldn't be bad at all. All in all, I am happy with the window areas. 

One of the window's trim was cut apart to make the siding work. The small window in the dining room bay will have to get new trim so that is looks "right" again. 

There is a skirt board at the bottom of the bay window that is missing. We will have to reconstruct that. 

There is a molding that used to exist at the edge of the beadboard. It framed the beadboard at the soffits on the eaves and at the gable. Luckily, there are two homes on the street that have the molding intact so I can figure out what it is and replace it to look like it once did. 

The cove molding on the capitals and on the gables is all intact. I may need to replace some of it but that work will be minor. 

Parts of the back of the house are in rough shape. Clearly, this area never saw much attention. I have a few pieces of clapboard to replace and a lot of minor patching to do. 

The eave returns at the back of the house are a complete mess and have to be completely re-framed and trimmed. The birds will not be happy. 

Carpentry work begins on Monday so I have been busy choosing stains and finishes and getting lumber ordered so that they can start work. I am having people that know what they are doing take care of the eaves and I will tackle a lot of the rest. I am glad that the demo is over but probably won't be completely at ease until the eave work is completed. There may be more discoveries come Monday!