If you’ve read our previous blog posts, you know we’ve touched on more than just the products we used and recommend. Things like permits, weather concerns, our trusty project manager Nick, the creativity of our crew, and our desire to go above and beyond for our customers.
Interestingly, all these themes came together for a memorable 10-day wintertime Connecticut house project – an Old Greenwich siding task. We had a feeling it wasn’t going to be your routine residential siding replacement job with your common siding repair issues.
First of all, the house was situated in a flood zone, which requires different permitting for that area. And the home was built before 1950. Though replacing siding for an old home isn’t usually a problem in itself, the age brought the potential for being an old house with lead paint, and lead paint was banned from manufacture in the late 1970s as a health risk. As such, when found on old homes today, it’s a better practice to remove rather than cover.
Our initial exterior house examination gave us the impression that it probably didn’t have lead paint. “Probably” being the operative word. And when dealing with lead paint and permits, we know “probably” wouldn’t cut it.
The permit would not be issued without proper certification, and that meant being certified in lead paint detection and certified in lead paint disposal. So we got right on it, and fortunately were able to secure a spot in the only available certification class left that month in New York City. Once that training and the permit were taken care of, we were ready to start (no lead paint found, by the way, plus we’re now set in case of that eventuality in the future).
It’s always a challenge to work outside in the Northeast during winter. Could be really nice one day, only to be freezing the next. But we ensure when removing a roof or siding that the home remains protected from the elements no matter the weather.
The degree of difficulty was also increased because of this old house’s plumbing system – it was running extremely close to the siding, something we’d never encountered before. We knew we were going to need extra attention to detail, given that the tricky pipe positions meant some areas could not take nails (and thus prevent leaks).
For this project, the customer selected James Hardie fiber cement siding, specifically HardiePlank lap siding in Light Mist. Though we incurred some weather delays, it was a simple box home, so we were able to complete the job in a timely manner.
Despite our care with the installation, though, the owner noticed a small, slow siding leak. On Super Bowl Sunday. In a snowstorm. So he got on the phone to our trusty Nick for advice. Nick being Nick, he headed over to the house. On Super Bowl Sunday. In a snowstorm.
Once there, Nick found one of the nails had indeed punctured a pipe. He was able to remove the offending piece of exterior siding, repair the leak on-site, and replace. As usual, above and beyond for the customer.
As we’ve always said, sure, we’re a roofing, window, and siding contractor, but we’re always willing to go the extra mile if a customer needs something beyond our primary business lines. In this case, the homeowner mentioned that while we were doing this old home repair, having a portico in the front sure would make for a pretty great addition.
We’d never done a portico before, but rather than shrug and say sorry, our crew lead told him he knew the right person for this job. The customer provided us some sample photos for inspiration, and using them, we ran down comparable pilasters and were able to create the portico of his dreams.
When you look at that nifty portico and Light Mist siding in the photos that accompany this post, you might never guess this house was built before 1950! Oh, and special thanks to Nick for saving the day on Super Bowl Sunday. In a snowstorm.
City: Old Greenwich
Materials used (manufacturer): James Hardie
Materials used (type): HardiePlank Lap Siding
Materials used (color): Light Mist
Project Cost: $37,000
Time to Complete: 10 days