Photo Pool Challenge: Redoing a Wood Frame Facade


At one time, most of Bushwick and other eastern parts of Brooklyn were covered in fanciful late-19th-century painted ladies just like San Francisco, only minus the bay windows. Now it’s rare to see a wood-frame house that hasn’t lost its gingerbread to vinyl siding, and the area looks like Queens circa 1950. Our house is one of these. Above, our dilapidated current exterior with Permastone on the first floor and vinyl siding and replacement windows. Click through to the jump below to see how it looked when it was built. The difference is shocking, and sad. We would love to restore it someday, so we got some quotes. The most reliable one was for $30,000. That contractor has restored two wood frame house exteriors lately, though both of them were earlier and simpler models dating from about 1850 or so. (Our house is circa 1893.) Our cornice is still there, and probably the original wood siding is too, but the molding around the windows and the cover (half portico?) over the stoop is missing. The estimate includes custom milling of window moldings to exactly match what was there, repairs to the original siding and cornice, copper flashing on all exposed wood surfaces, and a brick-to-brick installation of wood replacement windows. We also dream of restoring the rear facade and mudroom. And we’d love to peek under the siding and find out what colors it was painted originally. Unfortunately, having looked into the cost, we’ll probably have to leave it to the next owner, unless it turns out we have an old rich aunt somewhere. Has anyone else out there priced a facade restoration or actually done it? Please share photos and stories here.

Our 1930s tax photo shows the original facade. We especially love the sun rays decorations and the contrast painted horizontal bands.

The original cornice is sitting under the siding, but the window moldings and stoop cover are gone.

A house down the street from us has the same door.

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