Home ownership is rewarding and stressful. Home owners are always weighing the pros and cons of pursuing their dreams versus the family budget and affordability. Sometimes home owners will stretch their budget by doing some of their own home maintenance although replacing the siding on a house is large enough that most home owners will hire professionals.
Maintaining your home's exterior is a challenge for any home owner so don't think you're alone. You can learn from one home owner's experience as she considers residing her Victorian home with vinyl, all the way down to the Gingerbread details.
Replacing Wood Siding with Vinyl?
Home owners don't always realize that painting their home's exterior is key to protecting the home from water damage. Any type of wood trim that juts out from the home's surface is more prone to damage as dirt can collect and cause water to pool. When the moisture content of wood exceeds 15 to 20 percent, wood rot can occur. Wood rot is most commonly found on window sills and on this beautiful Victorian home, there was horizontal wood trim at the base of the top floor which rotted out, plus the damage had started to creep up the siding above the trim boards.
At the time of these repairs, I recommended to the home owner that vinyl siding might be a better long term solution to ongoing maintenance issues. It's now 4 years later and the home owner is ready to replace her wood siding with vinyl versus painting. We've visited a local building products supply house and found vinyl texture and colors very similar to her current colors, and now we're looking for vinyl trim pieces to maintain the Victoria look and feel of the home.
While you can buy a known brand like Gap clothes online, it is best to purchase home products and materials from a reputable local, home building supply store that serves the construction industry. They get feedback from 100s of customers, adding and dropping products based on the experience of their customers.
Most vinyl siding manufacturers offer a wide range of vinyl siding textures, shapes and colors. Shown at left is Certainteed's half round shingle accents that are often used in multiple color combinations to dress up a house. Another specialty manufacturer, MidAmerica Siding Components (www.midamericacomponents.com) offers many more variations of decorative siding shingles:
- Mitered Corner
- Fish Scale
- Transitional for the bottom course under any style
For the fancy trim typically found around doors, on the porch and at the top of the roof peaks, you will need to google “Victorian & house trim” and search for vinyl as you don't want to have to climb a ladder to paint wood trim at the peak of your home. Here are some websites I found with a good selection of Victorian trim although I'm sure there are other good sources out there (and if you find some, please share below):
- Home Trim Plus (www.hometrimplus.com) offers exterior “ginger bread” trim choices along with screen door trim.
- Vintage Woodworks (www.vintagewoodworks.com) has a wide range of products, well organized so you can see your choices for anything from gable decorations to porch posts and how to choose the right one.
- Victorian Essence (www.missingromance.com) focuses on porch, arbor and gazebo components.
There aren't a lot of sources for Victorian house trim. There is a nice article on picking colors for your house trim, The Best Exterior Trim Colours – NOT Cloud White.
Want to learn more about vinyl siding? Read Siding: When to Switch from Wood to Vinyl