Duane and Connie Cleek of Perry were a bit taken aback by the dingy yellow siding on the house they visited on First Avenue when they were house hunting a couple of years ago.
Despite the outward appearance of a very tired-looking house at 1726 First St., the foundation was strong, the structure was sound, and Duane and Connie liked the interior. And, a number of years before, they had lived in a house that was built almost identically to the one they were looking at.
Built in 1916, the house on First Street is considered a “Sears Robuck” house because the materials and the plans to build the mission/prairie-style house were purchased through the Sears catalog. Strong, solid wooden beams decorate and reinforce the ceilings in the dining room and living room. What appears to be the original ceiling lights are still in the dining room.
However, Duane and Connie had some reservations. There wasn’t much parking space, and the garage was particularly small. The yellow siding had its drawbacks as well. Before the couple bought the house, Duane, who owns his own painting business, pulled back some of the siding to see what was underneath.
“I knew we couldn’t paint over the siding. The paint wouldn’t stick well, but I was concerned about what the siding was covering up,” he says.
He was pleasantly surprised. The original wood siding, though aged with some damage from the siding being put on, was still in decent shape. Only two coats of paint had been applied to the house since it was built.
The price was right, so the couple decided to move forward. They lived in the house for a year before they began removing the siding.
“We had to get rid of a lot of the ugly before it could start looking better,” Duane explains.
At first, removing the yellow siding made the house look even worse. The original wooden siding was weathered and had a dull, dusty, dirty look.
Neighbors didn’t have much to say about what they were doing to the house. Duane figures that was because it was looking so bad.
However, as he began painting the house in two-tone colors of silver-gray and a darker gray with white as a trim color, neighbors and passersby began to stop and talk to him about the house. They liked the look and the idea that the house was looking so much better.
To be featured in an upcoming “Where We Live” column, contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or email@example.com.