The old clapboard siding was easily removed--it practically fell
off! Underneath there was no sheathing at all, just open
cavities in the post and beam frame filled with a mixture of mud and
straw. Every few inches a scrap of oak was layered into the
This photo (courtesy of the homeowner) shows a portion of
newspaper found rolled up in the wall.
It's from a 1930s remodel!
With the mud and straw "insulation" removed, the post and beam
frame is revealed, along with some structural issues that will be
repaired. The added window would have gone in the upper left,
but the frame leaves no room for it. Timber frames are not
forgiving when it comes to remodeling.
After some frame repairs, fiberglass insulation is added.
A band of flashing along the bottom will add some protection against
rot. The house was really built too close to the ground.
After insulating, plywood sheathing is added. It must be
thin in order not to protrude past the existing trim when the
clapboards are added. Still, it helps to tie the building
together and hold the insulation in place.
In this photo, the paint is literally still drying! The new
cedar clapboards have been replaced using the original idiosyncratic
spacing. The wall is ready again to face the ravages of time.
A house dating back to the 1700s can have all sorts of surprises
My clients wanted to replace the clapboard siding that had failed
from age and perhaps add a window. Opening up the wall
revealed all sorts of interesting things.
--John Painter, Owner