Vinyl Vandals I

      7 Comments on Vinyl Vandals I

Recently we spied two new cases of vinyl-vandalism.

The first case was spotted along State Street in Augusta Maine. The stately building houses a government agency so this project is probably part of some energy-efficiency program. Not that we are against saving energy, there are just many other ways that don’t junk up the neighborhood in the process.

Vinyl Vandals Augusta Maine(click picture to zoom)

The second case was spotted on Main Street in Newbury, Vermont. It appears to be a misguided residential owner, though some homes on the street have become commercial properties and were vandalized in the process. Also note the out-of-place McMansion style door.

Vinyl Vandals Newbury Vermont(click picture to zoom)

One of the frustrating things about vinyl that is noted in both pictures is the odd effect created by the addition of the underlying insulation. This often causes the vinyl to stick out and rest flush with, or even beyond, the windows. So the windows can end up being recessed into the vinyl which ruins the aesthetics, especially when the insulation is applied over the old clapboard.  In both these cases, the clapboard was at least removed first.

Longer term, the insulation can act like a vapor barrier trapping moisture in the walls of the house. Keep in mind, these old homes were designed to breathe so that extra moisture can be devastating. Worse case, your walls dry rot sending your home to a premature grave.

Additionally, the vandals in the process of putting up the vinyl will often destroy parts of the window trim–such as buzzing off the edge of the sill or ornamentation.

Please add your thoughtful comment . . .
leeCALISTI says:

I am also a vinyl siding hater. Yes, I’m a hater, not of any people, but a building product. I support your cause. I wrote about it in my blog last year. http://wp.me/p1gGBj-7y I believe I used the term “healthy loathing” just so I wasn’t misunderstood.

Stay the course!

leeCALISTI, thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear of your “healthy loathing” 🙂 To be sure, we don’t just dislike the product, but also how it is applied to our historic homes. Contractors buzz off window sills and remove ornamentation indiscriminately in the quest to put up the vinyl as fast as possible. This makes undoing their mess very expensive and time-consuming which means most won’t ever bother–except for us die-hard preservationists.

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leeCALISTI says:

I found you after an ongoing discussion with a journalist from Smart Money Magazine who is working on an article about our “plastic houses” and other related items. She mentioned she is traveling to NE to do more research for the article. She mentioned the term Vinyl Vandalism and I “Googled” it and found you. I love the term and I work at showing my clients and community better alternatives. It’s a tough sell against vinyl here in Pennsylvania. After traveling to NE again last summer, I am convinced it’s one of my favorite parts of the country. I hope enough people like you continue to work to preserve and restore it. As an architect I find myself in the minority on a lot of important subjects.

Fantastic, we will look forward to reading your comments in the Smart Money story. Perhaps we can work together on this crusade against vinyl . . . if you ever want to guest post on NNEV please let us know (via our contact form). Do you accept guest posts on your blog?

leeCALISTI says:

I’m with you on the crusade. To be honest, I have only gotten one request for a guest post and it’s written waiting for the author to approve it. It hasn’t been posted yet though.

I have reblogged a good post once or twice, but I keep that to a minimum. However, I’d love to discuss a guest post. I think we share some common values. My article from last year about our trip to NE is found here. http://wp.me/p1gGBj-ck  Thanks!