How can I put this politely . . . we hate vinyl siding (or any non-historical siding for that matter) and windows. Every time someone puts on vinyl siding or windows, we refer to it as an act of “vinyl-vandalism.” An offense to visual pleasantries rivaling graffiti.
Adding insult to injury, its like plastic wrap for your poor house which holds moisture inside. The fact is that wooden houses have to breathe, especially in old construction. Otherwise, moisture builds and rot sets in. That is not preservation, its degradation.
On another note, vinyl is an oil-based product, i.e., plastic. Why are folks in Northern New England, one of the most heavily forested region in the country, covering their homes in oil from Saudi Arabia or Venezuela when home-grown clapboards are readily available. Do we get a kick out of sending our hard-earned dollars overseas?
As such, this page will host before- and after-pictures of the works of vinyl-vandals. Like graffiti artists, vinyl siding can seemingly go up over night. So we may not always have the before-pictures, but we post it knowing it was once clad in real, genuine clapboards.
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 many other ways that don’t junk up the neighborhood in the process.
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.
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 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.