Deck Stain, Wood Shingles, and Other Old House Mistakes

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Real Estate Agent with Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate Delaware RS-0010115
https://activerain.com/droplet/G7Q

Last week, Preservation Delaware hosted Preservation Weekend in Old New Castle, Delaware. One of the speakers was Richard Byrne, an Architectural Conservator from Staunton, Virginia. After many years of experience, Mr. Byrne had some definite views about preserving older and historic homes.

One of his strongly emphasized statements was that wood needs an opaque coating to preserve the cambium of the wood siding or decking. I had heard home inspectors recommend coating decks with stain, but Byrne strongly disagrees with this advice. "Paint, Paint!" and no alternatives, he advised. Along with this, his mantra included keeping wood in good repair, correctly nailing wood shingles so that they have room to expand and contract, and keeping water and insects away from wood.

       richard byrne New Castle Dutch House

Shown above, Mr. Byrne holds a shingle which he passed around the room to illustrate the correct nailing technique of not placing the nails too close to one another to give the shingle room to expand and contract.  He told a story about (what sounds like) a fly-by-night contractor who had the roofer pre-assemble six foot sections of stapled wood shingles, nailed to a roof framework at the edges of the units. When a strong wind came along, the owner of a quite expensive home found all the humongous sections had taken flight to distant places. One of the problems was the general contractor gave the non-English speaking roofer incorrect instructions to follow, while he himself had no clue as to how to install a wood shingle roof.  

The second picture is of the group standing on the New Castle Green looking at the Old Dutch House (red siding), said to be one of the oldest houses (c. 1700) in Delaware. It is now a house museum owned by the New Castle Historical Society.  Mr. Byrne gave a running commentary on the houses along the green, and freely noted what he considered incorrectly installed downspouts and other errors. It's a good thing those historic home owners were not present, or maybe they should have heard him!

 

 

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Topic:
Home Improvement
Location:
Delaware New Castle County New Castle
Groups:
Delaware Valley Region
Chester County, PA
Heritage Properties, Historic Sites and Antiques .
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Tags:
historic homes
preservation delaware
new castle de
wood shingle roofs
dutch house
old house maintenance

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Rainer
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Laura Murray
Weichert - Silver Spring, MD
Search Montgomery Co., MD for homes www.MDRealEstateOnline.com

Interesting reading.  I found your site particularly interesting since I grew up in Glen Mills, PA.  I am sure the place has changed a lot since then, but i will always remember the beautiful stone farmhouses.

Aug 09, 2012 05:34 AM #1
Rainmaker
607,470
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

Laura--Glen Mills is just a couple of miles from me, and there are some great stone farmhouses there!

Aug 09, 2012 05:40 AM #2
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Rainmaker
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Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA

Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
Carolyn: Tell me more about buying or selling older homes.
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