Character-Defining Exterior Trim

This pair of once-identical Stick Style houses show how much historic character is lost from removing architectural trim elements and applying inappropriate siding, as happened to the house on the left in the 1950s.

The houses were constructed as parts of a row of four matching units in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco in 1889, built for $20,000. The squared bay windows, finial-topped, decoratively trussed false gables, and other elements are typical of the style. The builders, James O. And Moses E. Roundtree were one of the city’s more prolific contracting firms during the late 19th century. They are best known for the rows of houses they developed as owner-builders, like these.

Exterior trim is a character-defining feature. It reflects the time it was created and identifies the style of the house. Removing or covering trim elements and siding will negatively impact a house’s character. If your trim is deteriorated, damaged, or missing, and your siding has been covered, there are appropriate ways to restore them.

Siding and trim are covered in Chapter 13 of “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.”

Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available from the author in our shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.

Our shop also carries select preservation and restoration titles. Save on cost and shipping with our multi-book combo packs!

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