“Synthetic sidings such as vinyl, aluminum and synthetic stucco-like finishes are not historic cladding material in the District and their use should be avoided. I would suggest changing the “should be avoided” to will not be allowed.” -Joe Fehrer, Chair HDRB on the prohibition of using vinyl siding on historic homes in Cape Charles.
The above language will be inserted into the historic guidelines and illuminates the Historic District Review Board’s general disdain for using synthetic materials to cover up existing siding. Given the current climate, the timing for an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness from the property owner at 546 Randolph for synthetic re-siding of a single-family turned out to be problematic.
After inspecting the home, the consensus of the board was that house was not really in that dire of a state, and that the applicant’s argument for replacing the siding was disingenuous. Chairman Fehrer argued that while vinyl is cheaper, hardy plank was better at maintaining the status of corner boards, freeze boards, soffits and facias, and that vinyl siding ‘stood too proud’ over these other elements.
The board stated that approving this application was a rabbit hole it did want to go down, and that it would open the door for every lazy citizen that wanted to cover up historic siding merely to avoid having to deal with peeling paint.
“I’ve worked on a lot of old houses, and this one just doesn’t look like that big of a job. It looks salvageable, and we need to keep, or promote keeping homes that highlight the beautiful trim work like we see here,” Board Member David Gay said.
The applicants were on overseas travel and were not present for the meeting. The board voted to table the application in order to give the applicant the opportunity to provide more details on why the siding needs to be replaced.