This is my next-door neighbors' house, the house where Gwen and Floyd live. I've talked about Gwen and Floyd several times on this blog, because they're wonderful neighbors and they're always ready with words of encouragement about my house.
But then there's the matter of that siding...
It's stucco, or "concrete siding" as Floyd calls it, and it was applied to the house sometime in the 1930s. It's not ordinary stucco, which is finished somewhat smoothly. This stuff must have been applied with a trowel or similar tool, and it has a very rough finish. (Incidentally, the house next door to theirs was stuccoed too, and it's yet another strange stucco finish that looks like gravel.)
I think that siding is hideous.
Let me clarify that--I think it's hideous on that house. On a little Craftsman cottage or a Tudor, I think it would look good, especially if that stucco finish was original to the house. But underneath that concrete siding, there are clapboards. Clapboards fit better with the architecture of the house. Rough stucco is too heavy-looking for this little Victorian. It doesn't go with the style of the house at all. To make matters worse, the original window trim was sawed off square and now the windows look buried in the stucco. Compare those windows to mine, where the window frame sticks out from the house a bit, the sill extends past the frame a tad, and the upper frame is trimmed out with quarter-round. Whoever decided to stucco this house should have been charged with the crime of stupidity and made to pay a hefty fine of at least ten times whatever it cost to have that junk put on the house.
But is it reversible? Marion says it is. He says that before the stucco was applied, firring strips were nailed to the house and then wire mesh (similar to chicken wire but heavier) was attached to the strips. "Whack it with a hammer a few gazillion times to break up that stucco, pull those strips off there with a pry bar, fill in the holes, and paint it," he says. Wouldn't that house look adorable if someone did that? Maybe do it up as a little Painted Lady, with jewel colors picking out the architectural details on the trim and the porch posts...Can't you just see it?