Balanced approach

Making an exterior transformation isn’t generally a several months long process of research, design and construction for Olathe, Kan.-based Johnson County Siding & Window Co., but a recent project in Lenexa, Kan., was anything but typical. The project’s complexity was precisely what inspires Justin Christie, project manager and company salesman at JoCo Siding & Window, to claim it as one of his favorite jobs.

“Most of our siding, windows and doors projects are turnkey, but this home’s design was truly an interactive process with the owner,” Christie says. “The window placement on the original home was visually imbalanced, which created the opportunity to customize a completely new look — it gave us a great canvas to work with.”

Set in a 1974 neighborhood development built with no pre-conceived house plans, all of the homes were tailored to what the original owners desired. To re-balance the home’s appearance, the contractor resized 10 out of the 14 windows that were replaced.

SetTING the Stage

After the old vertical siding from the front and garage faades was removed, the walls were wrapped for air tightness. JoCo Siding & Window cut in new headers and reframed three of the front windows. Then, they installed custom-made flashing on the foundation, stoops, roof areas, windows and doors to prevent moisture infiltration.

The entry door sits in a set-back section in the center of the front faade, and manufactured stone was selected as a siding material to distinguish this center section. New 8¼-in. horizontal cedar lap fiber cement siding panels with a 7-in. reveal dominate the protruding front walls, but a 4-ft. manufactured stone wainscot maintains symmetry across these sections. Because manufactured stone is not as thick as real stone, the contractor added stone corners in the same style and finish on all outer edges to create depth and offer the perception of real stone.

With their size and location determined, 14 windows with prairie grids featuring fiberglass exteriors and wood interiors were installed. Energy efficiency was an important goal, and all windows were dual-pane, 366 low-emissivity glass for Energy Star performance. Depending on their placement, the windows were trimmed in either fiber cement or trim stones. Windows set into the wainscot were fit with a stone sill to match the ledge cap on the stone wainscot.

Water and Walls

The roof valley on the 2,639-sq.-ft. home emptied into one corner that allowed roof water to run against the existing wall, and 80 percent of the water from the second story drained onto the garage and courtyard area. “We are very conscious about water management issues as moisture is the enemy of every house,” Christie asserts.

The contractor increased the size of the gutter and downspout and crafted custom, oversized kick-out flashing on the roof. Then, they added an underground drainage system to usher the water away from the courtyard. “It was a tricky solution that took several different tries to get just right,” Christie recalls. “The process added time to the schedule, too, because we needed rainfall to see the type and amount of water the home would experience on a regular basis; we had to wait for the weather to comply.”

The garage faade also benefited from the remodel. Originally, the owners planned to redesign only the front of the house, but the new faade is visible from the driveway and Christie championed the need for visual consistency as one approached the home. As a result, the garage faade also received new horizontal siding and a new window. The front faade had an oversized wall on each side with the roofline jutting out an additional 4 ft. to cover the sections of wall. This created 6 by 6 ft. of wasted space near the front door that blocked natural light into the home and an odd exterior treatment at one corner of the garage. The protruding wall was cut down to the foundation, and the extraneous sections of roofline from each side were removed. Then, stone wing walls with custom-fabricated steel brackets were added for long-term structural support.

Finishing Touches

Sourcing products from different manufacturers in a variety of materials and colors prompted JoCo Siding & Window to bring a designer onboard. “This was an extensive design process, and correlating all the textures, styles, stone color, trim stones, and paint colors was extremely important,” says Christie. “We had several design consultations to ensure the owners would be satisfied with the ultimate decisions on how everything fit together.”

Paint color for the new siding was selected in Adaptive Shade with trim color in Enduring Bronze. The original vertical cedar siding was retained on the back and right side of the house and painted the same colors. The manufactured stone’s style is called Cheyenne with a Browns Valley finish. The fiberglass exterior windows were colored in Pebble Gray. Trim stones in a Tennessee finish frame the entry door and front faade windows. “We added a keystone accent piece above the window and the door. It’s a small detail but was critical to create aesthetic balance,” Christie explains.

Knowing they would add stone around the front door which would be difficult to remove later, the homeowner noted that the door was not square and had air leakage. The team removed, leveled and properly shimmed the door to prevent the homeowner from having to do significant work in the future.

Completed throughout six months in 2013, Christie credits his labor force for an incredibly smooth process. “We’re a family-owned business with guys that have been with our company for 20 to 30 years, and their work is a major part of the reason why we are so successful.” QR


KJ Fields writes from Portland, Ore., about remodeling and design.