Oak Park Exterior Makeover

Oak Park Historical Makeover

After purchasing an 1896 Folk Victorian house in the Oak Park, IL historic district, our clients wanted to restore the house to its original splendor.

Over the years changes had been made to the house, including aluminum siding and a front porch which was added in the 1940s.

The Historic Committee was asked to rule whether the front porch should be restored as it had been or redesigned to its original 1896 style. The 1896 style was ruled appropriate, and the final design incorporated many other suggestions by the Committee.

Final detail was to be determined after the aluminum siding was removed. After discovering the original cedar lap siding underneath and was deemed unusable by the head of the building department, it was decided to custom paint Hardie lap siding for the main portion of the siding. A beautiful hand cut cedar was found in the gable end peaks, and we reproduced that pattern with natural individual cedar shakes hand cut by our craftsman. The verge or bargeboards were replicated in a composite material to identically match the original style. The doors leading into the cellar were rebuilt, and new insulation was installed for the whole house with new sheathing. Three windows on the front of the house were replaced with double hung Eagle windows to better reflect 1896s era wood windows.

Neighbors and friends kept stopping by during the construction to compliment the owners of the home. The homeowners were pleasantly surprised by people stopping their cars in front of their newly transformed house. Plans to apply to the State of Illinois for Historical Status as well as request a historical plaque from the city of Oak Park are in the near future.

Restoring the home to its original beauty was a process of discovery and design that resulted in an authentic masterpiece.