Ranch house makeover

There have been precious few photos of the exterior of the ranch house because, frankly, it's not so cute. So not cute that when people visit for the first time, they approach looking consternated, as in "why in heaven's name would you buy this pile of tinder?"

We bought it because of this:


Be that as it may, in order to continue enjoying the above vista without having our shack-in-the-valley sink into Goodwin Creek, we needed to address the sad state of its public face.

The outside of the house, as you can see, is clad in some kind rough, exterior-grade plywood that for almost 30 years has suffered the kind of climatic insults only possible at 8,000 feet: Brutal sun, high winds, slashing rain and snow. Some of the wood is so worn it almost crumbles to the touch.

We wanted a solution that would be relatively maintenance-free and reasonably priced. Improving the esthetics was of secondary concern. The other consideration, we had to keep the red metal roof, which is still in fine shape.

We settled on metal siding for its durability, though I was concerned the place would look like a microwave. But on walks through our Denver neighborhood, I spotted contemporary construction that mixed different colors and textures of metal--treatments we both liked--so we decided to try for an industrial cabin vibe, mixing vertical-hung Image II (in zinc grey) on the sides, Barnmaster galvanized from Wheeling Corrugating for the soffit (for a bit of shiney bling), and 7/8" rib weathering steel corrugated hung horizontally for the gable. (The weathering steel rusts up to a point; the siding under the gable will eventally acquire the look of an old, weathered tin roof.)


Here's a view of the new soffit and fascia. 

Mitch and our contractor friend Boyd lifting the first piece of weathering steel into place.


Here you can see what we're going for: Red roof, bright soffit and fascia, rusting material covering the gable, grey metal walls, which have yet to be  hung.

Of course, my contribution was key. I held a two-by-four, fetched a hammer and moved a wire. They couldn't have done it without me.

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