West side story

Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change.

~ Richard Branson, entrepreneur

The evolution of the west side of our church conversion project is complete.

Church forefathers have probably stated this very thing over the years. When the building was first built. When it was repainted. When it was sided. Heck (can I say heck on this blog?), even I’ve said it during our renovation of the church into our home.

Here’s how the west side of the church looked when we purchased it in 2017.

Note the fire escape on the side of the building and the old windows (and, oh my gosh, look how rickety the bell tower looked!). You can see the siding that covered up—something—there in the middle between the two stories of windows.

After hauling away the fire escape, replacing all the windows and removing the siding on the second floor in 2020, we revealed beautiful shakes in the peak and in that “frosting” layer between stories. Our talented carpenter, You-Can-Call-Me-Al, replaced the missing shakes, and we painted all the shakes gray. You can see, though, how the edges on the right and left of the middle layer are incomplete. Also, we had a whole lot of dented siding on the first floor (it got dented during a hail storm during reconstruction of the interior of the church).

Finally, this week, Tyler and You-Can-Call-Me-Al addressed the edges and first floor. In three days, the two of them replaced all the dented siding and fixed the sides of the shake frosting layer.

First, Tyler removed the dented siding, revealing an interesting pattern of original wood siding.

How about vertical siding? And diagonal while we’re at it.

I wonder if the original church fathers were trying to add interest to the exterior in lieu of stained glass windows and other traditional church detailing. We also saw that diagonal siding on the bell tower when we stripped it.

The old edging on the shakes bothered me. It looks perfect now.

While You-Can-Call-Me-Al was monkeying around, he climbed up to the bell tower and rethreaded the bell rope, which got off the track somehow and made it so we couldn’t ring the bell. No more! The bell is in working order again (and You-Can-Call-Me-Al is safely on the ground).

Tyler intends to plant a row of bushes along the west side which will complete the look. For now anyway.

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