If you lived in the Northwest, and paid attention to the architecture of homes, you would notice that the following picture of the overhangs on a home is “unusual.”
When I was walking around the house with my buyer, I informed them that the house used to have horizontal soffits instead of finish materials on the underside of the rafters. I did admit that it was “possible” that the house used to have what we call “open soffits” where the rafters remain exposed in the overhang. This style is very common on many homes but not quite so common on this age of home.
When we got to the chimney I had my “proof.”
Can you see where the chimney was never finished with the same care and detail as areas that would be visible?
I often have buyers that want to know if they can take off the vinyl siding and uncover and repair/refinish the original wood siding. I am always skeptical about how successful this is going to be. That underlying siding was covered for a reason. Sometimes it was for lower maintenance, but often it was because there were bad areas, window changes, door changes etc. These old siding materials will invariably have many coats of lead based paint that will have to be dealt with.
In this case there won’t be any siding at the top 16” all around the home under the overhangs adding to what they will have to deal with when they take the vinyl off.
Aren’t old houses fun?
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board