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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Linden Makeover: Stucco

With apologies...

Stucco. The name itself just doesn't instill the visions of dignity and grace that other building materials provide, like, say, plaster. Nicely plastered walls in a turn-of-the-century California bungalow have an aged charm. Mid-twentieth century stucco? You'll find it in an architectural toss-off in a sub-heading alongside rayon, formica, and naugahyde.

But though we lament, stucco is here to stay. It's quick, it's cheap, it's everywhere. Paint over it if you don't like the color, or, in the case of the Linden's house, add some old splintery siding!

We're not sure whose idea it was to just nail four or five pieces of siding over the gaping maw that was at one time the garage door, but we're sure they've put him to work in the asylum with a nice rubber hammer. The siding has done its time holding up the rotted and termite-infested frame of the front of the house. It has to go. Bring back stucco!

Let's go around back...

Yes, there are two electrical boxes and two electrical meters -one set clearly from this century. Perhaps we should remove the archaic ones and get a quote on their worth from Antiques Roadshow. I'm sure it will fetch a princely sum when paired with the old wire hookup above it (jutting out on the right)...

While you're up there, take care of that rotted fascia board, would you? Don't lean your ladder against it, you may fall through.

And then there's this crawlspace door. Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

I show this picture as it is a good collection of projects to tackle in one shot. There's the minor stucco patching, oft repeated 'round the abode. There's the warped wood and crackled paint that Hollywood art directors spend a lifetime perfecting. And there's the discolored pinkish pavers, a color not found in nature outside of a marsupial's bowels.

But I think there's something we could do about this... I think there's hope. I think, with a few of us clever friends of goodwill, a few tools, some proper chemicals... why... I think a change could be had! Not to worry, Lindens! A relaxed countenance, a lifted burden... it's all on the other end of a well-placed mallet-swing!

(And we're gonna have to do something about that color scheme, too.)


ML said...

Thanks man, now everytime I go out back all I can think of is , "marsupial's bowels".

HB said...

This was truly a Lileks piece. Maybe we could call it "Exterior Desecrations." Crosby , Stills ,& Nash wouldn't be singing about how fine it is, would they? Awesome.