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The Two Flat Has New Siding!

The reconfigured exterior of the Two Flat is complete! In this post, we’re showing off new siding + trim, a brand new front porch and the tongue and groove porch ceiling.

The finished exterior of a Chicago two flat with new windows and siding // via Yellow Brick Home

The siding project at the Two Flat is (structurally) complete! This a huge milestone that’s been months in the making. If you’ve been following along, you may have read about some of the challenges we uncovered while working through the exterior design of the home. There were quite a few potential design variations along the way, but despite all our design decision paralysis, we love the final look!

As a reminder of where we started, the photo below is what the house looked like the day we took possession. The massive shrub/tree blocked a lot of the awkward angles, but it was in need of some serious love.

Exterior | Before

An overgrown tree blocks the front of a chicago two flat // via Yellow Brick Home

Exterior | Today

Let’s Call This… Step 2?

Since the decisions surrounding the pitched porch roof ended up acting as an unofficial Step 1 in the process, let’s call this structural work Step 2. And Step 3 will come in the form of a fresh coat of paint(!) and some tidy landscaping(!), but Chicago weather has us holding off until springtime for those jobs. In the meantime, we’re still narrowing down paint colors and have been scouring the web and snapping pics of colors we love as we drive around our fair city. We’re pretty certain that we’re leaning dark, but who knows?

A Siding Pivot

As can be seen from these close up before/after shots, this house has been through lots of choppy exterior upgrades(?) throughout its 130 years of life. There were layers of original wood siding and multiple types of asphalt siding – and on top of all that, the mix of modern aluminum and vinyl siding. The aluminum was in fairly good shape overall, and we were hoping to salvage what we could and patch the rest back in. However, with the amount of reconfiguring that became necessary, there simply wasn’t enough siding left to make it worth salvaging. We peeled off the aluminum siding that was able to be saved and used it to patch in damaged sections on the rear of the house. Lemonade out of lemons, right?

Exterior Close-Up | In-Progress

A new window is surrounded by many layers of old siding on a Chicago home // via Yellow Brick Home

Exterior Close-Up | Today

The finished exterior of a Chicago two flat with new windows and siding // via Yellow Brick Home

With the new lack of siding at the front of the house came a need for modern, sturdy siding. We’ve used LP SmartSide in the past and continue to be very happy with the results, so it was the obvious choice for us here. Much like on the rear of our Chicago home, we opted for 6 inch boards with a 5 inch lap (aka: the height of the siding ‘reveal’) for a classic look. Prior to landing on this, we’d actually gone down quite the modern siding rabbit hole, at one point even considering a vertically oriented board and batten style! Those dreams were squashes once those installation costs rolled in, however, so we stuck with our tried and true method.

Tongue and Groove for the Porch Ceiling

As we reconfigured the front porch of the home, we knew we wanted to bring in some natural wood accents. The porch ceiling was an easy choice, since it’s exactly what we’re hoping to do to our own home someday! Our contractor supplied cedar tongue and groove boards that will eventually be stained to complement the paint color that we select. We’re thinking the whole thing will be sort of warm, but somehow moody if that makes sense? Time will tell!

Exterior | In-Progress

A Chicago two flat in the process of having new siding installed // via Yellow Brick Home
A Chicago two flat in the process of having new siding installed // via Yellow Brick Home

Exterior Porch Ceiling | Today

The finished exterior of a Chicago two flat with new windows and siding // via Yellow Brick Home

Cedar Trim For the Long Haul

The window and door openings, as well as the corners of the home were also trimmed in cedar, but in this case we selected 1″ x 4″ boards. The trim and siding were caulked for weather-sealing and a seamless look. Cedar is naturally rot resistant, so it will hold up nicely in our climate.

The finished exterior of a Chicago two flat with new windows and siding // via Yellow Brick Home

But What About the Sides of the House?

We’ve gotten a lot of questions about how we’ll handle the sides of the house, and we completely understand why. Our two flat literally touches both the home to the left and the apartment building to the right, so there’s much less siding to deal with! Luckily, the existing aluminum on the sides of the house is in very good shape due to lack of exposure to the elements. Once the weather turns (and we decide on a color palette!) we’ll be able to paint the sides – as much as can be reached – the same color as the front.

The finished exterior of a Chicago two flat with new windows and siding // via Yellow Brick Home
The finished exterior of a Chicago two flat with new windows and siding // via Yellow Brick Home

The photo above is a very good indication of our level of excitement for this portion of the project to be complete! With the drywall wrapped up on the inside and the siding complete on the outside, we’re thisclose to taking the project over, leaving us equal parts nervous and ecstatic! The Two Flat is feeling more like a home every day, and each completed task gets us one step closer to the finish line.

Which Paint Color Would You Choose?

Curious minds want to know, if you could paint the Two Flat any color, what would it be? We keep being inspired by dark warm greens, or maybe even a deep chameleon-esque gray like Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal? We’re all ears!

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  • lak1.28.20 - 6:59 AM

    Love the GREEN in any shade!  Found in nature everywhere, goes with everything and anything, can even be considered neutral.  I see grey everywhere, and while it may be beautiful, it feels overdone to me, like a uniform.  But to each his own!ReplyCancel

  • Haley1.28.20 - 7:35 AM

    Looks so good! I totally agree about the dark warm greens. I think they would contrast beautifully with the buildings next door. My vote (not that I get one) is for Caldwell Green or Rainy Afternoon by Ben Moore.ReplyCancel

  • ElleK1.28.20 - 8:10 AM

    Something similar to Behr Sagebrush Green (stain, with some contrasting color on the gable at the top)ReplyCancel

  • Debra1.28.20 - 8:11 AM

    I had to look up the BM Kendall Charcoal, but …wow!  That would be gorgeous!ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.28.20 - 12:28 PM

      Definitely one of our favorites.ReplyCancel

      • Claire1.28.20 - 8:06 PM

        It is really beautiful. ???? It is also very moody and changes based on the light. ⚫️????????⚫️ReplyCancel

  • Krystal1.28.20 - 9:08 AM

    I can perfectly picture this house a beautiful blue with the wood accents and white trim. Something like this, if the link works:

    • Kim1.28.20 - 11:38 AM

      Soooo pretty.????ReplyCancel

    • Jen1.28.20 - 9:40 PM

      Oh, that’s so nice!  I totally vote for this!ReplyCancel

      • Susan1.29.20 - 9:39 AM

        Love that color! I think it would be perfect her & help the house stand out on the block.ReplyCancel

  • Susan1.28.20 - 9:10 AM

    There seems to be a large blank space between the big picture window and that tiny skinny window in the basement unit. Just curious what your plans are there? Almost seems like it needs a wide trim board at the level of the porch deck to break it up. I can see the house being a moody green, but I would stain the cedar porch ceiling close to the color it is right now. That pop of warm wood on the porch would look cozy and inviting. Love what you did with the overhang and the upper windows. It’s SO much better than what was on the front when you purchased the 2 flatReplyCancel

    • Kim1.28.20 - 11:37 AM

      We were limited by support beams on the size of window, but we’ll be balancing it all out with landscaping!ReplyCancel

      • Haley1.28.20 - 2:36 PM

        Meaning maybe some vines on a trellis between those windows?! (heart eyes)ReplyCancel

  • Jen Renda1.28.20 - 9:19 AM

    For some reason I think Navy would look nice. It would play well, but stand out with the other buildings.ReplyCancel

  • Liz1.28.20 - 9:22 AM

    I saw the picture and seriously thought you guys had gone with tan siding; I was SO BUMMED [and underwhelmed]! I’d love to see you use a dark color to really stand out from the buildings on either side.ReplyCancel

  • Sara1.28.20 - 9:34 AM

    The siding looks great! There is a house near me with paint that’s a darker grey with just a bit of green it it. Every time I drive by it, I think what a lovely color it is. It looks so nice with landscaping. ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie1.28.20 - 10:07 AM

    How about Mr. Fredrickson’s house colors from the movie “Up”!? At the very least make hand prints hidden somewhere ????.
    I would look at a color that complements the two buildings on either side, OR something that completely “pops” against them.ReplyCancel

  • El1.28.20 - 11:42 AM

    I’d do a deep charcoal color –  the wood ceiling would really look great against that.ReplyCancel

  • Kel1.28.20 - 12:31 PM

    Check out Benjamin Moore Kitty Gray! It’s a moody green/blue/gray depending on the light :) I’m so stoked for you guys to be at this point and looking forward to watching you get in there and start finishing rooms!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca1.28.20 - 1:04 PM

    I’d go with green. So many dark grey buildings around logan square now. Something different might be nice. Also, a window box under the bigger set of front windows would look so lovely. :)ReplyCancel

  • Carrie1.28.20 - 3:44 PM

    Terrytown Green by BM is my favorite color with ebony stain on the cedar and maybe creamy/white accents. It would certainly pooReplyCancel

    • Carrie1.28.20 - 3:45 PM

      Pop. Oops sorry????ReplyCancel

  • Mel1.28.20 - 6:48 PM

    Team navy! The gray houses near us are depressing on bleak days, although you would undoubtedly choose a better gray. A house on the corner near us recently went navy and it is handsome in all light.ReplyCancel

  • Karen1.28.20 - 8:38 PM

    I’d love to see two tones on the house with the trim adding a third color. My bathrooms are Kendall Charcoal and I love it, but then again, green offers so many choices. Maybe two greens? And cream trim? Clearly I’m no help. ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa1.28.20 - 9:21 PM

    Well, with the pink brick on the left and the yellowy tan colors on the right, I’d try to pull those both in with another two or three colors, maybe the navy and some cream?  A little “painted lady” in Chicago?ReplyCancel

  • NT1.28.20 - 9:57 PM

    I am with all those that say navy!ReplyCancel

  • Janie1.28.20 - 10:31 PM

    We just painted our house Iron Mountain by Behr with iron ore trim sherwin William in the peak we used Anonymous by Sherwin William. Very scary to go so dark but we love the result!ReplyCancel

  • JAS1.29.20 - 9:51 AM

    I think something besides grey/charcoal or dark blue, those are all the rage for flipped houses here in Logan Square. (Literally, #gentrificationgrey on IG). Warm greens sound fantastic! And thank you for saving this house, btw!ReplyCancel

  • ML2.8.20 - 10:02 PM

    Not meaning to throw a wrench into your thoughts, but it looks to me like the properties on either side of the two-flat have windows that face the sides of your house. They will get a great deal more light reflected into their spaces if your siding is a light color rather than if it is dark. Just something to think about. ReplyCancel

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We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

Join us as we renovate and nurture vintage homes across Chicago + SW Michigan!

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