It started innocently enough, over an afternoon beer at a client party last summer. I was chatting with my friend�s new fianc�. After we’d covered our mutual admiration for the fabulous woman he plans to marry, we moved on to the essentials. Like jobs.

I write, and he works with siding and roofs for a living. So before long we were talking about siding and roofs.

When I mentioned that my vintage aluminum siding had been dinged up by hail, he suggested talking to my insurance company. If I was able to get financial help from them, I would be able to contact some Chicago siding professionals to come and replace them, giving my home a fresh, new look. This seems obvious, but then again I’d tried that a few years back, to no avail. Was it worth the hassle?

Yet, the truth was, R-house had been hit by even more hail since that first claim, and the siding was definitely dented. So I gave it another shot.

Long story long, in November I received word that, yes, insurance would cover the damage to my siding.

And my roof as well.



My relief and excitement were immediately followed by:

� A mountain of paperwork.
� And then another mountain.
� Endless miles of red tape that I repeatedly tripped over, causing weeks of delays and, twice, thousands of dollars in bounced checks. (Winning!)

For months, I was physically incapable of seeing anything other than siding everywhere I went, as I agonized over the type, style, and color I wanted. I would drive miles out of the way to nonchalantly coast two or three times past houses I liked.

Fortunately (or not), I had all winter and spring to stew on this decision. My friend told me about a company she used and I eventually settled on having a look at hardie siding installation for my ideas and inspiration. I think that I made a good decision and I am looking forward to seeing the finishing product, which you can see below.

By the time we narrowed in on installation dates, I was swirling from a rollercoaster of emotion, almost none of it related to siding.

� It was the familiar overwhelm of making so many household decisions by myself.
� It was the absurdity of trying to choose a color and texture for my entire house based on a 3� siding sample.
� It was letting go of fantasies (i.e., Hardie board) and instead embracing the actual house and budget and neighborhood I live in.
� And it was the fear that I�d make a (highly visible) unchangeable change and forever regret it.

But most of all: It was saying goodbye to a much-beloved old friend, who has held our little family through many good, and hard, and beautiful, and sweet days.

It wasn�t actually goodbye, though, was it?

It was more like, �See ya later and I hope we still like you when you get back.�

Well, guess what, folks?

R-house is back.

And we love her.

Here’s to payoffs that are worth the worry, friends. And the wait.


P.S. After an epically long installation process that included an actual dumpster fire and that’s still not quite finished (new wraps for the doors and window are coming soon [hopefully]), last Friday was the day I’ve been waiting for this entire time: The new R was finally installed. And R-house was ours again.

I was soooo nervous about the steel siding, but we’re loving it.

Hope you like it!


  • Julie

    Thank you, Ann Marie! xo

  • Ann Marie

    Love it!


    Stunning!!! Love the color palette! My fav!

  • Julie

    Oh, thanks so much, An!!

  • An Trieu

    That’s a lovely transformation! Great job, Julie!

  • Julie

    Thanks, Holly!! 🙂

  • Holly | Legally Crafty Blog

    It looks wonderful!!!

  • Julie

    Thanks, Barb!! We loved our yellow house and were sad to say goodbye – but we LOVE it even more now! 🙂

  • Just Barb W

    It was adorable before but the new look is awesome!!

  • Julie

    Thank you, Jane!

  • Jane Johnson

    It’s beautiful Julie. You did really good.

  • Julie

    Thank you so much, Kelly!! That means so much coming from you, with your realtor eye. And your house colors sound YUMMY. Enjoy!!!

  • Kelly Cunningham

    I love it!!! I just painted our house a gray with white shutters and a navy blue front door. I also got the same address numbers. They are so timeless. Your house is lovely and the curb appeal totally POPS!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE


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