See-through Brilliance

My friend Eric, and his partner, Jim, have an old barn-like structure on their property.

The siding on the structure was ancient, full of holes, and with missing pieces.

But Eric loved the look of the structure, its patina, and its only-time-can-create aesthetic.

So, how to make the structure weather-tight while preserving all this?

Scroll down to see Eric’s INSANE solution…..





















Eric and Jim covered the siding in clear plastic corrugated siding! Fucking brilliant!


Eric did a two-part post on the project. Here is part one, and part two.

I just think this is stunning. Wow. Wow!




  1. Sandra Lee on October 8, 2017 at 10:00 pm


  2. glenn on October 9, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Unfortunately, the sun will cause the plastic to yellow and become brittle, and it won’t take very long.

    • Ross on October 9, 2017 at 9:10 am

      I have the same plastic on my south porch roof.

      It looks great after 15 years.

    • Eric Unhinged on October 9, 2017 at 10:31 am

      The panels are designed for greenhouses and pergolas… they are UV-resistant. And as a stabilization/mothballing measure, the panels will last longer than a paint job, offer more benefits and cost less!

      • glenn on October 9, 2017 at 10:49 am

        Ah. U.V. resistant. I suspect the panels I’ve installed and had to remove may not have been. Not to mention my winters may be more extreme than Kansan winters.

  3. Stewart McLean on October 9, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    My experience with removing both vinyl siding in the past and wood shingles (present) shows that, in the Baltimore area, stink bugs and box elder beetles love to winter over and nest in the areas between wood and other forms of siding. I would be inclined to carefully seal all openings top, bottom, between the wood siding boards, and any other gaps that insects can get into before they do. It would be a shame if the areas between the corrugations were to fill up with their bodies and waste. The area where the building in this post is located may not have this problem. I have lived in this area for the majority of my life and have only heard of the stink bugs and box elder beetles in the last twenty years or so.

    My current project is a wood sided house with wood shingle that has been there since circa 1900. The low points in the horizontal siding were full of these bugs in the spring and the detritus left by these bugs all summer. I suspect that, as I continue to remove shingles over the winter, I will find the live bugs hibernating there again.

    • Eric Unhinged on October 9, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Good point! I haven’t yet noticed a problem with bugs, but a few vines and weeds have tried to sneak in under the overlapping seams. If it becomes a problem, I will probably seal all overlapping joints and the top edge with a bead of clear silicone. The really nice thing about using a clear material is that you can actually SEE what is happening behind it! With vinyl, you have no idea what’s going on.

  4. Stewart McLean on October 9, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Glad you saw my comment as helpful. I often don’t express my opinions such as this because I am always leery of my tendency to be seen as a know it all. I try to think if I am being unnecessarily critical, just showing off, or will be perceived as helpful before pressing the POST COMMENT button. I have to admit that I sometimes do intentionally post when I am just showing off. I don’t see any reason to be critical on purpose and am embarrassed when it is seen that way.

    You are absolutely right about the opaque vinyl siding. I have a theory, which I have no inclination to try to prove, that the vinyl siding boom is a big contributing factor in the explosive growth in the populations of these insects.

    • Eric Unhinged on October 9, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      The thought had never occurred to me but, now that you mention it, how could vinyl siding NOT be a factor in the explosive growth of these insects? The more hidden habitats they are provided, the more they will flourish. With clear siding these little buggers are exposed!

  5. Stewart McLean on October 9, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    And I really hope that makes your clear siding an undesirable habitat for them.

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