Farmhouse Restoration

McGlinch & Sons Home Improvements updated a deteriorating wood farmhouse from the 1890s, while faithfully replicating the charming, period details with modern materials that can stand up to Michigan’s winters.

sponsored | August 30, 2017

After: Nearly the entire exterior – including the column and window detail ­– was replicated with James Hardie® products.

Rising to the challenge is Ryan McGlinch’s stock-in-trade. As a principal of McGlinch & Sons Home Improvements, he recently tackled a historic renovation project and it’s one for the books! A couple inherited a late-19th-century clapboard farmhouse passed down through the family. They loved how it evoked the romantic charm of a simpler time. What they didn’t love was the rapidly declining condition of the wood exterior. Eager to recapture its original character in siding material more suited to withstand brutal Michigan winters, the new owners looked to James Hardie® fiber cement products.  

Soon after deciding on James Hardie siding and trim, the owners searched for a contractor with impeccable credentials to breathe new life into their aging treasure. Despite being three hours away in Detroit, McGlinch & Sons’ Elite Preferred status in the James Hardie Contractor Alliance Program immediately signaled their fiber cement expertise and a level of professionalism the owners sought. The connection was made and Ryan McGlinch, with 17 years of James Hardie remodeling under his belt, became manager of the Northrop Farm restoration project.

Every bit of McGlinch’s experience was needed. “There was widespread peeling, areas of rot and animal infestation,” he remembered. “We found major degradation of the front and rear porch. The soffit had shrunk, lost its fastening and pieces had fallen down.”

“The original farmhouse had lap siding on the majority of the house. There were distinctive crown mouldings throughout, with decorative details on the front porch columns and around the doors and windows that had to be replicated,” recalled McGlinch. “We could replicate 99% of the product we found on the house with James Hardie products – the lap siding, fascia, soffit and crown mouldings.”


Before: The storied past of this proud 1890s Midwestern farmhouse will soon be carried on by a new generation. 


McGlinch & Sons delivered on the customer’s design vision by using smooth HardiePlank® lap siding enhanced with Sandstone Beige ColorPlus® Technology. The factory-applied finish is baked onto the board to add years of exceptional color performance. Smooth HardieTrim® board with a Parkside Pine ColorPlus finish faithfully replicated the original green trim.

The homeowners were ecstatic with how the authentic renovation brought back the home’s historic value. They also look forward to a low-maintenance exterior where even the trim detail will hold its beauty for many years to come. “The Northrop farmhouse is one of my favorite homes,” added McGlinch. “It was a challenge to restore with a ton of details. When you invest your heart, your soul and four months into a project, it becomes a part of you.”

Thanks to McGlinch & Sons’ affiliation with the James Hardie Contractor Alliance Program, no job presents too big of a challenge. They are assured of priority access to products and installation support whenever needed. Top-tier status in the program also helps the company keep a high profile and convey an image of professionalism necessary to land exciting renovations like the 125-year-old centerpiece of the Northrop Farm.


For more information about the James Hardie Contractor Alliance Program, visit

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