Property: 500 S. Fairview Ave., Lansing
Owners: Bobbie and Claudia Pelfery
Owner says: Unable to be reached for comment
Some houses flake away quietly at the
edges, tucked among better cared for neighbors, without drawing a second
glance. Unfortunately, this dark, looming, two-story house commands a
prominent corner lot, so its losing battle with entropy is on vivid
display. The sagging roof has crumbled into fine fragments. Brown cedar
shake shingles are detaching from the exterior, the window frames are
rotting, and ice is prying the gutters away. A grand front porch, with a
stately peaked roof, still shades a hibachi, a side table with an
ashtray and plastic flowers, attesting to good times before you could
look up through a hole in the porch roof at the sky. The attached garage
in back is partially caved in and a tree is growing out of what’s left.
A free-standing shed in the back yard looks too rotten to chop up and
burn. Thick vines and animal burrows ring the house on all sides as
nature tightens its slow stranglehold.
Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: A damaged roof can really detract from the attractiveness of a house. But it goes deeper than aesthetics. A new roof is one of the single most important improvements to any house. It is the first layer of protection from the elements. Neglecting to fix a roof is one of the quickest ways to destroy a house. A good sound roof is the best way to protect a house—particularly an unoccupied one. A short-term solution would be to repair the roof with matching asphalt shingles. A long-term, cost-effective and energy efficient-solution would be a new roof that is either metal or recycled rubber.