Amy Richard and Ed Pearson won a 2007 Historically Compatible Residential Restoration award from the city of Ashland after years of work on their home that began 14 years ago.

In 1993, they bought the plainly designed house at 695 B St., which was built in 1947. On the outside, the house had no eaves for protection from the rain; the original wood siding was hidden under metal siding; and the yard was enclosed by Cyclone fencing. On the inside, it had carpet-covered fir flooring and the single-pane windows lacked trim.

Their first step was to gut the interior, expose the wood flooring and add double-pane windows with ultraviolet protection, Pearson said.

They also replaced an antiquated oil furnace with a forced-air heating system.

"It made everything black inside. It was so loud it was like being inside a ship when it was on," Pearson recalled.

He designed a decorative low fence that complements the house.

They made a small addition at the back entrance to the house, but had to replace it as they embarked on a major exterior restoration two years ago.

"When you do something in stages and have to take away things you did, it hurts," Pearson said. "But when it's all done, it's great."

Work on the outside of the house began after the root of a giant slippery elm tree &

winner of Ashland's Tree of the Year Award in 1997 &

in their yard blocked their sewer line. They had to take off the rear portion of the house to expose the line and cut the root.

Their friend Dale Shostrom, owner of Shostrom Bros. Ltd. and a member of the Ashland Historic Commission, suggested they tear off the aluminum siding covering the entire house to reveal the original wood siding.

The couple eventually agreed despite the extra cost and time involved.

"We knew once we started, there was no stopping," Richard said.

They had wood siding specially milled to match the original exterior. The new wood siding on the rear addition and on the bottom of the house, where a fake brick facade damaged the underlying material, are nearly indistinguishable from the decades-old original wood siding.

Richard and Pearson also had carpenters make wooden trim for the windows. The trim is painted creamy yellow, while the siding is a muted blue-green. Maroon gutters match a new maroon front door with beveled glass.

"A number of people have come by and asked for the colors of the house," Richard said.

Roofers tore off the shake-shingle roof and replaced it with an architectural composition roof with eaves that extend out over the walls. Shostrom came up with the idea for an arbor at the front of the house and a seating area where Richard and Pearson can now sit and visit with neighbors and passers-by.

Staff writer can be reached at 479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.