Americana™ Project Profile


Tom Wunder finds himself on the cusp of realizing his dream of living the slow, easy life so characteristic of communities situated on the Long Island Sound. Over a year ago, he and his wife, Jane, acquired a single-family residence in Niantic, CT, a unique-looking, single-story ranch that in his words “looks like it belongs in the mountains...not at the beach.” It is a 60-year-old, Mid-Century Modern contemporary structure with tons of personality, but in need of some renovation and additional living space.

The original facade of the home was built using wood siding cut from New England fir trees, and Tom was adamant about replicating this very natural look and feel with his planned addition. Initially, he thought of using some form of composite decking material, but quickly dismissed the idea as a violation of the natural appeal he so wanted to maintain. Although wood siding or even rainscreen seemed to be the obvious choices, the risks associated with maintenance and the often harsh coastal northeastern weather more than outweighed the rewards.

After some research and a conversation with a local craftsman, Tom learned about Americana™ Thermally Modified Wood. He received some samples of the Americana ash siding product and was immediately delighted by how closely it matched what was originally on the house. Tom commented, “The fact that the product is natural wood and that the thermal modification process yields a wood siding that is able to stand up to the environment with little or no maintenance met all of my criteria. The wood is just gorgeous.” Tom sourced the Americana Thermally Modified Siding directly from Bingaman and Son Lumber Company. He used the shiplap/tongue and groove product (without a gap), which helped to yield the monolithic wood block appearance he was seeking. With each piece perfectly cut to size and matched side-by-side, it gives the appearance of a continuous grain when viewing any side of the home’s addition.

Location: Blackpoint Beach Club community, Niantic, CT, Long Island Sound

Builder: Sierpinski Builders, Higganum, CT