Nov. 5 2010 12:00 AM

1542 N. High St., Lansing


Address: 1542 N. High St., Lansing

Owner: Wanda Lester

Assessed value: $28,300

Owner says: Could not be reached for comment

This light yellow house would look inviting with its screen door propped open were it not for the dangling gutter that is pulling the boards of the porch ceiling away with it.

Though the lawn is maintained, the house itself looks dirty and worn. Sections of the yellow siding and the porch have collected dirt and the paint is starting to look shabby. The right side of the roof is covered in tarps that seem to have been up there a while, as they’re beginning to fray themselves. Even the satellite dish sits unattached from the house on the ground near the driveway.

— Meghan Spork

Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: A damaged roof detracts from the beauty of this craftsman style house at 1542 N. High St. in the Northtown Neighorhood. Neglecting to fix a roof in need of repair is one of the fastest ways to destroy a structure. A short-term solution would be to repair the roof with matching asphalt shingles. A long-term and most cost effective solution would be to replace the roof with an energy efficient solution such as metal or tile roofing made of clay, concrete and/or recycled rubber. This home would look really lovely with either.A new roof is one of the most important improvements to any home. It’s the first level of protection from the elements and adds immense aesthetic value. Although asphalt shingles continue to be the most popular among homeowners, there are a variety of options that are more environmentally responsible, energy efficient and cost effective long-term solutions.

Homeowners favor asphalt roofs because they are the least expensive short-term solution. Inexpensive asphalt roofs last 15-20 years. High-end asphalt roofs last around 30 years maximum. The average homeowner will replace an asphalt roof at least twice. Asphalt roofs are responsible for the greatest amount of waste in landfills. Metal and tile roofs have a dramatically longer life and significantly reduce energy consumption compared to asphalt roofs.

Metal roofs are incredibly energy efficient and last up to a century. Their reflective qualities reduce heat in summer and mitigate ice build-up in winter, reducing energy consumption. Metal roofs come in an incredible array of styles, beyond the typical standing seam roof, that are aesthetically attractive and appropriately tailored to suit all architectural styles.

Tile roofs can be made from a variety of products (including recycled) such as clay, concrete and rubber. Clay and concrete roofs are a popular choice for their sustainable qualities. Concrete tiles are one of the longest lasting roofing materials available. Another exciting tile option is recycled rubber tiles. Rubber slate tiles resemble slate, are less costly, and are a superior choice to the environmentally hazardous asphalt roof. Tile roofs are great for making vintage homes energy efficient while still maintaining their vintage aesthetic.

Do your research. An asphalt roof is a cost effective solution if you plan on staying in your home less than 20 years. However, if you plan on living in your home more than 20 years, this short term solution may cost you dearly once you add up the cost of replacement and the yearly energy savings a metal or tile roof would afford.

“Eyesore of the Week" is our look at some of the seedier properties in Lansing. It rotates each week with Eye Candy of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail or call Andy Balaskovitz at 371- 5600 ex. 17.