One of Canal Winchester's historic barns is about to get a makeover after the Canal Winchester Landmarks Commission recommended approval of the plans.

One of Canal Winchester's historic barns is about to get a makeover after the Canal Winchester Landmarks Commission recommended approval of the plans.

Eric and Amy Aho, 25 E. Mound St., want to rehab their "pink barn" that faces the community gardens in downtown Canal Winchester.

"The most recent storm shifted our pink barn in the alley so repair is desperately needed," Amy Aho said. "We've just now gotten to the point where we can financially take care of this work.

"The barn isn't deep enough to park cars, so we'll put an addition on the front," she said. "The current garage door is too low for our minivan, so we have to raise the barn, and we're suffering rot around the sill plate so raising the height on concrete will help protect against that."

The Landmarks Commission was asked to approve the plans for the barn's rehabilitation, including sending a recommendation to the Canal Winchester Planning and Zoning Commission in regard to the materials being used.

The Ahos would like to use metal siding, windows and doors as well as concrete block in the reconstruction. All of those materials require a variance in the historic district.

"The material will be a metal barn siding. The section of code I read talked about using traditional materials and since this type of siding has been used since 1903, it seems appropriate to me," Amy Aho said. "The windows will be metal clad wood that are operable."

Landmarks Commission member Patrick Lynch said metal siding does not conform to the code's definition of a traditional material.

"We'll have to make a recommendation to Planning and Zoning about a variance for those materials," Lynch said. "The guidelines are wood or natural materials. I have a little heartburn about a historic barn with metal siding."

Lynch and commission member Will Bennett suggested the Ahos use a cement composite siding like Hardie Board; it is an acceptable replacement for wood, according to the city's interpretation of the code.

"So something that was developed 20 years ago is more acceptable then something that has been in use since 1903?" Amy Aho said. "We looked at all the other products and they either looked cheap like T-111 wood or were very expensive like Hardie Board, with expensive maintenance. The metal is maintenance-free and has a 40-year warranty."

Cement block will raise the structure approximately two feet, according to Eric Aho, and it will be covered by the traditional dark barn-red metal siding they want to install. A new roof will maintain the current charcoal-gray shingle color and will also be made using standing seam metal material.

"Covering the block would be appropriate and the standing seam metal roof will look a lot nicer than the asphalt shingles on there now," Lynch said. "However, the windows get into a tricky area. We're taking an old structure and putting lots of windows on it and changing its appearance."

Bennett agreed and said adding 12 windows to a historic structure that doesn't currently have any was too drastic.

"Our job is to preserve the existing structures and rehab what is there, but we're being presented with almost a completely different structure than what you have," Bennett said.

Commission member Roger White disagreed.

"Their rendition is very tasteful. I agree, there's lots of windows, but I think this will be an improvement for the whole neighborhood," White said. "I think it is a very tasteful rehab."

The Ahos had not yet settled on what kind of doors to install so they will have to return to the Landmarks Commission's Aug. 27 meeting for final approval.

Landmarks members approved their renovation plan for all other aspects of the project, and forwarded a recommendation to allow the metal materials and cement block to the Planning and Zoning Commission, which will review it on Aug. 13.