If you have just purchased an old saltbox style vacation home, and you are looking to do some restoration on the place, then two perfect areas to address are the roof and siding. You can do lots of little projects on the interior (like swapping out fixtures or sanding and staining the floor) but nothing will make the place look brand new like new siding and a new roof. Here's some info about your saltbox roof and siding projects.
New Roof or Roof Repair for Your Saltbox
The saltbox design is such that the roofs hold up rather well because they are so slanted, so you don't get an accumulation of snow and debris like with flat roofs. However, that same feature can make it very difficult for homeowners to care for. The severe pitch of the roof makes it so that you can't just get up there on a ladder and sweep it clean and check the shingles. Therefore, many homeowners who don't have the money to hire a roof professional end up neglecting the roof.
Therefore, it's a good idea to get a professional roofer out and have them check out the place. It might be a case where the shingles are bad, but the decking is fine. If that is the case, then it's a simply job of tearing up the old shingles and replacing them with fresh asphalt shingles. However, if the shingles are bad and the roof decking has begun to rot, you might want to get the shingles and decking torn off. If this is what you end up doing, you might speak with the roofers and decide if you should go with a metal roof. These can look really beautiful (copper in particular is gorgeous) but they can be a bit noisy, so ask about special roof insulation materials such as rubber sheeting that will dampen the noise of raindrops.
New Cement Board Siding
If the old oak siding has begun to crack, and you would rather replace it then have someone come in, sand it down, and repaint it, then you should look into cement board siding. This is designed to mimic real wood (you can get it to look like oak, maple, or even cedar). The advantage to using cement board is that it is much more resilient to the weather than real wood. It will be dyed a color, and you won't have to do touch up painting as often as with real wood. Real wood siding will require frequent repainting and repair, which is why people like synthetics such as vinyl and cement board.
For more tips on updating the roof and siding on your saltbox vacation home, talk to a contractor like Keller Roofing & Siding Inc.