Handmade History: Standing seam zinc roof installation

Another lovely mini-update from our current upstate project: the handmade, standing seam zinc roof has been installed over the entrance! A lot of exterior projects have come together this week, including the near-completion of the mudroom addition, plus the finishing touches on the four chimneys that were completely rebuilt atop the roof.


Left: The aluminum siding being removed. Right: The exterior after the siding and door trim and pediment have been removed.

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Summer/ Fall Resoration Project: Chelsea Townhome Facade Restoration

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This gallery contains 4 photos.

Hello all! Welcome back to another segment of our NYC townhome restoration. We hope everyone out there stayed safe before, during and after hurricane Sandy. Now that the storm has passed, work has resumed again this week on the most … Continue reading

Summer/ Fall Restoration Project: Chelsea Townhome Entry Door

Hello everyone! We’re back again with another post about our Chelsea restoration project. This time I’ll be discussing the entry door. The entry door is made of sturdy 5inch thick white oak wood. It has four trim encased openings for fenestration. The existing coating of varnish on the exterior of the door has deteriorated and we will be replacing it with a high quality application from Fine Paints of Europe paint company.


Two-toned doors will NOT be staying (bummer, I know): primed door on the right, final coat of paint on the left

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Summer/ Fall Restoration Project: Chelsea Townhome Parapet Restoration

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This gallery contains 20 photos.

Our project in Chelsea began with the demolition of the parapet wall at the roof level. The portion of the roof being replaced served as rainwater and snow catchment for the larger, slightly raised slopped roof. The owner was concerned … Continue reading

Our Latest Summer/ Fall Restoration Project

For several weeks we have been rearranging and replacing a number of features for our current project. This historic townhome in the Chelsea area of NYC needed a few repairs and installments that would not only enhance its aesthetic qualities but also make it impervious to New York’s harsh weather conditions. The majority of the work has been on the exterior. The client was concerned about the weather resistance of the front door, the lower portion of the facade and the lower front windows. The main issue was at the roof level. The concern there was how the parapet delt with water drainage and accessibilty in the winter. One by one we are resolving these issues all while smoothly clearing the hurdles of inclimate weather and task coordination. More images will be available as the project nears completion.

Scratch(coat) another off the list!

Our latest project is complete! Yes, the brownstone with the ugly paint job and the dilapidated stoop has been restored and is ready for its world debut! While we did not end up replacing the old ironwork on the window grates, fences, and stoop, we did end up replacing everything else. The new brownstone stoop, foundation, lintels, and sills could not look more beautiful, nor could they match the new paint better.

     

Left: The finished brownstone facade. Right: The finished foundation.

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Perfection, thy name is silicate mineral paint

One of our many Summer 2012 jobs has some interesting challenges. Aside from the iron work involved in replacing the window grates, fencing, and below-stoop door, we were tasked with the repair and repaint of this brownstone (including the stoop and walls from foundation to cornice) in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Before   After

Out with the old, in with the new! The hideous old paint job (left) gets replaced with beautiful new paint (right)

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Falling down the rabbit hole in Fort Greene

You never know what you’re going to find when you start digging into the guts of an older home. Sometimes a project that presents itself as being straightforward ends up dropping you down a restoration rabbit hole. Our latest project had what you might call a… plot twist.

This brownstone was unique in the fact that it had an extra room on each of its lower floors, making it deeper than most brownstones we work on. To allow for these extra rooms, there was a wooden truss system supporting the rear brick wall. While we could see the wall was sagging slightly, we had no idea that the main beam of the truss system had completely sheared in half until we demoed the first floor. The wall was on the verge of collapse.

This surprise discovery meant we needed to take this wall down, brick by brick. Either that, or wait for the vengeful Brownstone Gods to take it down themselves in a much more dramatic fashion (and it probably would not have been a long wait, either).




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The horrors of Portland cement



Look at all that nasty Portland cement

Ever walk around NYC (or anywhere for that matter) and notice those old, dilapidated brick walls? The ones that seem to be disintegrating before your eyes? Ever wonder why it is that something supposedly so strong not even a big, bad wolf could blow it down now seems to be crumbling like a cookie? The answer is usually Portland cement.
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