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 →
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.
Most of the time when we are called in to do a job, we’re the first on the scene and we begin the restoration from scratch. Sometimes, though, we’re asked to finish a job that another had started. Unfortunately, this usually means that the previous contractor abandoned the job and left a mess in their wake. We have seen some absurd messes in our day, from the mundane (like using Portland cement in masonry or the painting over of brownstone with moisture locking paint) to the just plain stupid (like coating a 1780 Federal style mansion in pink driveway paint). The point is, we’ve seen it all.
Why would anyone paint their driveway this color, let alone their 18th century Federal?
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.
Out with the old, in with the new! The hideous old paint job (left) gets replaced with beautiful new paint (right)
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).