Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Progression of an oak stair case and oak handrail in a new construction home

A table that I "Re-made" out of reclaimed wood

This started as my wife's great grandparents table. I can only assume it was used/worn out when they got it, as the put it in their cottage and used it for a "car eating" table. Its been through at least 3 major floods. At some point either before or after my wife's grandparents inherited it, the oak top was cut in half and a few wide fancy walnut planks were added as makeshift leaves to accommodate more people eating crabs. Someone had also decided that the table was loose and face screwed and bolted it to stiffen it up, and filled the holes with JB Weld epoxy. Ugh. I found some red oak planks that her grandfather had stashed in his basement before he passed a few years ago and set out to "fix" the table up a little now that my in-laws have inherited it.

Disassembly was a failure. The table was in awful shape. I started by trying to remove the legs so that i could transport it and everything went downhill from there. Mostly all I had left was firewood. My only option was to start over. I ripped the original top, the makeshift walnut leaves, and the stashed red oak into random width strips and joined them together on a plywood backer. Each strip was beveled on the edges and the entire top was painted blue, and then faced with a planer and sanded smooth to give it a more reclaimed look. I reinstalled the original legs in the same manner as i found them, and made a new skirt out of some leftover maple.

So four generations of handymen later this table is still being used for crab feasting, and hopefully it will be used for generations to come.

More Bruce Gunstock Hardwood

I just completed this floor recently. After demoing the carpet and a lot of very old ceramic tile, I installed the new Bruce Dundee red oak 2 1/4" strips and 3 1/4" planks in alternating rows. Matching shoe molding was installed, along with matching flush fit floor vents for that extra special touch. Although the kitchen cabinets are maple, the stain on them is the same color as the floor, so while I was there I was able to touch up 20 years of scuffs and scrapes to help the cabinets look a little fresher.

I'm going back to install a new Anderson slider, crown molding on the wall cabinets, and repair some sub par deck railing that someone else installed. The homeowners are happy to let me work while they are on vacation, which I think helps make things easier on both of us.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Clubbed basement

This job is a couple years old, but I love the way it turned out. Since I have had some questions recently about wainscot, I think these pictures are appropriate. This basement started out completely unfinished. The goal was a game room and laundry area. I did the framing, brickwork, tile, wainscot, drywall, trim, painting, drop ceiling and a whole lot of other stuff (including the custom cue rack). It was a fun project.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The EPA, lead paint, and Your Older Home

Chances are, that if your home was built or remodeled before 1978 then it may contain lead based paint. This year the EPA announced a new rule that went into effect this last April. Any Repair, remodeling, or Painting (RRP) that takes place in a home built before 1978 and and disturbing more than 6 sqft of painted surface indoors requires contractors to take specific precautions, to protect homeowners and residents from lead poisoning. A number of the new requirements including testing for lead paint, getting waivers signed, providing homeowners with lead paint literature and brochures, installing plastic barriers, wearing respirators, removing waste properly, and completely cleaning up any contaminated dust.

Below is an example of the plastic barriers that I installed in a home recently. I needed to cut through 30+ sqft of double layered plaster with multiple layers of paint, in order to access some water damage from leaking plumbing. Saws and sanders create a tremendous amount of dust , so the idea is to prevent that dust from leaving the work area, ventilating it outside through a HEPA filter, and being able to roll everything up and carry it out before doing a final cleanup. Its a very time consuming and expensive process, but it can help protect people's health, and keep a home cleaner. In this circumstance, no lead based paint was found, but i wanted to protect the homeowners from the dust because of their allergies and asthma.

Soffit, fascia and gutter repair

That blizzard we had this winter did a number on a lot of homes. This house lost all the gutter fascia and soffit on the front. I managed to replace it all, only after my siding brake broke, and I spent $300 on the repair kit for it. Wear and tear on tools and equipment is expensive.