Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Holly's House (Part 9)

When a house has “Good Bones” and “Old World Charm” it makes the maintenance, repairs, and remolding a joy. I look at these projects as an art form. It’s like an original La Gioconda that just needs care and a touch-up.
This project is unique because it is not a project to make the house in to something of beauty, but to gracefully accent its natural beauty and charm. This will take a great deal of research to make this the perfect makeover. The magazines and paint samples or already pilling up on my desk, not to mention the fixture catalogs and the kitchen design ideas. The final call belongs to the boss (Holly) but having a good research team will make her decisions easer.
See you tomorrow

Friday, March 20, 2009

Holly's House (Part 8)

Masonry is one of the oldest trades, dating back to 3500 BC. Some of the oldest brick work on record was in Mesopotana, which is present day Iraq. The first brick manufactured in the United States were made in Virginia in the early 1600s. Over the years the artistic value of masonry is stilled preferred.
A great deal of the patterns used in masonry were designed for strength and support, but also contribute a wide verity of aesthetic value to the buildings. Holly's House is a good example with the Gothic arch to support the door opening, the Old English brick pattern to tie in the back up brick, and my favorite the Bull's Eye arch that acts as support for a window opening.

Gothic Brick Arch

Support Arches for the Chimney

Bull's Eye Arch

I have witnessed a lot of changes in building materials and building methods in the thirty-eight years I have been in the trades, but the classic stuff is still my favorite. Home Inspectors and Handymen have the opportunity to see it all.
See you tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Holly's House (Part 7)

Holly's house is constructed of twelve-inch thick masonry walls with this Old English brick bond. This is one of the oldest brick bonds known to masonry. Although this pattern is appealing to the eye it was designed for strength. This pattern ties the face brick into the back-up brick to unify the solid masonry walls. The bricks are laid in alternate courses of headers and stretchers. Bricks are commonly about eight inches long and four inches wide. A stretcher is a brick laid so that the eight inch side is showing. The header is a brick laid so that the four inch end is showing, leaving the eight inch length to tie into the back up brick. This locks the back up brick in with the face brick.

Old English Bond

The brick work in this house is in perfect condition and got a thumbs up from the Home Inspector. The only thing this masonry work needs is a spot cleaning in the discolored areas around the porch. We will leave that job to our Handyman.
See you tomorrow.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Holly's House (Part 6)

The full-length front porch is paved with broken quarry tile to form a mosaic-like pattern. the paving is is great shape and will only need cleaning and the grout sealed. The old-world-feel is abundant in this house, and with some handyman work, some remodeling updates, and interior painting to blend in with the European vibe, this house will be a true classic.

Front Porch

My Great Grandfather came to Richmond in the late eighteen hundreds, yes he was an old English brick mason. He built commercial and residential buildings in the Richmond area up until the late 1920s. The reason I bring this up is I see a lot this broken quarry tile work in a lot of the houses he built, but I cannot trace this work passed him. If anyone has any information on the origin of this broken quarry tile paving, please post a comment.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Holly's House (Part 5)

The living room truly provides some nice focal points to this classic. Starting with the Gothic arched entrance, the stained glass windows, the working fireplace, and the hardwood stair case.
Another class feature is a working 54 inch brass doorbell chime.

Arched Entrance

Fireplace and Stained Glass Windows


Doorbell Chimes

In this series the living room will get a new ceiling fixture, and some new paint.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Holly's House (Part 4)

The dinning room ceiling has had a tile ceiling installed over the plaster, probably due to cracking or failing plaster. We will know better when we remove the tile and restore the plaster ceiling. The dinning room also has an interesting ceiling fixture that Handymen and Home Inspectors don't see everyday.

Can you guess what it is called?

Okay a Chandelier

A Ceiling Fan

A "Fandelier"
See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Holly's House (Part 3)

It will not take the Handyman very long to make the exterior of Holly's House pristine. All that needs to be done is some minor caulking, and some brick and tile cleaning. The land scape only needs the normal spring tune up. The slate patio in the back of the house is in great shape and only needs to be evened up and re-grouted with dry cement/sand mix. The garage only needs a few brick re-pointed and a new mop coat on the roof. Later in the series the kitchen will get a custom remodel.
The windows in the Kitchen
Detached Garage

Rear View
Any Handyman Or Home Inspector will tell you that the most important thing you can do to avoid expensive repairs is to perform regular preventive maintenance on your home. Good bones plus regular maintenance equal a classic beauty.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Introduction (Part Two)

To continue the introduction of the Old-Stock Home featured in this series I will start with her name, well what we call her. We call her “Holly’s House”.
Holly’s House is a well-constructed structurally sound house that has much charm, not only in her design, but in her location as well. The view from the front porch consists of Maymont Park and the Dogwood lined grove leading to the Virginia World War 1 Memorial Carillon.
Her are some pictures:

World War 1 Memorial Carillon

Holly's House

Maymont Park
See you tomorrow with more pictures.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Good Bones in Old Stock Homes

The Introduction

She sets regal and strong on the corner of two well known streets in the Richmond, VA’s park district. Experienced Craftsmen of the era skillfully completed her regal stature in the early months of 1929. Her Old-World charm is on exhibition from her slate gable/hip and valley roof to her Old English masonry walls. The full faced front porch with its brick knee walls and rustic timber roof supports, display a Gothic brick arched entrance that truly accents the overall charm of this classic. Without a doubt her structural integrity has not wavered in the least since her construction over eight decades ago. Her concrete footings, solid masonry walls and full cut lumber floor joist and roof rafters have withstood the decades with flying colors. Handymen and Home Inspectors use the term “Good Bones” to describe a house that is structurally sound, and this old stock home has “Good Bones”.


This is the first article of a continuing series that will take us behind the scenes of the repair, maintenance and updating of this Old Stock home.