Wooden gutter Restoration on a circa 1920 residence in Westport MA

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Aluminum gutters may be functional but they are not for historic buildings. Once important architectural elements are replaced on older homes they will be lost for ever. I've had the good fortune to work on many buildings that still exhibit the materials and workmanship of a bygone era. By studying how they did it I am able to carry that knowledge onto other homes as I've done here. I am sharing my knowledge and experience here so that others my benefit and be persuaded to resist contractors who push more profitable "new" as better than "old"

Wooden gutter Restoration on a circa 1915 residence in Newton Mass

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Many historic homes around the country are loosing their historic character to aluminum gutters and vinyl siding Simply because that is what contractors are "selling". This owner took the time to find someone who could restore his historical cornice to its original state. I employed some new products and techniques that will add significantly to the lifetime of the restoration and lower maintenance to a bare minimum. I hope homeowners and contractors alike who view the photos and descriptions of the work preformed may benefit from the experience I am sharing.

Wooden gutter restoration on a circa 1912 residence in Newport, RI

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This circa 1912 residence has an impressive cornice. The wood gutters which adorn this cornice we're badly in need of attention. These gutters are old growth cypress and were in good condition. The major problems were setting at the bay bumpout wing and leaking joints. Water was also entering into the cornice as the result of a roofing change from slate to asphalt. The 1960's addition in the back received a new roof deck with EDPM rubber roofing and a new cornice was fabricated to match the main building.

Wooden gutter repair on circa 1900 residence in Fall River MA

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Many historic homes around the country are loosing their historic character to aluminum gutters and vinyl siding. These home owners in the Fall River Highlands made a good choice of maintaining their original cornice work by repairing their old growth wooden gutters. I replaced only what was necessary, re-leaded all the joints, and installed larger eve tubes. I took numerous photos and detailed all my work. I hope others may find the information I am sharing here helpfull in preserving their historic homes.

Paint restoration on an historic home in New Bedford MA

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I strive for quality, appearance, and endurance in everything I do. Painting is no different. Although I milled new 18' crown rake moldings to match the original and rebuilt the NW return, painting was the main thrust of this job. I took numerous photos detailing what I found, what I did, and how I did it. I hope others will be able to utilize the experience I gained on this job and apply it to theirs. I am sharing this information in hope others may choose preservation over Vinyl and aluminum.

A Custom wheel-chair accessible shower

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This shower was constructed to allow a wheelchair easy access by replacing the conventional step-over 4"-6" threshold entrance with a gentle 1" rise ramp. The plumbing was also configured for a person in a seated position. Separate shower heads for standing, sitting, and hand held are individually controlled by separate levers that are fed through the anti-scald temperature control valve.

Mahogany Deck and Stairs

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Originally the plans called for the stairs to exit the end of the deck, turning the corner from a mid flight landing, and ending in such as way that it would block traffic flow from of another entrance to the patio as well as force people to walk around the stairs to get to the changing rooms and showers. I proposed a different design that had the steps exit from the middle of the deck and land at the end. This anchored the staircase without encumbering the other means of egress to the pool patio or lower level of the house. I would like to thank Ken Pacheco Construction of Fall River, Ma (508-678-7668) for allowing me to express my design ideas on the project.

A standard Front door customized

The 70's original front door with its single pane glass and storm door were in need of updating. The impetus for this job was that the threshold had rotted through. The owners picked out a tasteful, well insulated door, and I beefed up the under sized header and replaced the punky house sill with pressure treated lumber. Then, after a little convincing with a small mock-up, I removed the stock "brick molding" casings and customized this front entrance to give it it more visual appeal. Following this job the owners hired me to re-trim all their interior doorways and windows. Later I made a custom bump out window and installed a French patio door to replace their aging slider.

A Custom Built Greenhouse

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This greenhouse is both beautiful and functional. Designed and constructed by myself and Alan Bettencourt to the owners desires. The floor was placed two feet below grade to give the desired "doll house" look. We custom made the French doors and mid swing windows from mahogany for strength and longevity. The red cedar gable rake moldings and fir wooden gutters were milled using a Woodmaster Molder/Planer. I custom ground the molding knife to produce the desired old world profile. We lined the wood gutters with EDPM rubber to insure they would remain maintenance free.


An 1852 garret comes to life

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This attic had some small bedrooms as servants quarters from a bygone era. Modern conveniences such as electricity, and heat were added in a complete make over.

Additional Job photos and descriptions  

Frank Harding, Carpenter - since 1983