Some recent job shots

James Street Providence Rhode Island
Wood Gutter Repairs

A beautiful brick home, circa 1840, in need of wooden gutter repairs

Obviously the wood inside a fir wood gutter needs protection from the elements. This was knot which is basically end-grain. Endgrain wicks water, so when choosing a gutter try and avoid any knots.

This is its replacement, a 24' 4"x6" fir gutter, courtesy of Sweet Lumber in Providence. I sanded it with 40 grit sandpaper and primed with oil-based paint with Penetrol added for superior adhesion.

A compound miter joint sealed with 50yr caulking - nice and tight!

Removing loose wood fibers in preparation of sealing. This section was replaced a few years back and therefore in good condition.

I installed 4 new larger gooseneck lead leaders, properly mortised flush with the bottom of the gutter. I then applied 2 coats of Geocel's brushable clear liquid rubber to the 160' lineal feet of gutter on this home. These wooden gutters (fir) will now be as maintenance free as their aluminum counterpart.

Even wood as weathered as this can be saved. The liquid rubber has a 30yr guarantee. All that will be needed is a quick pressure wash cleaning and a recoat in 25 years or so.

Orchard Street New Bedford Massachusetts
Wooden gutter repair and lining

A beautiful Georgian residence, circa 1910, in need of wooden gutter maintenance. Filthy paint on the gutter tells of repeated overflows (at a low spot)

Before I discovered the brushable liquid rubber I used fibered roofing tar with a fiberglass mesh embedded (to prevent cracking) as a liner. The key to any lining is complete coverage!

Plugging the leaders reveals the lowest point. Its the lowest point that overflows as can be seen here. This gutter had been plugged for years and here where it spills over. This constant watering below this low point caused porch rot issues. It also helps this building's foundation to continue to settle.

Although this paint cleaned up well, much of it was loose enough that removing it and starting fresh was the right thing to do. Beautiful old growth swamp cypress that is extremely rot resistant and irreplaceable.

Too bad all gutters don't have a drip at the top so when they do overflow the water does not run down the cornice causing paint problems and unsightly filth that needs periodic cleaning - so I improvised and added one!

And here it is in action, deflecting water away from the building. During a rain the face of this gutter, molding, and fascia below will now remain completely dry.

I screwed a 1 1/4"x3/4" Pressure treated wood strip to the leading edge of the gutter to support the projecting aluminum drip edge which can be seen here. The new paint really showcases this historic cornice.

It works great and from the ground its not readily noticeable!

Orchard Street New Bedford Massachusetts
Wooden Gutter replacement and repair

The old gutter rotted because the front of the porch settled over time leaving the leaders at the back of the side sections at the highest point. Lifting the front of the porch leveling the side gutters solved this problem.

Applying a few coats of Geocel's clear liquid rubber effectively lines this gutter giving it a maintenance free long life. I also slipped this metal drip edge up under the rubber and its termination bar so roof runoff would drip directly into the gutter. Without it, rain water incessantly runs down over the joint along the back of the gutter which is the area that was badly rotted. I covered the shiny aluminum rubber termination bar with black rubber as it detracts from the historic nature of the building.

I like to thoroughly apply paint with a roller then brush it out. Since I'm on stagging I can walk from end to end freely. No ladders for me to move and move and move again.

Orchard Street New Bedford Massachusetts
Column Base Rot Repair

These column bases rotted because the front of the porch settled over the years causing the wood gutter to overflow. This overflow splashed the outside column bases with copious amounts of water every time it rained. Jacking up the porch leveled the gutters so they functioned properly. I used glued up air dried pressure treated stock for this repair which will not rot in case the porch continues to settle over time.

I glued up defect free, air dried, pressure treated stock and routed out its replacement.

This column is solid wood and weighs a ton. The bottom was wet and and ants had honeycombed a good foot up. Luckily the carpenter ants stayed near the center. I'll pulled out all the holey wood and dried out the cavity with a paint removal heat gun before attaching the base in bed of tri-polymer sealant. The 5/4" T&G fir porch boards under this column had rotted as well as, the result of constant splashing from the overflowing gutter above. So I milled new boards from 5/4" PT to replace them.

Orchard Street New Bedford Massachusetts
Porch Stair Tread Rot Repair

The same overflowing gutters caused the fir stair treads to rot as well. Glued up PT with returns will solve any future rot problems.

PT does crack and split went allowed to expand and contract from wetting and drying cycles. So proper paint adhesion is a must. Belt sanding opens the pores of the wood that will soak up the paint!

New PT framing will make this a lasting repair.

Prefinished and installed that day. Fasteners were stainless steel screws in predrilled holes to stop splitting.

New framing allowed me to eliminate the stupid step that was created when someone poured the 1st concrete step.

Orchard Street New Bedford Massachusetts
Ceiling Cabinet Door Access to Plumbing

There are two back to back bathrooms over this hole in the ceiling. Numerous leaks in the past and now any future leak will be easy to investigate and repair with this permanent access.

Custom made doors and frame, prefinished and installed.

Acushnet Avenue New Bedford Massachusetts
Wood Gutter Repair and Maintenance

Milling a new gutter with a custom knife I ground with the 718 woodmaster planer/molder

I made this gutter from native air dried pine in two sections. I sealed the entire gutter with two coats of Geocel's brushable liquid rubber. Although new growth pine is prone to rot, the rubber liner means I could skip the need to use expensive rot resistant redwood or cedar.

This third floor dormer's gutter rotted because the building settled leaving the drain at a high point. I added a new outlet at the lowest point to solve the problem.

While I had the stagging set up it was prudent to strip the failing paint and repaint the entire dormer.

I went around the entire house and gave the old growth wood gutters a new lease on life. For the same amount of money that was quoted to tear them off and install aluminum gutters with pre-primed pine fascia boards. I earned the money whereas the aluminum gutter contractor would have pocketed easy profit. The home owner, the building, and the neighborhood were the winners!

This is the south and west sides.

This was the worst section. Again settling was the problem. Rather than piece in the 2'foot section that was rotted, I made a one piece replacement and installed it level. This corner had become a very low point due to settling. A gutter that is over pitched holds little water and always overflows at the lowest point in heavy rain. In this case putting too much water on the porch roof below.

People see failing paint and think junk. But the old growth wood beneath such paint is a thing a beauty, highly rot resistant and irreplaceable.

Oil primer with penetrol oil added for adhesion, topcoated with today's acrylic nano paints (pick your brand, they are all good) for longevity. Today's new paints (basically rubber) do not chalk or crack like oil paints, and that is a beautiful thing!

Providence Rhode Island
A Fir deck repair

Fir will rot if a finish in not maintained. If you have a dog with nails any finish will need more attention.

Boards here and there and been replaced over the years and this time around many more are in need of replacement. Since many of these boards are weathered deep complete deck replacement will provide for a longer repair.

I reframed the deck to give pitch for runoff and to allow the boards to run the short way. This eliminated all the butt joints. I also recommended tongue and grove boards. This eliminated all the surface nails and helped minimized the water from getting through the decking to the storage area below. Here I'm installing the boards I prefinished with Penofin Marine oil finish.

I milled some custom moldings from fir stock right on site.

I also bull-nosed some 5/4" stock for the perimeter to give the decking a thicker look. This hid all the end grain as well. (I have not applied the Penofin Marine oil finish to these boards yet)

Bullnosed decking board perimeter boards and moldings installed.

There is nothing that compares to the beauty of wood.

Little Compton Rhode Island
A Barrier Free Shower

This customer would like a no threshold shower to replace the cracked and leaking fiberglass tub/shower.

After breaking through the cement floor I installed a new drain and shower valve.

After sistering the studs for plumb and square walls, I added solid blocking for grab bars, installed a 6 mil vapor barrier and 1/2" cement board for a solid tile base.

Always tile the walls first.

This is all the pitch needed to drain.

A barrier free shower!

The owner picked out the tile, Nice choice.

Plenty of grab bars.