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Archive >> June 2007

Jun 27
2007

Rotten Sills, Droopy House


Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: renovation, preservation
I just received this inquiry from old friend and fellow remodeling professional Janver Holly in California:

Dear Mason,

I have an 1860’s house on a wood foundation. Over time the wood around the perimeter has rotted. I suppose this is because the outside of the building gets wet from weather and irrigation. The floor and floor supports are fine, just the lower part where it touches the dirt is gone. Underneath the house it is bone dry and the wood supports are perfectly preserved. The net effect is that over time the outside walls have drooped a couple of inches while the core of the house has
Jun 27
2007

Ask! Ask!


Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: DIY

We live in an age of information overload – supported by expanding traditional and electronic / online media.  Direction and data on all things is available at our fingertips, or otherwise unavoidably thrown at us from all angles, typically in flashy “bites”.  Everyone that has cable or a computer with an internet account has the opportunity to become an “instant expert”.

 

I work in a traditional field – one that, since ancient times, has its product delivered by the toil of artisans and craftsmen.  Compositions of “sticks and bricks”, ultimately creating one of man’s most basic needs –

Jun 24
2007

New Technology / Preservation


Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: renovation, preservation
I received this email from Jim, in Richmond, VA:

Mason - just caught your blog. What a great idea. This question may or may not rank on your list.

Many older (pre-WWII) homes in the Fan and West End areas of Richmond were constructed and finished with high-quality materials of the time, such as millwork made from old-growth hardwoods. Obviously, not all of our homes are on the historic landmarks registry, but these homes have a certain charm and scale not often found in more modern homes. In remodeling or adding-on to such a home, how do you balance the need to preserve original

Jun 18
2007

Triad of the Sages


Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: remodeling

In the course of some reading recently, I happened across this:  According to the sages of ancient India, there are three fundamental processes at work in the universe:  creation, preservation, and transformation.

 

Interesting.  Those processes are at the core of what we do in the design and building / renovation business.  Unknowingly following the tenets of the ancient

Jun 18
2007

Also for DIYers...


Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: DIY

I recall when I was a kid, picking-up a booklet on bicycle repair at a local bike shop in my hometown of Fredericksburg.  I inquired of the shop owner, the apparent conflict of interest that may lead to less repair business for him.  “We have plenty of repair business… if you want to do the repairs yourself, I’d like to help you”, he said.

 

I am sure that I was back to his shop later, buying parts with my grass-mowing dollars and seeking his expert and readily-available advice. 

 

Funny what memories one can dredge up from 30 years ago, when I sometimes cannot immediately recall my home

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