Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Windows

The house is nearly complete. New windows are installed. Take a gander.

Friday, October 18, 2013

First Look At The Millwork

Just received some preview pix of the millwork and am beyond excited!

Here is the door that we found in a scrap heap. Unsalvageable sadly, but we used it to inspire the doors to come.

Now the new:
 Bathroom Door

Glass paneled back doors to sitting porch and dining porch

Interior double doors
Though they lack the charm of a door long abandoned in a backyard, they will WORK which is nice.  And they're lovely too, don't you think? ;-)


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Prepping the "Pretty": Lacquer removal. A labour of love.

our Deltana hardware after a thorough de-lacquering
But only after it's aged a bit really. Apparently, I am alone in this belief as nearly all manufacturers of brass hardware produce it with a lacquer finish that keeps it from tarnishing. And that lacquer ultimately yellows to a really weird fake gold color over time and hides all the inherent beauty of the brass.
But there's good news, that lacquer can be removed! And it can be removed easily - though it took us two houses and countless hours of scrubbing to realize this. I now share the secret with you:
1) Multi Strip Professional Paint remover
2) Paint and sponge brushes
3) fine Brillo pads
4) patience
5) elbow grease

Multi- strip has the consistency of "Slime" and it's best to slime the hardware with enough Multi Strip to cover the hardware and the surrounding surface. Wait three hours, wipe the slime off with a paper towel and the lacquer will slide right off with it. Inevitably, some spots of lacquer will remain but then you enthusiastically scrub any remaining lacquer off with the brillo pad. Et voila! Lacquer free brass.
It will now age to a deep rich brass color that looks better and better!

I would have never had the guts to try this had the fantastic architect Maria dela Guardia of DLGV Architects not suggested it and I am forever in her debt. It makes a world of difference!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"Wetting the Roof:" a Bahamian Tradition

When I first saw this photo  of the small cottage's new roof in mid August, I asked Owen what the flag was for and he said "To wet the roof."

I figured that was some sort of technical term with a definition above my pay grade so I let it be.

But when we came down at the end of the month and saw this flag on the original house's new roof, I was curious about the term and asked what was needed to wet a roof and why.

He responded "well usually, a case of beer or some rum."
Yep. When a crew finishes pitching a roof, they raise the flag, grab some booze and christen the roof with a splash for the house and the rest for the crew.

We missed that glorious moment but decided to "wet the shingles" after the front side was completed just for the fun of it and Owen did the honours:

Terrific tradition that I wish we could employ for every "first!"

What's New is (or looks) Old Again

I have a camera full of  amazing photos of the latest Jewelbox developments but it appears that I left the cable required to download these photos at Jewelbox! GRRRR.
I did come back with my tape measure though. This, I couldn't find when I was there and needed it but now that I am back in NYC, it seems to be exactly where I thought I put it in the first place. 

So the photos from my iphone will have to suffice.
But what terrific photos they are!

It been three months since Jewelbox went from this:

To this:


An almost identical copy but with a little more height, dormers and whole new roof.
Putting the old wood back up was the plan from the start and it does much to increase the house's authentic appearance.

Cladding the street facing dormers with some of the siding lengths that were too damaged to use on the side anymore is one of my favorite details so far.

Another one of my favorite details is the new siding that the crew milled on site to mirror the old siding EXACTLY!

It is gorgeous!

10 x 1” pressure treated wood that three guys have to maneuver through a saw at just the right angle to create the same look. It’s time consuming and probably not at all fun for them but they’re really good at it and it is THE difference between a house that looks original and a house that looks newly built.



Sunday, September 1, 2013

Eight Weeks in a Flash

This video is a bit of an exaggeration, but it feels like the house is flying up this fast.