I feel that all your employees are true artists and professionals, and their commitment, creativity and craftsmanship are evident in the finished product.
- Diane Hohmann, North Barrington
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Archive for May 2012

Getting the Old Barn Ready for Resale

Old Barn in Need of Restoration

Getting this old barn ready for resale required a serious dose of restoration to its cedar siding and its coating. As Chicago’s experts in the nurturing of old buildings, this new client called on us to help her in getting her 9-acre property ready for resale. Having now raised her family and lost her husband several years earlier, she was now ready to let go of her beloved property in the rolling meadows of Barrington Hills.

Our client’s immediate concern was for her eighty-year-old barn. She felt badly that her 8-horse barn had been so neglected over the years. It now looked like a liability – a problem that a future owner would have to deal with. Many boards had cracked, warped and decayed. The coating on the siding also showed extensive peeling. Her need was for us to help transform the barn from a liability into an asset in the eyes of a future owner.

Epoxy Restoration, Caulking, Wood Replacement and Lots of Scraping

The restoration of the barn involved extensive scraping of the failing coating. It also involved a mixture of wood replacement, epoxy restoration and caulking to arrest or reverse the damage to the cedar siding. In one corner of the barn, water had been infiltrating into the barn and ruining the drywall in a front room. We used cold asphalt to fill a wide space between the driveway and the barn’s siding. We then replaced the damaged drywall with cement board to minimize the effect of any possible future water intrusion. Over one hundred hours were invested in the restoration part of the work, including the carpentry.

As historical restoration experts, we believe that old buildings have intrinsic value and are worth preserving, often time because of the materials used and the craftsmanship involved in the construction. This old barn was a good example of that. The barn’s inside was clad with 12×2 planks arranged horizontally. The exterior was clad in 12×1 cedar vertical planks and 2×1 boards to cover the gaps between the planks. For a future owner interested in having horses on their property, the barn is now a true asset!

Periodic Maintenance to Exterior Caulk, Paint and Woodwork Makes Sense and Saves Money

Generally, when people think of exterior painting, they think of a complete repaint of the building. The reason is that it has usually been many years since any painting was done. Often, the paint is flaking in a lot of places, the stain has worn off and the woodwork shows serious rotting. When such signs are visible, it generally means expensive scraping, sanding and caulking, as well as a substantial carpentry bill. If periodic paint maintenance had been performed, such an outcome could have been avoided.

Caulking Failure on Wood Casing

Rotting Wood on Window

In the Chicago area, the elements conspire to undermine the integrity of the caulking, paint film and wood components. The most vulnerable areas are the wood joints and the areas where the wood elements meet other surfaces. If the caulk or paint film breaks, moisture will be allowed to enter the joints and wreak havoc with the paint film and the wood. The first picture depicts such a break in the caulking. Such a minimal failure, if corrected early, can be repaired at little expense.

The second picture shows what happens when the water is allowed to enter the wood joints for a prolonged period of time. Intervening at that stage will mean a more expensive epoxy repair of the window casing and sill. If the repair is delayed further, the entire window might have to be replaced. In some cases, the problem may have as well caused water damage to interior surfaces of the house.

As house painting contractors in the Chicago area, we believe that an ounce of prevention is worth many pounds of correction. Paint maintenance saves money and avoids headaches! To make it easier for our clients to do that sort of paint maintenance, we offer them a FREE inspection of the exterior surfaces of their house. After making a through inspection, we prepare a list of corrective actions, if necessary. Following such a maintenance program adds years to the useful life of a paint job and keeps the house looking good. Email us to schedule a free inspection.