Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Getting the Tails Back On

I've had the restoration of my rafter tails on my radar for a while. The ends of the rafters were hacked off long ago when the house trim was encased in aluminum. The aluminum is now gone and the tails need to be restored to their former glory. In past posts I've contemplated how the repair should be done. I've also decided on a design.

As I've been stripping paint from the fascia, I really started to pay attention to what needed to be done in order to get these "tails" on. It finally dawned on me that the measurement of the fascia boards are accurate - meaning 1" really is 1" instead of today' confusing habit of calling something 1" and meaning less then 1". This means I couldn't simply buy a board 1x6 and match it up to the existing board. Ugh. The whole project started to get beyond my limited capabilities and tools.

So, that thought was still lingering in my brain when I noticed an ad in a neighborhood newspaper for a guy that does "restoration carpentry." Huh. I started to think to myself that there was no harm in just giving him a call. I looked at his website and noted that he has done some pretty high profile projects and he was located not far from StuccoHouse (meaning he would be familiar with the small bungalows that fill my 'hood).

So, last week I left a message for this guy. Told him I was slowly restoring an old house and had a number of small projects that needed to be done; the first being restored rafter tails. Ask him to give me a call if this was the type of thing he did.

I've learned over the years to give an accurate description of the size of the project, as well as, letting them know it was a restoration of a small bungalow. There are too many companies out there that are only interested in: a) large projects; b) new construction; c) work w/o any complications; d) glamour jobs. No use wasting their time & mine if they never would consider the project.

This guy called me back and we chatted. He came out later that evening to take a look at the project. I showed him the drawing of the design I had in mind and told me that he could do it for a pretty reasonable price. I told him to go ahead. I think this guy is quite good at what he does and I know he mills wood at his shop, but he is kind of quiet. So, in my mind it was kind of a toss up as to whether he would actually show up to do the work or drift off as so many other contractors have once they see the house (think back to my copper drip edge fabricator posts).....

Happily, this morning one of the company's employees showed up to take measurements. So, it looks like things are in the works. Yeah!

It would be so nice to have a trusted carpenter "on call." I have seen photos of a custom vintage style kitchen cabinet this guy has done, so I have that in the back of my mind if this rafter tail project goes well.


Anonymous said...

Lucky you - keeping fingers & toes crossed that your rafter tails will look as good as original soon.
Cheryl in Orlando

Jennifer said...

Very cool! I hope all goes well with him so you can use him for MORE!

StuccoHouse said...

Thanks gals :-) It would be great to have a trusted carpenter in my phone list.

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