Friday, September 26, 2008

Sanded and Ready for Primer

The new rafter tails are in. I've included three photos of the hacked-off, tailess rafters I discovered last summer when I removed the aluminum trim & soffits. And two photos of the new rafter tails as Scheftel Construction finished them today. They restored 7 in total - one on the front right side of the house, two on the side of my house where the buffet "bumps out", two in back and two on the dormer.

(As a side note - The guy who restored my rafters also created the vintage style kitchen cabinet under the "Other Projects" section of their website. Once I learned that I felt a little like I was making Michelangelo do a paint-by-numbers.)

I'm surprised at how different the new tails make the house look, especially the dormer. It's such a tiny little piece of added wood. To my eye it's now kind of an optical illusion that makes the rest of the fascia also look curved, no? Of course, they are unpainted now so you can see the seam where the new wood meets old. I'll need to get out and prime the new tails this weekend. I think they are going to look very nice once the fascia is finally all stripped and painted.

I can't tell you how tempted I was to Photoshop "paint" the front gable to make it look all nice and pretty instead of partially stripped of paint. But alas, StuccoHouse is about restoring a house.....and peeling paint is part of that. So, here ya go. Unretouched photos.


Jennifer said...

Wow! It looks awesome. Amazing how something that simple can make that big of a difference!

Bryan said...

What a great bit of style and panache you've returned to the house! I was a bit unsure what was being restored until I saw the photos. I would have called it "decorative rakeboard end" restoration - but whatever! Looks great! And congrats on finding a good contractor - a definite rarity.

Kathy from NJ said...

WOW! I was expecting it to be weeks before the job was done. It's obvious fron their web site that they love their jobs. Just curious, did you give him a tour of the inside of the house? And were you satisfied with the pricing?

StuccoHouse said...

Thanks for the kind words. It's a small change, but it really does make things look more finished.

Bryan - I don't blame you for being confused. I've discovered people use a lot of different terminology to describe those boards. I used "rafter tails" because that phrase is meaningful to hardcore bungalow people (on my own, I'd call them bargeboards)....but no doubt leaves others unsure. Thanks for the compliments...and yes, I was happy to find a contractor that didn't think I was nuts...or at least didn't let it show :-)

Kathy - I know :-) I actually had told them I was in no big rush...that they could fit me in between other work if they wanted to. So, their promptness was a nice surprise. I am impressed with their website...and the guy who worked on my house is a cabinetmaker that I suspect did a lot of the interior woodwork pics. He was very low key and you could tell he cared about what he did...even if it was my little rafter tails.

In order to get up and measure the dormer boards, he went through my house to get to the upstairs windows. I'm sure he was totally impressed by the vintage stove in pieces in my livingroom ;-) My first floor is pretty think in mission style woodwork, so hopefully that made up for it. I have a bunch of carpentry projects in the back of my mind for my upstairs. I haven't mention them on my blog because they are pretty far off (a window seat, bookshelf/stair railing, and a room divider/colonade). I talked to him briefly about those, as well as a cabinet in my kitchen that will match my vitage cabinets. I haven't posted about it much, but my kitchen is in a state of disarray right now - the ceiling is halfways down and there is a pile of recently removed bigbox moulding on the floor. But he didn't run screaming :-)

I thought the pricing was very good. I had actually planned on doing this myself, and this wasn't a hugely complicated task, so price was pretty key in my decision to have them do it. It took approximately 1.5 per rafter tail on site....and more in the shop designing the template, etc. The things about restoration work is that so few people will even do it. You can call & call and even if you can get someone out to look at your project, to get them to follow though can be tough. USually, they see something a bit tricky and fade away.....or give you an out of this world estimate. This always baffles me because the Twin Cities is full of old houses. At any rate, it was refreashing to find a company that seemed to like the challenge. I'm getting preachy now, so I'll end

Omar said...

It's amazing what something so subtle can do to a house -- looks gorgeous!

Sandy said...

Why ever would someone cut them off in the first place? He did a beautiful job.

StuccoHouse said...

Omar - It is a very tiny change and I am surprised at how different it looks to me.

Sandy - When I first moved into my house all of the exterior wood trim (except the window trim) was wrapped in aluminum. In order to put up the fake aluminum soffits they cut off the rater tails with what looks like a reciprocating saw. Last summer I pulled all of that down and started restoring the original wood. If you search the label "aluminum" you can see that whole story.

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