Back in the 1970s, Charlie began working with a couple in Somerville who had purchased a 19th century Queen Anne Victorian that needed work. Exceptional stewards of their home, they worked with us often to preserve and restore its historic character and period features.
Then in December 2014, we received a phone call: a candle in the basement had caused a fire in the home and smoke and water damage had taken a great toll on its interior. Could we help? Since then, we’ve been hard at work.
The homeowners wanted to save its period detailing wherever possible. Before the cleaning process got underway we carefully removed all original millwork on the first floor — wainscot, casings, baseboards, and crown molding. We logged each piece and began the process of carefully repairing and restoring each one.
When that was complete, the restoration company Belfor arrived at the house, using pressurized dry ice to remove soot and ozone machines to draw out smoky odors. Walls were thoroughly washed and sealed to contain any lingering smells.
Sadly, most of the home’s original double-hung, pulley-weight windows had been smashed. We are currently building replicas to match the originals, with the addition of black-trimmed Harvey Tru-Channel storm windows – an improvement that maintains period character while allowing an energy-efficient upgrade. Meanwhile, the floorboards on the first floor couldn’t be satisfactorily repaired, so we removed them and will replace them with new versions in quarter-sawn white oak to match what was there.
The restored home will also feature a completely redesigned and remodeled kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms, all of which were last renovated in the 1970s. The new versions of these rooms will be thoroughly modern but blend seamlessly with the rest of the home’s classic character.
We look forward to sharing the results of all of our hard work when the project is completed later this year. Stay tuned!