Tag Archives: dollhouse

The Big Renovation…Part 2!

As you know, our window is looking a little empty these days without the D. Patrick Welsh doll house!  Last week I posted about the window restoration Gassia was working on.

This week the home’s door frame and window sills were painted.  You can see the blue painter’s tape in the photo!

In our area keeping exterior and trim paint in good condition is extremely important for big houses too!  One concern is preserving the wood beneath the paint.  Another very important concern is the lead based paint which was used for a period of time in the middle of the century before recognizing the danger it poses if ingested or inhaled.  It is best to assume that any exterior or trim paint might have a layer of lead based paint underneath.  Therefore paint should be maintained in good condition and not allowed to chip or peel (which could possibly expose lead layers beneath).  A good rule of thumb is that painted exterior surfaces should be repainted every 8 to 10 years.  Of course certain kinds of weather exposure might mean that repainting needs to be done sooner!  Painting a smooth, well-maintained surface requires less preparation than painting a surface that needs scraping and prep.  So taking care of your painted surfaces before they need it can save you money and of course help keep your home looking its best!

Tune in again to learn about repairs to the doll house’s charming cedar shake roof!

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Filed under Home Buying Advice, Life in Swarthmore (& Wallingford, Rose Valley, Rutledge & Media), Swarthmore Real Estate

The big renovation…Part 1!

As many of you know, the large Victorian doll house featured in our window has been a fixture for years!  You’ve probably seen it with Santa on the roof and snowy trees outside too! We love it for its charming Swarthmore character and because, of course, it has provided hours of amusement for our clients’ children (so that they can talk about the big houses with us)!  Over the years it has certainly suffered some deferred maintenance and a recent broken window was the impetus for a renovation!  Please stay tuned for updates on our progress!

Today Gassia began by restoring the doll house windows.  Windows are a big concern for efficiency these days.  Did you know that restoring older windows can render them nearly as efficient as newer windows without sacrificing their lovely character?  Clients of mine with a beautiful home on Princeton Avenue in Swarthmore recently employed the services of John Lindtner of Building Preservation Services to restore their dramatic Victorian windows.  The results are stunning.  I called him to learn more about the process.  Here is what John has to say about his unusual job:

My company is called Building Preservation Services, LLC.  We combine traditional methods and new technology in our mission to help save old windows.  We do full restorations on window sashes and window frames and utilize different types of weatherseals to make windows more energy efficient.  For repairs, we do putty reglazing, replace broken sash cord/chain, replace broken panes of glass, and replace or repair rotted sills.  Building Preservation Services, LLC is also an authorized dealer and installer of Mon-Ray high performance storm windows.  We feel that a restored window coupled with an efficient storm window is as efficient as most of the energy efficient replacement windows being promoted today.  With restoration, you can retain the original character of your home and not have to settle for a window that will only need to be replaced again and again. 
I feel the best approach in keeping your old windows is by starting with a good storm window.  In most of my projects, the old storm windows have outlived their functional lives.  Once I install new storm windows, I can remove the primary sashes to begin their restoration.  On most windows over 100 years, I recommend a full restoration due to excess paint build up and gaps in maintenance that have caused parts of the windows to fail or not function properly.
I was particularly delighted to hear about the efficiency of restored windows as described above since I am a big fan of preserving our community’s older homes.  (And of course it makes sense to know that one hundred year old windows can be restored and last forever, whereas vinyl windows tend to need replacement every 15 years or so!)   You can reach John at (302) 983-4056 or buildingpreservationservices@gmail.com if you would like to learn more about restoring rather than replacing older windows.
Thanks for tuning in today!  I’ll continue to update you with our progress on the doll house!

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Filed under Home Buying Advice, Life in Swarthmore (& Wallingford, Rose Valley, Rutledge & Media), Swarthmore Real Estate