My brickmasons, two brothers, Manuel and Luis Espinosa, are probably the most talented I've seen. They have been in Durham for around 20 years, and when we arrived at the house today to get ready for the big concrete pour, Luis entered slowly, looking around, and he told me: "My mom used to live here around 14 years ago." Small world indeed! Here's a photo of underneath the rear wall of the house; 53 feet of concrete poured today with steel reinforcement. A total of 17 piers, 11 along this wall and six inside have been prepared for block and brick in the coming days. Then we can get the 53 feet of rear wall re-established onto the new foundation.
The Petty Home, a turn-of-the-century Queen Anne, is being fully restored by Miles Honeycutt. Miles is the same general contracter who oversaw restoration of the Clapp-Ferguson home and Winston's Broken House, both in the Cleveland-Holloway neighborhood. Miles is restoring the home in keeping with historic elements of the original house to a single family dwelling. Check back often and watch this great home come back to life.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
This is Eman Valle. He is a wonderful master carpenter who has been and will be implementing a good bit of the work here at the home. Without him, the neighborhood would not be quite the same. He's pictured here standing in the dining room. The floor joists had to come out temporarily (which is dirt now) so that we could assess the damage adequately to the rear band joist, a 4x8 timber, a piece of which he is holding that has been torn apart by termites. We'll end up replacing the entire band joist in the back of the house because over time, the huge oak tree back there in the backyard dropped leaves which made the soil rise to about the level of the band, making for easy access for bugs. Since the foundation was never really high to begin with, this is a result of neglect and 100 years of oak leaf shade compost. There'll be no problem growing a shade garden back there when all the work gets done.