A Carpenter’s Journal

April 25, 2010

EPA Certification

Filed under: Job Progress — Tags: , — Fran Maloney @ 6:57 am

There is a new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency regarding remodeling work that went into effect on April 22.  Some of my facts on this issue may be slightly off because I am  still investigating it, and like any government thing it is quite confusing. 

From now on, anyone who works on buildings that were built before 1978 and that are occupied regularly by children has to be certified by the EPA to handle lead paint and asbestos contamination.  This applies to painters, carpenters, plumbers and electricians.  The fine is $32,500.00.  In order to become certified the worker or contractor has to attend a full day training seminar at a cost of about $300.00 and a day off from work, and has to register with the EPA for a fee of $300.00.  The fee and the training need to be renewed every 5 years.  I am not sure if this will be enforced through local building departments or not. 

I am not against protecting the environment, in fact I am great advocate of it.  But I think this is an example of the government tick attaching itself to the enormous remodeling industry.  Where was the public debate about this?  Where are the independent studies that document continued harm to children from having work done on their homes?  This will increase the cost to be in business and increase the cost of  the simplest remodeling jobs at a time when the industry is already hurting across the country.

April 19, 2010

Staging Up

Filed under: Job Progress — Fran Maloney @ 7:49 pm

We have the staging up on the north side of the church.   The south side is into the main roof so there is not such a steep drop but this side was a little trickier.  We have put up 36 foot aluminum pump jack poles and then reached up and attached wall brackets to be able  to do the 3 foot ledge around the bell chamber.  It does not quite get us to the tops of the columns.

April 17, 2010

Choosing the Right Window

Filed under: Architecture,Materials,Windows and Doors — Tags: , , , — Fran Maloney @ 5:26 pm

The basic window types are double hung with two sash that move vertically on tracks in the window frame, rolling windows which move horizontally on tracks and casement and awning windows that are hinged and crank out to open.  In New England, double hung windows are by far the most popular.  They are not only traditional in appearance but more practical, the sash is not hung outside in the weather as with casements and there is no crank handle protruding into the blinds or curtains. 

Traditional single pane window sash are divided into smaller lites by muntin bars.  Muntin bars are the wooden mounting bars for glass panes.  In modern double pane insulated glass there is no need or practicality to have muntin bars that break the sash up into smaller pieces but they have been replaced with what are now called grilles, which are visual recreations of muntin bars.  Grilles perform at least two functions.  First they allow modern windows to have the same look as traditional windows, they allow for continuity of style, secondly they change the feel of the interior of the house by providing some sense of enclosure or separation from the outside.  They also can be pretty in the way they break up the light coming into a room and in the detail and color they can add to the appearence of the windows.

There are several options for grilles that are available when someone is ordering windows.  The main choices are : removable grilles, grilles between the glass and simulated divided lite.  There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these.  Removable grilles have improved greatly since they first came out. 
They now have detailed dimensionality on both sides.  The early ones were flat on the surface up against the glass and this flatness really stood out as fake when viewed from the outside.   Grilles between the glass suffer from the same disadvantage as removable grilles;  they have a flat appearance on both sides of the window.  But there is nothing to paint and the glass is easier to clean.  Simulated divided lites have traditional profiles of muntin bars glued to the surfaces of both sides of the window and often, to complete the look, they have a grille between the glass as well that gives the appearance of a traditional window.  These do the job of reproducing the appearance the best but they are by far the most expensive, they can add several hundred dollars to the cost of each window.

When matching windows in an addition or remodel, it is best practice to carry the window pane size from the original house.  If the existing windows are 12 over 12 with 6 by 8 inch panes, the windows in the addition should also have 6 by 8 panes.

April 13, 2010

Shingling the Bell Tower

Filed under: Job Progress — Fran Maloney @ 8:58 pm

Here are a few pictures of what we did today.

We are shingling around the bell tower of a small church in Norwell.  There are four eight by eight fir posts that hold everything from the bell chamber up to the steeple.  These are enclosed in  32 inch diameter cylinders.  The cylinders were originally done in wood shingles but are currently wrapped with vinyl siding.  Some of the siding has blown off and our job is to return the columns to their original look.  I believe the church was built in 1896, the bell is dated 1894.  This area on the Hanover, Norwell line was once known as the village of Assinippi.  Since the Stop and Shop was built next door, the wind has done a lot of damage to the building.  There had been a tree covered hill where there is now an open parking lot.

April 10, 2010

Architectural Considerations

Filed under: Architecture,Windows and Doors — Tags: , — Fran Maloney @ 12:36 pm

Windows affect the interior environment and the exterior appearance of a house.  Most people are aware that a good view deserves a big window and that windows on the south let in bright warm light while windows on the north let in a more diffuse light.  Dark rooms can be depressing.  Often you will find the garage or the closets or some other shading element of the house on the south side making the entire house dreary.  Light and warmth and a visual connection with the outside are the number one consideration in choosing and placing windows.  

But, having said that, windows are perhaps the second major element affecting the appearance of a building after the actual shape and size of the building itself.  The elements to consider when planning a new home or an addition or even the addition of just one window are the placement pattern, the style, the size and the amount of detail in each window.  Nothing looks worse than windows scattered hodgepodge across a building with no rhyme or reason to their placement.  

The traditional order is for windows to line up vertically between stories and to be arranged symmetrically.  But deviations from these simple rules of order are common and usually interesting to see. 

April 6, 2010

Next Project

Filed under: Job Progress — admin @ 7:52 pm

After a long slow winter we are starting a new project tomorrow.  We will be shingling around the bell tower of the church shown here.

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