July 27, 2014 |
Chester County contractor Jeff Morrison looked at the forgettable facade of Jennifer and Michael Mankowski's home, a stuccoed, farmhouse-style exterior. But what he actually saw was a circa-1900 house begging to emerge. His partner, designer Courtney Kish, saw it, too. They envisioned using different textures (stone, cedar shake, faux-wood siding, and some stucco) to delineate the house's existing separate sections - a style that defined the classic Chester County farmhouse look.
March 29, 2013 |
Janice Sachen of Chicago offers what she says is a sure cure for that cat-urine smell. "My older cat started urinating on the basement floor and she would always go back to the same spot because she could smell the urine. "I tried everything to mask the smell to no avail. Finally I tried peroxide, the regular drugstore kind, although there are stronger concentrations available at chemical supply houses. "I sprayed a full-strength solution on the concrete area, and it neutralized the smell.
September 9, 2011 |
First we wrote a piece about painting stucco, using information from the Paint Quality Institute. Then, we ran an e-mail from a contractor in Iowa saying you shouldn't paint stucco. Today, we're going back to the Paint Quality Institute for its take on the Iowa reader's e-mail. But first, we'd like to turn over the rostrum to Al Kelly of Stevens, Pa., with his views on stucco. Kelly's view, or that of his sainted father, is that paint is best applied to stucco with a brush.
August 5, 2011 |
Here's help from readers for readers - this time about subway tile. A couple wanted to know what to do about discolored subway tiles in their 1930s-era shower. Was there a way to clean them or could they be replaced with something similar, they asked. Jeanne Gallagher of Philadelphia had a similar situation in the tub surround area of her late-1920s bathroom. One thing that finally helped make the job doable - and not horrendously expensive - was to stop trying to match the tile that needed to be replaced (1920s Ming Green turned out to be a completely different shade than 1980s Ming Green!
July 8, 2011 |
Here are more painting tips, this time about stucco, for which I get many, many questions, especially from Philadelphians living in a row that is a house or two short, with party walls that need repainting. I turn, as usual, to Debbie Zimmer at the Dow Chemical Paint Quality Institute in Spring House. She says stucco can be successfully painted by following certain procedures. As with most painting projects, surface preparation is key. "Start by making sure that the surface of your stucco is sound," Zimmer said.
February 12, 2010 |
Question: Two years ago, we moved to a five-year-old townhouse. Last year, the builder initiated a project of inspecting all the stucco exteriors for moisture penetration into the exterior sheathing and studs underneath. Many inspected units, including ours, were found to have damage attributed to improper application of the tar-paper wrap layer under the wire and stucco layers. The builder corrected the situation by removing all the stucco, wire, and paper; repairing any sheathing and stud damage; and then re-stuccoing.
December 3, 2009 |
Every five years, Kevin and Corinne Cody celebrate their wedding anniversary by boarding an airplane to distant destinations. When the emerald year, No. 55, arrived two years ago, the Doylestown couple dreamed up a 10-day journey to Italy, the birthplace of Corinne's grandmother. And they decided to invite the extended clan - no small enterprise. "Our kids live all over the country," Corinne says of her brood of five. "We go to Italy to get together. " Spouses, significant others, and grandchildren swelled the traveling party to 24, ages 5 to 77. Accommodations were the tricky part - what hotel or resort could fit them on one floor?
August 15, 2009 |
The first surprise came in February, as they inspected the stucco on a Haddonfield house before repainting it. They removed pieces around the windows and discovered beautifully preserved red brick. Over the next few months, Mark Welsh and his son Ted knocked off 10 tons of stucco, revealing a side of a historic house that hadn't been seen for centuries. Out of its shell emerged the stately home of Thomas Redman, a prominent Quaker businessman who settled in town in the 1730s and owned a portion of the colonial-era building that houses the Indian King Tavern.
July 7, 2006 |
Once upon a time - just a few weeks ago, in fact - I was perfectly sane. I didn't clutch tiny little squares of paint-chip cards in my hand, squinting endlessly at colors with names that either made me hungry or made me laugh. Once upon a time, I didn't spend the better part of countless days studying the 650 varieties of off-whites on color charts, asking perfect strangers what they thought of "buff" or "desert oasis" or perhaps "shifting sands. " Before the search for several paint colors began, I read books.
September 7, 2003 |
Sidney Robin, 86, a builder who along with his father helped save the architectural extravaganza of Hollywood, Montgomery County, died of cardiac arrhythmia Aug. 16 at Abington Memorial Hospital. Mr. Robin was a longtime resident of Richboro, Bucks County. Nestled in the western tip of Abington Township, Hollywood - actually 120 homes that evoke Los Angeles during a more glamorous era - was born in the mid-1920s under developer Gustav Weber. Weber, however, abandoned the project, and it went into bankruptcy during the Depression.