Archive for October, 2015


While most of the house will be reclaimed wood flooring, the cellar is a bed of concrete with an R-value closer to a screen door than foil faced Polyisocyanurate. The cellar is below the Passive House insulating barrier, which starts just above, on the ceiling.

Squibb history: The first motor driven mobile mixer entered the construction scene in 1916 – a small but consequential development of the concrete jungle. It was invented by Stephen Stepanian – and the modern mixer doesn’t appear to have changed much from his original vision. It replaced the horse-pulled mixer that worked with wooden paddles to turn the mix. It was slow work until machines able to haul tons of wet concrete were developed, especially in the building boom after WWII. Photo: Blueline Construction staff transport wheel barrow loads of the mix to the opening of the cellar.

softwoodflooring_001Bob Villa recently commented on the virtues of softwood flooring that is even more relevant to the realm of reclaimed; “If you think that installing hardwood flooring is a budget buster, think again. Although hardwoods such as Oak, Ash and Beech (or reclaimed Chestnut, Cherry and Ipe) is pricey, softwood flooring such as Spruce, Pine and Hemlock is less. There’s a trade off though, softwood floors are just that, soft, and more susceptible to scratches and dents. But most people feel that just adds to the rustic charm. One other plus is that they’re more environmentally friendly than hardwoods. If that sounds appealing and you won’t mind a little of the existing wear and tear, then softwood flooring may be a good choice.”


“Unscrew the locks from the doors ! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs ! ” – Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Glass door knobs
Glass doorknobs with mirrored star-burst centers became popular around WWI (brass was needed for the war effort). Today, they’re picked like diamonds at salvage shops; being beautiful, carefully crafted and built to last.
Daniel Luscombe
Antique door preservationist Daniel Luscombe carefully extracts all of the brass hardware sets for the doors at the West New York, NJ location.
Solid wood
The seventeen 5-panel doors were a mix of Oak, Poplar and Pine.
Dip Strip Paint option
Most of the doors have been painted over the years, with he likely prospect of lead in some of the layer(s). So the option of stripping or 'dip stripping' is a prospect. Renewed, they should still have a vintage patina alongside the clean lines.