Thursday, February 14, 2008

tales of smelting and rehab

Well, the city got a big kick in the nards yesterday. Everyone remember the monster copper smelter that looms over my neighborhood? The TCEQ decided to grant them the air permit. You can read about it here. And while I know the fight isn't over, I've vowed to pack it all up and move back to chicago if the smelter fires up again. I guess we'll try to make the best of it and pray for the next year & a half. We have certain obligations we're stuck in, so it wouldn't be feasible before then. Of course, if the city can somehow shut them down for good I'd be happy to stay. I'm not holding my breath though. I thought this was in the bag.. Whatever.

In happier news, I dug out a picture of our project house for your enjoyment. It's hard to see some of the finer points of this home, but the exterior was actually in decent condition compared to the inside. The original red brick has been painted which is a major bummer. We briefly contemplated somehow trying to strip the paint off, but this would blow our timeframe and probably the budget. I've read several articles that account the ills of trying to sandblast or even powerwash painted brick. So we ain't going there. Painting brick is a major no-no, but we'll try to make do the best we can. Alot of the paint is brittle and lifted off the brick, so some scraping should help get some of it off. I've heard water based paints allow water vapor to pass through. If you use an oil based paint you run the risk of trapping moisture and accelerating the wear & tear of the brick. Forget where I read that and what the difference is to masonry paint. We still haven't decided on color although we have been looking at the sherwin williams arts & crafts pallete. It's kind of hard to choose, as I think it's easier to pick colors for a wood shingle home than a brick home. Specifically when the brick has to be painted. For some reason it's really easy to make a brick home look tacky if you get too crazy on the body color. We'll try and go for something earthy and subtle. Not sure yet, that's lower on the priority list.

The iron bars are coming down which will reveal some of the few original windows left. It's kind of hard to see in the pic, but they're nice prarie style sashes. We're still trying to hunt down some sashes for the upstairs windows, but have had little luck. We're still looking at a few options, including having them custom made. They're a little hard to find simply because of the size of these bad boys, 52" x 66". We're also lucky to have the original sashes in the bay window dining room. The rest of the windows will be replaced with a vinyl prarie style design. I know vinyl windows are a dirty word to most house bloggers, but trust me when I say they look 10 times better than the aluminum crap that's there now. I'll try and dig up some before pics from the inside.. :)


Decorina said...

I struggled with the trim colors on my foursquare home for a long time. You can see the final selections at
I used the colors on houses adjacent - their roofs, my roof, etc. All of them were from Benjamin Moore historical colors. I agree that the colors Stucco House used were beautiful.

Omar said...

Hi there, checked out your blog. The old foursquare was very nice! I like the color combo you had on there.. Unfortunately, we're kind of limited on the colors, mostly because we don't plan on touching the roof (recently done). It's a darker brown, which means we should probably gravitate to brown body colors. Dang color theory! :(