Heritage Restoration, Inc.

Week Ending in 8/3

All clapboards on the primary elevation have been stripped off revealing the building’s vertical sheathing. Timber frame buildings, such as this one, are very “honest” buildings; meaning you can visibly see how they work. Large timbers are joined together and then braced at the corners. This is then covered by the vertical sheathing you can presently see on the outside. On the inside, lath and plaster is applied directly to the sheathing and on the outside claps are also attached directly to the sheathing. This makes the overall depth of the wall to be only about 2″ – 3″ inches. This is very different from modern stud framing construction where the wall is apart of the load bearing structure. In timber frame buildings the entire load of the building is carried on the timber members making the walls themselves non-structural.

Presently, we are focused on repairing the sill of the building. The sill is the very bottom of a timber frame structure that sits on the foundation and where all the vertical posts are joined into. In some places there is great deal off the sill that has decayed away due to moisture and bugs over time. It may look compromising to the structure, but it presently is not. Timber frame structures are extremely strong and long lasting buildings because of how large the timbers are. The timbers used to make this sill are a full foot thick! It took 273 years for this decay to occur and the sill is not showing signs of sagging. Timber frames are tough!

To repair the sill, the areas of decay are being removed until hard uncompromised timber is reached. Then we applied marine grade epoxy to the timber to help consolidate the remaining material. We are also preparing the dry laid foundation with a historic lime based cement to prepare a level platform for patch repairs called Dutchmans. These Dutchmen repairs will help sure up the building at least until the next century!

Next week these Ducthmen repairs should be taking place. Below are some photographs of our progress.

Moisture and bug compromised parts of the sill are being removed

Foundation and sill is being prepared for Dutchmen repairs

This post bears onto the still and is in great shape! You can see how it was hand cut into its shape.