15 May 2012

The Details Make the Difference

Two years ago, when the garage roof was failing. Water would pour down the interior wall right next to the electrical panel during a rainstorm. The small structure lacked character and had received no attention in many years. Outbuildings are often treated as the evil stepchildren of the home.

As the roof was being repaired, it became apparent that the fascia trim was completely rotten. As the fascia trim was removed, it was revealed that termites had nearly removed the entire front header beam and also that the stucco was carelessly and liberally applied so as to bury the trim details.

The roofers suggested that we cover the rotting trim in aluminum flashing. That band-aid was not an option for this homeowner, who is known for polishing the nickel bath fittings to a mirror shine on a semi-annual basis.

The beam above the garage door was replaced with two large steel angle irons and then blocked in. In the end, all of the stucco was chipped off and reapplied by Bruno in a traditional method using a manual device that he called "spruzzo" (sprayer in Italian) that yielded a remarkably flat and consistent surface, much unlike the horrible stucco applied to homes today that gives it a bad reputation. The trim was re-applied in not one, but three layers of pre-primed solid wood. Finally, a new copper scupper, downspout and drip edge were applied. The aluminum trim didn't stand a chance knowing that copper was an option.

Today, the bright copper has weathered to a beautiful patina that is a wonderful contrast to the beautiful Dragon's Breath painted trim, a warm gray color that has tones of both green and copper. I wouldn't have done it any other way, but now it's time to save pennies to give the main house the same attention. The garage was merely practice.


  1. Lovely. When we had the 7 roofs on the house torn off a few years ago - and a new roof laid - we decided to have all of the trim work on the dormer, the house and the french drains done in copper. It is aging beautifully and on our little block of row homes it stands out just enough.

  2. Nice picture and Great job on this blog! keep this up! like it a lot.


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