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Rustic Charm: Historic Style In a Modern Way

DJI_0238-2For project manager Quint Zwally, renovating or adding on to an old home is often just a matter of tearing out the original pieces to replace them with something new and better. In the case of the Rustic Charm residence, Quint observed that sometimes working on an old home is just as much about restoring it to its original roots as it is about making it a modern marvel.

Homeowners Glenn and Sue wanted to build an addition onto their centuries old farmhouse, while remaking the style of the existing house to model that of the new addition. The clients knew that if it was done right the house would be a masterpiece of a rustic and contemporary style.

“Since it was such a unique house, there were some challenges we had to work through on site each day. We have a lot of experience in these projects, but they are the kind that have a lot of challenges once you get into them,” Quint said.

Kitchen area #2The stone foundation of the house presented itself as the initial challenge to the Weaver team. The old foundation was comprised of dry laid stone walls, which bear the risk of collapsing when the dirt is removed from around them. For that reason, they are much less stable than a concrete or masonry laid wall. In order to secure that foundation the team applied thinner, fiber-laden, extra-strong concrete to the centuries old stone wall.

“We basically blasted concrete along the stone wall when we exposed it. You shoot concrete through a tube that looks like a firehose. The concrete then fortifies the stone, so nothing collapses as you’re building around it.”

Another unique challenge of the Phillip’s residence job were several cast iron water pipes that provided all the hot water to the home after being heated as the byproduct of an enormous on-site generator. It was an ingenious method of heating the house’s water, but it presented a challenge to the Weaver team as the pipes were running through an area that was the site of the addition.  The Weaver team braced the pipes to hold them in place and worked carefully around them.

“It was unique, definitely not something you run into on a regular residence,” Quint said.

While there were some physical challenges to be overcome, matching the character of the renovation to the original house was of paramount importance to the Weaver team. They precisely matched the external stucco texture and used remnant barn boards as flooring to provide the desired rustic aesthetic.

To do justice to the historical home, they left in as much original construction as possible. P1060284_TFor example, the wood headers seen throughout the house are completely original as are the ceiling joints and cross-bracing. They converted windows into interior doorways as a way to maintain the original stone masonry. In the kitchen, the Weaver team sandblasted away plaster from a previous renovation revealing the original stone wall to bring the house’s roots to light.

“Sue was very involved in communicating with us. Her goal was to keep as much of the house’s original integrity,” Quint said. “She put a lot of trust in us and we earned that as the process went on. She let us come up with different creative ideas to keep the look she was going for. Sue was an ideal customer.”

For all of the attention paid to rustic detail, an elevator runs from the basement to second floor, as a unique modern touch.

P1060394_TQuint and the Weaver team are so satisfied with the outcome of the Rustic Charm residence that they plan to use it as a professional showpiece for years to come. Quint recognizes that of course the high-level craftsmanship was essential to the project’s success, but he believes it was the relationship formed with the client that made it possible.

“Other builders are physically capable of doing this kind of work, but what sets us apart on a job like this is our relationship with the customer. That relationship is vital. The customer wanted to be involved and some builders struggle with allowing that.” Quint said. “Our process and our guys, their personalities, suit this kind of customer. That is where we excel. The entire team wants to have a conversation. That is a goal we have going into any job, striking up that relationship right away.”

Despite the distinct style and one-of-a-kind mission inherent in the rustic charm residence, Quint knows that the Weaver team invests this level of attention and this much care in every project, in every home.

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