Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Memory Update on Porch

Not bad for an old guy. My files reveal that the decking on the 9th Street porch was actually done by Peter Post and was completed in June 1986. It was part of the same project that did have Fred Ecker involved, but while he was still on our staff. Our crew (Chuck, Fred and Mike according to Grant billings - talk about a dream team of restoration carpenters!!)worked inside replacing panels on the interior shutters while Peter was hired to do the work on the porch. According to his billing records, most of the deck was replaced using 2" by 6" salt treated lumber purchased from Siewers, which he made tongue in groove. That deck has been in place for 24 years and is holding up remarkably well. A good paint job should ensure us at least another 10 years if not more.

9th Street Porch at JM House

Among the items to be addressed at the John Marshall House as part of the Exterior trim portion of the project is the 9th Street porch. Even though it is rarely used, it is on a major thoroughfare and needs to be kept in good condition. Walking on it this morning, the decking itself is actually in pretty good shape. Fred Ecker and his Tidewater Preservation group relaced the decking in the late 1980s? Going by memory here but I believe it was about that time frame. The paint is in very bad condition and will need a thorough scraping, unless it manages to completely peel itself off before we get there to scrape it. Then a good coat of deck paint and a commitment to refresh it every five years or so.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

John Smith Roasted His Weenie Here

Hey, it could have happened. The restoration department just finished installing an exterior outlet for a food kiosk by the Archaearium. The 110 volt, 20 amp GFCI circuit runs in pvc conduit for just over 200 feet and is mounted to the statehouse fence. It took 3 men about 3 days plus $265 in materials to install. Good luck keeping guests with their food purchases out of the museum.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happiness is Cape Henry in Your Rear View

The Restoration dept. has finally finished the Cape Henry gift shop renovations, five weeks behind schedule. We replaced the front door, some siding that had sun or termite damage, two outside lights, added an interior partition wall, hung twelve sheets of slatwall, and built an 8' by 10' storage shed with lights, insulation, shelves and a ramp.
None of the work was complex, so what took so long? Most of the extra time can be blamed on inefficient materials handling, while some was from the gift shop being open for normal operation during the renovation. When the department met with all parties in December of 2009, they were informed that the shop would be closed for two weeks in mid-January,2010. This would have allowed Restoration to use the shop as a depot for materials and tools, and allowed them to work past the 4:00 pm closing time. With the shop open, Restoration had to acquire only the materials they were going to use that day, and pause in their work to be respectful of visitors. Tools had to be loaded in the morning and offloaded in the evening because of the threat of inclement weather. With the siding taking up most of the usable extra space in the Mulebarn, Restoration could not stockpile much additional material, which meant a trip to Lowe's almost every morning. With a one to two hour trip to Lowe's every morning, plus loading the tools and then slugging through commuter traffic 1.5 to 2 hours , fast starts were not an option. In retrospect, given that there was no available lockable storage at the job site, renting a good size steel storage unit, about twenty feet long, would have made good sense. Hindsight really can be a bitch.