July 12, 2007


I first learned about efflorescence sophmore year in college. Architectural Technology. The "How NOT to Detail" lecture. I liked the word. It just stuck to you... like it does to buildings. I remember photo after photo of bad masonry construction flashing before my eyes, efflorescence oozing everywhere, thinking all the while, obviously THOSE architects failed architectural technology 101... how embarrassing. heh heh heh.

Well, I didn't fail architectural technology, but my house has a case of efflorescence. I shouldn't have laughed at that lecture... I'm NOT laughing now.

Back in the fall of 2004, we had some 'temporary' repairs done to the front parapet. We couldn't afford to have the parapet rebuilt, however we had the masons 'tuckpoint' it and patch it from the back. It's that patching, we believe, that is causing the efflorescence.
So, now we have to try and figure out how to fix this. One obvious option would be to rebuild the parapet, however that's the expensive option, so it's not really an option. Another option I was reading about was cleaning off the residue, treating the stone, then sealing it. If anyone has any suggestions, they are most welcome. Otherwise, I think I'll have to ask the technical guys at the office. They love this stuff...

July 10, 2007

In-Progress: Front Yard Plan

The terrace, stairs, handrails and guardrails are only being repaired and/or replaced to match existing, in order to keep with the original character of the house. The existing concrete front walk, however, is being replaced with stone pavers. We still have to figure out what to do with the landscaping...

July 9, 2007

paving ideas for the front walk

We are getting ready to do some work on the front entry, including replacing the existing concrete front walk with stone paving. Above are some ideas...
Looks like we're going to go with a stone pattern like the top row, middle photo... but with larger and wider stones.

July 3, 2007

A Positive Spin on Siding

I think we should change course a bit and take THIS approach with the house...

Isn't this the coolest house you have ever seen? Seriously. 'Siding' takes on a whole new meaning...
In 2005, Houston sculptors Dan Havel and Dean Ruck transformed two residential buildings (which were slated for demolition in order to make room for the new Art League Building). Using existing siding from the homes, the artists created a funnel-shaped vortex narrowing in size and height as it moved thru the buildings. So sad that it is now gone.