Update on WHERE WE ARE!

November 6, 2009

Back in December I provided a post with photographs on current projects.  Well, now that it’s November ’09, perhaps it’s time to bring another round.  In short, we’ve been blessed.  All of 2009 was exemplary.  Several new kitchen and bath projects for wonderful customers, numerous window and door replacements, and some interesting remodels.  Old School Rebuilders is excited about 2010.

While we don’t like to gloat on successful completion of significant repairs from original poor water-management construction, we do appreciate opportunities to do these repairs as it continually drills into our cores how massive the damage can be 5, 10, 15, 30 years down the road when a window, door, or siding installation goes bad for a homeowner.  Our unofficial motto when we renovate, build, or repair is to “think like a raindrop.”  Further, it is too-frequently evident that it is also of utmost importance to “think like a water molecule” when building.  The damage from water vapor isn’t as jarring to inspect and correct as the bulk water entries, but can be significantly more damaging to human health.  Wilmington lies in what is known climatically as a mixed-humid environment.  In other words, water vapor is abundantly present in our air 12 months of the year, and it always floats or condenses around different surfaces on the home differently at different times of the year.  Vapor and bulk water are something to consider with laser-focus as we build and renovate in Wilmington.  I feel bad for some of our customers that have purchased homes they assumed were water tight.  Sometimes, by the time that the problem comes through to the interior finish, what has happened behind the walls and under the floors is enough to make a homeowner weep.

Ah, I digress.  But it’s an important topic.

What follows is a sampling of projects from 2009.  A continued gratitude and honor to all of our customers for their continued trust in our work.  We appreciate your continued conversation with your friends and neighbors, on our behalf, whom are considering they’re own renovation/remodel projects.  On that note, please see our revised CUSTOMER COMMENTS section.

We replaced the windows and doors on 3 sides of this Wrightsville Beach home.  The half-round windows were replaced with similar-sized rectangular windows so we re-framed, added insulation, waterproofed, and installed new cedar shakes.  We also replaced all of the home’s interior trim and Silkwood painted the home’s exterior.

Wrightsville Beach window/door replacement - before

Wrightsville Beach home during

We constructed this two-story addition in the Brookwood area of Forest Hills.  This project will soon be featured in our gallery.


Wrightsville Beach: Bathroom repair from water damage and remodel of other areas of the house including replacing carpeting with wood flooring and installation of new stair treads.


We were called in by an engineer to replace this kitchen floor system on Chestnut Street in Carolina Heights.  We rebuilt the floor system and added some stiffening beams and posts.  At this point the cabinets, electrical, plumbing is completed and the maple flooring we installed is being finished.


Marsh Oaks patio-to-entertainment room conversion.


I like the idea that “the greenest building is the one that already exists.”  To help move that concept along, we were very happy to be a part of this renovation at 3404 Talon Court in Wilmington.  We were asked to do all of the interior wall framing; framing for, and installation of, all new windows and exterior doors; and construction of the carport upon which the vegetative, green roof sits.  This is the first complete renovation of an existing residence to LEED standards in North Carolina, and only a relative handful to have been completed in the United States.  For more information on green renovations, the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED program, and on the Talon Court project here in Wilmington please visit the website at: http://web.me.com/jdc001/TalonCourt/Welcome.html



While not intending to offend the designer of this c.1969 oceanfront home at Figure 8 Island, the current homeowner and I wondered how the brick wall in this kitchen was able to stay in tact for 40 years.  The wall, as viewed below,  completely blocked the view of the ocean from the kitchen.  We removed the wall, installed an Old Growth Riverwood peninsula countertop, repaired some errors in roof/exterior wall construction that were leading to water intrusion, and installed 2 new 8′ sliding doors.




We are currently replacing the siding on this house in downtown Wilmington.  There were some waterproofing details around the balconies that were overlooked during the home’s original construction and we’re correcting this and installing all new siding on the home.


My kind respect to the Cape Fear Green Building Alliance, who, along with the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and WILMA magazine, put together a fine Green Living Expo and Conference.  The event was held at the Wilmington Hilton Riverside on October 21.  Offering hour-long classes on a variety of green-minded construction topics–energy tax credits, moisture management in custom homes, solar thermal, solar electric, sustainable interior finishes, high performance HVAC, green renovations, and many more.  What a great draw to Wilmington.  High-caliber presenters from all over North Carolina, I was extremely impressed with the lessons offered, and the reception from the Wilmington building community.  The trade show was free of greenwash, and the luncheon was inspiring.  I look forward to seeing this expo grow in 2010.  Old School Rebuilders was proud to make a contribution in the form of offsetting the entire conference’s power usage with renewable energy resources through NC GreenPower.