Working on historic buildings can be a daunting task, and more often than not, many building owners take the advice of or hire contractors who do not have the level of knowledge or skill to appropriately address these problems. The outcome of this situation is often workmanship that does not stand the test of time and likely will cost the owner more in the longterm due to efforts to remedy the mistakes made. I have seen this countless times during my time working at Bero Architect PLLC.
I count myself lucky to have the unusual privilege to work with many of these hard to find craftspersons that my firm has developed relationships with over the past nearly forty years. It is important to seek out the advice of specialists within field of Historic Preservation to find the right craftsperson to work on your historic building. Locally, Bero Architecture PLLC and The Landmark Society are more than willing to make recommendations of qualified craftspersons to work on historic buildings.
Those Who Have Worked on MPLMP Already
- Chad Fabry is terrifically knowledgeable and meticulous home inspector. In his spare time he works on rehabilitating his grand 1860’s Italianate home and blueberry farm with his wife. He is also the only home inspector recommended by Steve Jordan…who’s recommendations I do not take lightly. Check out Structure Smart for all your home-inspecting needs.
- James Crowley Plumbing has been in the business for as long as My Perfect Little Money Pit has been around, both were established in 1928! Jimmy is the current generation of the Crowley family who runs the business and was also the only plumber recommended to me by Steve. He was quick to respond to a late evening call about leaking valves on my hot-water lines, and arrived promptly to make the repairs.
- Mike Dube as featured in Plaster On, Plaster Off is a superlative artisan of plaster restoration. Mike is by far the finest plasterer in the Rochester region, and is likely one of the best regionally if not nationally. He is kind, generous, and obsessive about his work. Despite working on the most prestigious and ornate of projects he also is perfectly content to do plain flat work and made my ceiling like new to a glass smooth surface. He recently created a website which can be found here: Dube Plastering and Stucco
- Ray Case Floors has been in the flooring business for nearly four decades. A significant portion of Ray Case Floors work is refinishing and repairing old wood floors. They maintain an archive of historic flooring remnants which make their patches and repairs almost invisible. Their heightened level of care, eye for detail, and quality of the conversion varnish finish they apply make them my first choice for wood flooring.
- Steve Jordan is a giant in the Rochester preservation community and nationally. His knowledge is wide ranging from his diverse experience working for the Landmark Society, Bero Architecture, writing for Old House Journal, and publishing several books. He specializes in the restoration of historic window sash and is my go to person for any questions about windows and more. His crowning work “The Window Sash Bible” was finally published in 2015. His website can be found here: Pain In The Glass
- Andrew Struble is the young and enterprising painter who helped restore the front facade of MPLMP. He is one of a very limited list of recommended painters given to me by Steve Jordan, and did not disappoint. Andrew and his crew were meticulous and methodical about their work, and were understanding when it came to our demands and scheduling issues. Once he gets a website I will be sure to post it here, otherwise please private message me for his contact info.
- Air-Dee Corp has been doing nothing but installing water supplies for just over 50 years. They have a long track record of success and do it the old-school way with Type-K american made copper pipe. They were efficient and professional, and all at a competitive price.
Those Who May Work on MPLMP in the Future
- Catenary Construction and Marc Millet Masonry are two of a small group of trusted masons that my firm recommends. They have talented masons who understand the delicacy and complexity of working with historic masonry. I would also be remiss without mentioning perhaps the most revered of Rochester area masons, Marty Naber. Marty, like Kurt Catalano and Mike Dube, has been recognized with the Craftsman Award from the Landmark Society. His knowledge is wide ranging, including a specialization in cobblestone. Here’s to hoping one of these great masons will make MPLMP’s chimneys like new again!
- Kurt Catalano, like Mike Dube, is a man who lives and breathes his craft to a high degree. Kurt and his crew at CSTM Corporation are the best of best when it comes to roofing. Having a high quality roof with well detailed flashings, and sufficiently designed gutter system is THE most important component of a historic building. I have seen countless roofs beyond their service life with poor flashings leading to water leaks and a whole host of problems and damage. Your roof is the most important investment in your historic building…so don’t skimp!
- Valerie O’Hara heads one of the oldest stained glass studios in the country, Pike Stained Glass Studios. She is kind, knowledgeable, and obsessively dedicated to her craft. In addition to Pike’s predominant work of restoring the elaborate stained glass windows of Churches across the region, they also provide repair services to home owners with stained and leaded glass windows…and occasionally small commissions.