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SUMMER 2015 • Volume 5 • Issue 1

Old is new again. We often struggle with the challenging option to restore or replace. In many cases restoration is comparable to the cost of tearing down and starting over but the consolation for the latter is often a finished product that does not have the lovely patina of age and the possibility that new materials just don't weather as well as those of the past. If possible we will always recommend mending and restoring with materials similar to the original intention which guarantees that the aesthetic remains the same. Ror y

Traditional custom cabinetry and flooring in bathroom.

Another custom cabinet adds storage space to laundry.

Breath of fresh Ayr This young family just outside of Ayr, was looking for a heritage builder to restore the front entrance of their Canadian Farmer home. We were then asked to develop and design a floor plan to eventually update the entire house over the next few years. A second floor spare bedroom, to be converted to a bathroom and laundry room, became stage one of the renovation. The whimsical elements of a trough sink, industrial faucets and lighting, and a vibrant green wall colour are grounded by classic floor and subway tile and painted wainscoting. A beautiful custom wall cabinet tucked into a corner creates needed storage.

WE LOVE YOUR HOUSE! The James Carter House in St. Marys was built in 1883. It is one of four mansions built by George Carter for family within a 15 year time period. Considered the most elaborately detailed house in the area at that time, its style was influenced by local designer William Williams. The decorative wraparound porch has been restored in recent years. Rory McDonnell build4u.ca 519 275 3250 rory@build4u.ca

In the laundry a hanging cast iron sink and subway tile wall add a modern industrial twist to traditional cabinetry and flooring. The ceiling height cabinets maximize the storage space with counter height removable open shelves. A butcher block countertop over the appliances was added for visual warmth.

Interior entrance with refurbished doors and new tile floor.

Industrial style sinks and black and white tile unify the two rooms on the home's second floor.


Historic Summerhouse Our recreation of the Summerhouse from the Ashhurst Estate in Mount Holly, NJ is taking form. The bell curve, six foot tall, wooden roof skeleton will be covered in copper by a local metalsmith. With only one black and white photo in existence, we can only estimate the surface material originally used. But we do think the natural patina of a weathered copper roof will suit this building beautifully. Check out our blog on our website for updates of the Summerhouse progress. Left: Lone photo of the Summerhouse was taken for the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1937. Right: The roof is taking form in our shop.

Charming addition to Ontario Cottage

Exterior view of refurbished door on Ayr farmhouse.

A side porch seamlessly ties into the existing cottage creating a private and quiet space to relax.

We love Ontario Cottages and this lovely home is not an exception. Our client, an artist, needed a larger studio space in the bright front area of her home. We designed a vaulted ceiling space opened to the kitchen to replace the existing livingroom. The ceiling and fireplace chimney breast are clad in reclaimed fir to maintain the cottage feel. The room will be finished with a rustic walnut flooring and tiled fireplace surround.

The vaulted ceiling is emphasized by a custom fireplace designed with chimney breast flanked by book shelves.

Face Value We prefer to repair and restore rather than replace with new, especially when it comes to the original aesthetics of a front door. When refurbishing the front entrance of the farmhouse in Ayr, rather than replacing the worn, century doors, we opted to restore them to their original beauty, resurfacing the wood and painting the doors a scarlet red to emphasize the existing red glass transom. The old door hardware was also thoughtfully refinished and the glass panels on the inner vestibule doors was replaced with aged glass.

SNEAK PEAK Victorian 2-storey porch We are in the process of restoring the two level porch on this historic 1877 Victorian home on Mornington Street. To retain its original beauty and maintain its safety, we are restoring the elements we can, and replicating the elements we can not salvage.

Some of the original suffers from rot and will be remade.

Profile for Build

Build news summer15  

Summer 15 news featuring Canadian Farmer in Ayr, Ontario Cottage vaulted addition and a historic Summerhouse recreation.

Build news summer15  

Summer 15 news featuring Canadian Farmer in Ayr, Ontario Cottage vaulted addition and a historic Summerhouse recreation.

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