Some jobs are simple and some are pretty tough. And some are even tough enough not to know even where to begin! That was the dilemma for the Lewiston housing authority, owner of a beautiful Second Empire Residence in the heart of Lewiston, Maine. Over the many years of long, harsh Maine winters, the home’s exterior had fallen into disrepair. The Housing Authority turned to Architectural Design Consultants owner, Tom Spugnardi, of nearby Poland Springs, Maine.
The Housing Authority and their architect were mainly concerned that the architectural detail not be lost through the retrofit. This home possesses very ornate architectural details, and the home has had several additions over its 175 years. There were subtle differences with each addition. Architect Spugnardi was very concerned that the owner’s representatives could walk past the home afterward and not distinguish any differences in the cornice detail. Naturally, there was concern that the project be completed within budget. Oh, one more thing…the ornate custom millwork needed to be drawn, priced, fabricated, and shipped to the job-site in a matter of weeks.
Neil Oullette, owner of Pineland Lumber in Lewiston, turned to INTEX Millwork. In the wake of failed attempts to have an outside source adequately replicate 82 ornate 5″ thick brackets and an 18″ cornice made up of a combination of several mouldings and dentil scoops, INTEX had a man on site three days of the initial call. The contractor, John Brochu, of SR General Contractors, Architect Spugnardi, and Oullette all met on site with INTEX’s Jeff Davis to go over details and options.
In the end, INTEX provided 82 brand new brackets identical to the originals. These brackets would be installed to the architects specifications on a large frieze board. In between the brackets, the contractor installed lengths of pre-fabricated glued-up lineals consisting of a cove moulding, dentil scoops’ flat boards, and crown moulding. Each section was individually wrapped and identified to match each section of the architects drawing. Each glued-up section was made slightly long and trimmed to fit on-site.
INTEX fabricated the cornice and brackets in their 40,000 square foot shop over 400 miles from the job-site in Millville, New Jersey. From the start, INTEX’s Davis was intent to match the existing mouldings with less expensive, extruded cellular PVC mouldings. This saved knife cutting charges, since extruded mouldings are less costly than short run custom mouldings, this approach saved thousands of dollars. Selling the contractor pre-fabricated built up components saved detailed, on-the-job, wintertime labor. This was key, as the contractor was concerned that his workforce might have had the expertise to replicate the original detail, especially in the field on such a large scale.
Davis’ initial visit to material shipment took four weeks, with CAD drawings, architect approvals, and Purchase Order process all worked in. The initial visit left the architect with an impression that INTEX would be able to provide what he thought others could only promise. The visit and the detailed drawings provided in two business days gave a level of comfort that allowed everyone to move forward with a project that was just about to come to a grinding halt. According to the contractor, Brochu, “INTEX” was the link between the architectural drawing and the field. They made the whole project doable. And we all were able to retain the building’s original character that millwork provides. The client was very pleased and you would never know that the cornice wasn’t simply restored. It looks identical to the original. Incredible Detail!”
The owner and architect were able to meet their aesthetic and financial needs, the contractor had peace of mind and the lumber dealer, Pineland, treated everyone like kings along the way. All’s well that ends well-especially when the people involved know their trade and listen well enough to provide what the customer needs. Now, the original beauty of 110 Ash Street will continue to grace Lewiston.
Lumber Dealer: The Pineland Lumber Company- Neil Ouellette 10 Avon Street Lewiston, Maine — 207.784.4524
Architect: Architectural Design Consultants- Thomas Spugnardi 14 Bishop Road, Poland Springs, Maine 04274–207.998.4823
Contractor: S.R General Contractors–John Brochu 133 2nd Sreet Auburn, Maine– 207.782.4048
PVC Millwork: INTEX Millwork Solutions 20 Bogden Blvd., Millville, New Jersey 08332– 856.293.4100