The Whitcomb is a traditional 1912 Craftsman home which presents signature features including roof rafter tails and beams which support low-pitched gabled roofs, wide overhanging eaves, and roomy porches with square tapering columns. The beams were quite rotted and previously subjected to a very poor repair attempt. The ideal time for eave replacement is before adding a new roof; in this case we replaced both the house and front porch roof just in time for the winter rains.
Age, faulty gutters, deteriorating roofing, and the lack of proper paint maintenance is typically the cause of eave damage. Where replacement is required, we use full size, select exposed grade lumber to match the beams used in that era. Where replacement is not practical we repair using Dutchmen joinery, boat grade glues, and fiberglass dowels. Patching is done using 21st Century technology epoxies that are formulated to penetrate, adhere, strengthen, and flex with the lumber. We impregnated the lumber with Borate and Jasco Termin-8 preservatives.
We then covered the exposed beam tops with fiberglass and resin to shield from future rain damage. Although it is popular these days to cover the exposed beams with metal flashing; we do not use metal flashing, bolts, or dowels. Metal has conductive properties which cause condensation, and actually draws water into the lumber causing dry rot. Instead we use fiberglass and resin in order to bind to the beam so it cannot be seen, like on the hull of a boat.
Restoring these homes requires specialized skills, which we have acquired from years of experience working on Craftsman homes in and around the Pasadena area. Be it a Bungalow, Cottage, or Western Stick style homes we understand what is required to bring the home back to its former glory. We like to think of this project as a feather in our hat because the Whitcombs were founding members of the Bungalow Heaven Landmark District and this repair makes their home a showpiece for the neighborhood. We are honored to have been able to work with these wonderful clients and on their lovely home.