A Miracle on Union Street


A short while back I did a post about the restoration of the built-in gutters on the Cross House. While the gutters have now all been relined, I noticed several problems still. This image is from 2015, and shows the Great South Wall, which I have rarely pictured. It scares me to look at at. SO much work. Anyway, see the porte-cochère? See the west side (left), and its curved cornice? If you look close (click on image; it enlarges), you can see how the bottom of the cornice has detached itself, and is hanging free. Birds would fly inside and nest in the attic of the porte-cochère.



Well, yesterday, after much ado, we finally stuck our heads up inside. The curved cornice is to the lower left. At the top, center, is the bottom of the built-in gutter. There was a big hole in the gutter for a long long long time, and this rotted out all the wood under it, and is also why the cornice detached itself from the house. And the whole thing sagged, meaning that no water actually drained out of the downspout, but rather just spilled over the gutter edge. This was bad. What Justin did yesterday and today was to replace all the rotted bits of wood, reinstall wood under the bottom of the gutter (totally gone), and gently push the gutter back into its original position. Mind you, all this was done in HIGH heat, and with his head stuck inside this absurd space.



With all the wood bits redone, Justin could re-attach the curved west cornice. A water test proved that water now actually drains OUT of the downspout to the right. New round drainpipes are on order, baby! While nobody will ever look at this area and think twice about it, my heart just SOARED having this screwed-up bit fixed. And fixed properly. THANK-YOU JUSTIN!



Now, on the OTHER side…


…no water drained out of its downspout, either (over to the left; not pictured). We we all baffled by this, but much sleuthing by Justin revealed that a 1-1/2-inch sag was the problem. The sag was where a very TALL wood column had been, a very rotted tall column. This was replaced by the previous owner with a 6×6 post.

As the original wood column progressively rotted, the corner of the house above progressively sank down. And this meant that the adjacent built-in gutter, which was designed to drain to the left, was now draining to the right, and water was just spilling over the edge. This was bad.

The solution was to jack back up the drooped corner. But would the house let us? As Justin and I are both entirely foolish, we jump into such endeavors which relish. Yea! We had no idea if the droop would incrementally takes months to fix, or right away. We expected the former, as old houses do not like being forced back into shape (my old body is sympathetic). But to Justin’s delight, the droop effortlessly vanished.

He then did a water test, and the liquid, before his wide-eyed amazement, drained to the left! Just like was designed to! Justin was so excited he texted me a video as it poured from the downspout. Sadly, I have no idea how to post this thrilling, new-fangled moving picture image.





  1. Carole Sukosd on July 8, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    God bless Justin ! ! And a BIG thank you too ! ! !

  2. Michele on July 8, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    WOW! Small miracles one at a time add up to one huge miracle!!

  3. Marta on July 8, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    Awesome!!So happy to hear about this. Good job Justin and Ross!!

  4. Barb Sanford on July 9, 2016 at 9:29 am

    You and Justin are my heroes!

  5. Bethany on July 9, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Do you know this blog? I think you would like it.

    • Bethany on July 10, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      Never mind, I just saw that you once left a comment so I guess you do know it!

  6. Derek W on July 11, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Those little things (really not so little) getting done feel good!

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