Some folks paraplane, some swim in shark-infested waters, and some, who knows why, fling their worldly wealth and weekends into buying and renovating old houses. KERA Channel 13’s how-to show, “This Old House,” draws 90,000 viewers a week with its home handyman pointers on restoring old homes. East Dallas realtor Douglas Newby (who is now seeking nominations for the winner of his Eighth Annual Restoration House of the Year Award) guesses that Dallas’s preservation fervor is due in part to the influx of Northerners and Southeasterners, people who “insist on an older home in an older neighborhood because that’s the only environment they feel comfortable with.”
Whatever their motives, most urban renewal hounds would agree the work is not all gingerbread . For anyone who has ever decided that they can strip and paint all the molding in their newly acquired old house (because, after all, anyone can strip and paint), and for those people who then found that stripping the molding around the bathroom window took four weekends, here are some entrepreneurs ready to come to the rescue:
Stripping. The Stripper, 6721 Maple Ave. For intricate window and door molding and multipaneled doors plagued by layers of cracked and peeling paint, owner Vincent Marable uses heated caustic soda tanks to soak away aging paint. $25 per interior door and fifty cents per linear foot for molding.
Replating. Noles-Davis Plating, 2711 Manor Way. These specialists in replating light fixtures, door hardware, and other metal items in gold, silver, brass, cop per, or pewter, also do some electrical rewiring, so they can even fully restore a tarnished brass coach light to working order.
Re enameling. Bath Crest, 5401 Key Bend in Garland. This company employs a reenameling process that removes rust stains and scratches from claw-footed bathtubs, pedestal sinks, and other irreplaceable old bathroom fixtures.
Floor furnace fixing. Angel Plumbing Company, 1925 N. Henderson. This is one of the few companies that still repairs and installs floor furnaces. And you thought waffled slippers
were a thing of the past!
Front door replacement. Barton’s Elegant Door Inc., 2100 N. Highway 360, Suite 1604, in Grand Prairie. Owner Bobby Barton duplicates original doors in solid wood and will add custom features such as wood carving, panels, stained and beveled glass windows, and circle-top doors.
11 we haven’t covered your old house’s malady, try the Historic Preservation League for names of other companies, craftsmen, and architects familiar with geriatric dwellings. If your renovating adventures have gone smoothly, you might enjoy reading the league’s brochure on the ten most common preservation mistakes. You’ll get an idea of the fun you’ve been missing.