tv [untitled] February 21, 2012 5:00pm-5:30pm PST
>> welcome to the department of building inspections monthly brown bag show. this is the old building department. love and care for your old san francisco belling. this is a topic of interest to us who care about our city and the way it looks. it's the reason we came here was the image of the city. we have wonderful guests chris who does architectural restoration contracts around the
city and my good buddy tools. and james, they do a lot of high epd construction and restoration work. we will talk about the various issues that effect preservation holder buildings and what you can do to make renovation work friendly. it fits into the quality and character of the original work in san francisco. i thought we might start about talking about what are our goals when we try to pay attention to older buildings in san francisco. we can generally discuss it. there are issueses weing talk about. one focuses on sustainability of resources and green building. reusing older materials allows us not to fill the waste stream
up with old valuable materials and news older materials that have a life cycle cost that's higher than the repair of the old materials. and that's particularly true about windows and some of the wood products with you simply expect they will have to be replaced after awhile and they don't have the life cycle of older materials. there is also some issues regarding preservation of our neighborhood character. preservation of your asset. we have seen people trying to do upgrades to improve the quality of their building in past years they have done things like put asbestos siding up. that's an improvement on my building 40 years ago. thinking it was an improvement.
stone. something to make it lower maintenance or last longer. many of the things have the collateral damage because the building was not designed for that system. >> we are seeing where people improve their values to their building but in the long run, we see a large number of premise to remove the improvements and restore what was there originally. >> why do we love san francisco buildings? >> the character. absolute character. >> we go to areas of the city where you have 70's architect where they have gravel for the siding. as opposed to a building that has a victorian character. my preference is to live in something that has more character. let's talk a little bit about some of the challenges in dog
repairs in older buildings. >> in san francisco we are lucky woo have a special shops. over in the eastbay we have true mat that do stock reproductions of the older material. >> so, that kind of material is available. you have to go out of your way to get it. people are recognizing the value of preserving older materials. just a side note the diameter of environment in san francisco passed an ordinance into their code that requires the recycling reclaimation of old materials. it doesn't say you have to use them but they have to be separated out to be recycled at the waste disposal areas. >> when we do projects with my company we will sort out any
wonderful timber there and clean it up. get the paint off and save it and put it back to use. as pertained to old growth red wood, which is our primary siding material you can't purchase it anymore. this is a piece of modern growth red wood siding they are one to the inch. they are light as cotton. doesn't seem like it will resist rot. this is old growth that has 35 growth rings to the inch. if you look the the ingrown it's more than that this is heavy and dense. i met a lot of people who never knew red wood was like this this the stock sidings that come off of most of victorians. to take this stuff off and throw it away is a sin.
when it come off we put it back to use. >> piece of trirm. you can identify where it might have been used. which has older paint on it. the building department has regulations for tanning or cleaning or painting if you do exterior work in a building where the building is pre1978, there's a presumption if you haven't tested the presumption there is lead in the paint on the building. >> we have an aggressive lead paint enforcement program. it was the year before last there was adopted legislation that say where you do interior painting or refurbishment where there is lead paint you have to encapsulate and protect and clean it up to meet high standards especially in multi family residential buildings. >> before you start a project it's a good idea to check out
and see what's there. we went so far as to do an analysis in the soil. every where around the house we were practicing a hundred percent containment. we found that the soil around the house before the project began had a high toxic level 800 parts her million and most of the soil was 2500 for years of people scraping and painting this house. the mentioned asbestos and a lot of this old siding put on to improve homes has asbestos in it the transite siding, which is a problem to remove it. do you need to take that to a waste disposal site. >> we hire that out. because you need to be licensed by the state. the square footage amount we as general contract ors can touch
before we need to hire someone that has a lead or asbestos certification. many general contract ors don't have the lead certification to remove the work. that's something you need to talk to your general contractor or architect or the building department to see the numbers before you attack those problems. >> let's look at more of the samples of wood you have a phenomenonal sample. you can tell us where you got it. >> this i was offered an opportunity to salvage 85, 2 by 10 joisfs holding up awe anyoning in a school belling in crockets. >> this was free lumbar. i took them. had no nails. they were perfectly clear and
every one of them is flawless, no nuts. vertical grain. old growth red wood and this has about 60, 65 growth rings to the ifrj. weighs as much as i pieceef green douglas fir. it's dense. and quite hard. this is something of a quality that you just will not go buy in any lumbar yard today. >> it's a piece of timber. you see the rings and by looking at the rings imagine how big the tree was. okay. see how tight they are. the tree was quite large. if you look at this one, it's hard to perceive where the circle of the tree rings
actually were. imagine this tree, it was huge. >> that's douglas fir. it's funny today we have modern engineered lumber this is natures perfect natural lumber. this is the spencer house, this is a section of an old capital on the top of the column holding the center span being in the basement. everything in that house all the framing is of this quality. we would make molding out of it or stair treads today. as a result that house after 106 years of earthquakes is still plum and level and you know in amazing shape because -- >> if you look this is a modern 2 by 4 you see the rings. this one is not so bad in terms of how close together they are. >> you have a question?
>> what if you eluded to earlier that the application of some of the misguided modeling materials to the outside of the building might cause the building to deteriorate more quickly. i think what you are talking about now would indicate it's a good idea, i'm sorry, because of our desire to in effect restore to what we had before, for good feeling to do this but if that elusion you were talking about in terms of deterioration cause by modern materials is accurate there is a maintenance and a money saving reason to do what you are doing. i'd like you to expand on that for those who don't perceive that aluminum siding is a bad
idea joochlt it's tough to get people to think in long-term costs instead of short term costs. materials least expensive to ark ply and the least labor to put stucco is like a sponge it will weep moisture up to the stucco and hold it next to the wood. certain sidings doesn't let a building breathe. in a humid environment it's important the building can breathe. things like the wood siding, you know applied in the siding for example. all that allows a lot more air to move through a building. we want modern, heated nondrafty homes. the tighter you make the home you have problems with mildew and other items along those lines. >> also, there was no
insulation when the houses were built. when we remodel a house there is no insulation. if you go to an area and water was to get behind something it wasn't staying there over time it evaporated. >> now we put insulation and that will cause the moisture to stay longer that's where you get the dry rot and mold issues. >> you got a question? >> we are talking about the old luck bar you gave a couple of rules of thumb looking at the quality of the old lumber and the weight of the material. this material is used in old building as structural timber can it be graded? how do you get a quality structure value out of old lumbar like that. that's part of the problem of
using on old luck bar new lumbar meets the building codes. often it's a case by case situation. you are using an old beam like the beam you are passing around that has certain qualities you can talk to your individual building department about that. the building code has a chapter called the state historical building code. in that there is a table of arcake materials values. that derived from the old code for existing buildings uced, which has been readopted to a new form of the international code for bellings using the old values you can often come up with reasonable values to used for older materials. if there is a significant structural element that needs to be used. we have requested a lumbar
grader on evaluate it where we really worry about specific element we have done it. >> let's talk about windows. we were talking about people replacing windows with energy efficient vinyl windows. i find that to be a problem in many regards. again. they don't see values the hundred year old window might have offered to the building. >> this window has this detail. this shrinks everything is not thick enough. at the spencer house we rehab billtated 20 hung windows. thissa the meeting rail and forms a weather skeel. the meeting rail rotd and was no
longer sound. everything else was in wonderful shape. we took 20 of these guys out in a nice assembly line fashion. we moved the old rail with a tricky joint retrofitted these. that meant we had all the original historic dmrasz and sashes and we were able to do that for a hundred dollars a window which is far cheaper than the replacement costs. >> we have a member of the planning department who can help us. >> one of the things the planning department is charged with is preserving our neighborhood character. one of the most obviously features of a building is it's windows. if you come in with a replacement window permit and you are suggesting to pvinyl
windows in where it was wood we will send that permit upstairs and have someone look at to see if you are degrading the building if you had a house with aluminum windows and you want to put in wood windows that help restore the character of that building you can probably get that permit over the counter. in the savings of permit review time it an incentive to do it. it does wonders for the house in preserving the character. the doubling hung window up there the upper sash shingles over the lower sash. that gives a nice vertical aspect with a series of windows. in the 50's when preem replaced those with sliders the sliding windows are out of plain with each otherc'd in a horizontal w
that's out of character for victorian houses. when you think about replacing the windows replace them in like and in kind the same type of window original to the belling. >> i agree with in like and in kind replacing double pane does a lot for energy efficiency. is there a way you can accommodate? >> from the street it's not apparent if it's double or single paned. you can take this to a window shop and they can widen it so you can put in a double glazed window in the original sash. >> we have in san francisco a few shops that specialize in the
double hung windows. say the top sash is broken or you have dry rot in here. by removing the piece in the middle you take the window out bring it to a shop and have them make you a replica that can be installed cheaply. a window like this would be expected to last a hundred yoors. they need maintenance and need to be cleand and painted. you have to change the sash cords. the sash cording are connected to a weight. not that big here's a little weight. when you you know in an earthquake you hear the tremendous banging in the house going on. that's almost the weights banging around. the weights slamming around. >> people think you replace a
window because it doesn't go up and down the cords fray and it doesn't slide. there is an access panel this has a screw and you remove this from the outside, grab the weight. you feed new cord up there and tie it to the weight. it's something that on a saturday afternoon that it's really not that hard to do. if you don't know it's there a lot of things get taken out because people think they are broken. there are pressures with newer windows they tighten up the building so we have increased mold and mildew it's a serious problem in san francisco. i say, open your window get ventilation and people say, i will get cold. and we have the tremendous trade off in making people comfortable but you have to keep your
building ventilated or you will get mold. my favorite recommendation if you live on the top floor of the building put in a sky light and keep it open all the time. newer products a lot of fans now. vent fans that are made to c constantly run at a low air volume. they have a censor and when you come to the room they kick on higher. >> i. r wanted to follow up with the gentlemen's comment. those window you are double pane, you have to remove the windows before you take it to the shop. you have to remove all the trim and take the whole thing out. >> seems like a lot of
[inaudible] why all the modern way to do it they put in the new window the same day. >> it's convenient. there is no doubt that putting in a new window is convenient. >> what is the cost to put in the new window economicically is still cheaper putting a double pane in there. >> it depends on if you are replacing the sash or the whole unit. >> i think what i would like to know is for energy saving i like to have a double pane glass. then just to remove the trim take that panel out and take it to the shop so they can do it takes an amount of work. >> you do have to remove a molding and the parting bead are
there are contractors in san francisco that specialize in windows. no matter what you replace this with you have to pull the entire window out. if you replace the entire jams that's a huge amount of work. to replace the sashes it's the same amount of work to take out the sashes and to get that out and get it fixed. >> i have single pane removed. coming the same day and very quick can they dot double panels double glass? they can premeasure. they come in measure your windows they go back to the shops fabricate them. they take out the old windows and put the new ones in. you are not waiting a week for a new window.
if you have to wait a week or 2 or 3 you are looking at a service life of 50 plus years. if you put in a vinyl clad window my experience i seen people put them in and 10 years later replace them again. and 15 years later replace em. you are not loezing time. >> the essense ever the question is different. they can put in a single pane can they remove the sash and put in a doubling pane. if the rabbit is the groove in which the glass sits. if it was thick enough to get the double pane and have room for glazing or a sash stop you would be able to do that. that would depend.
thickness. >> it's not thick here. >> it's less to mount double paning than for them to make you a new sash. >> may be outside our expertise. the on double pane and single the argument for energy efficiency double pane is better. my question, his building is not insulated. you double paned the glass area but the whole wall is leaking. how much improvement do you get by replacing the windows when the rest of the building is lose and has drafts and is -- >> quite a big difference the way you perceive being cold is the heat of our body radiating
toward a source that's pull ittiing that way. when you are near a window you will feel that more than a cold wall. >> do you feel like you can add something to that? >> even though the old walls are drafty they have an r value that's better than the single pane window. if you were going to chose blowing insulation or replace the windows and which would save you more energy. you might be right if it were one of the other you would be better insulating the walls. but if you are going to replace the windows anyway it's a no brainer. >> -- you are rd 5 single pane you are taking it to r 2 and 4
it's significant. >> repair your old windows. the building department has a good library on preservation and how to go about doing it. here's a book about how you repair and maintain the exeter of your building. publications in american society for preservation technology. the collection of their publications which are about preserving your old building. lots of resources and references and invite you to look at them. call 558-5205. call usoir come in and take a lock at this stuff. san francisco heritage which has their main office on goth. franklin street has a large library of preservation technology. the planning department has a library that effects this.
there is a lot of resources available. >> on line. the planning department has bulletins on line. >> may an add briefly to that resource in san francisco. i'm on the committee of architectural heritage we are putting together lectures of old house issues. we go to homes with a certain problem and address that issue and how to fix it it's geared at homeowners that have these problems. >> we the building department issues weekly calendar of all trainings we can come up with in the san francisco area. we will post that on your training website as well. >> okay. question here? >> you are advocating fresh air for your buildings health what about the houses that have
sealedat iings no gable vents that's trapped air and moisture. >> the building codes have almost always required vent laugz in your attics. there is a ceiling joist and above that area would require ventilation. i found some where there is a small space in san francisco a seals joist and roof rafters over that in a small space that are not ventilated. we are climate zone 3 we don't have a lot of the problems that places with more climates with build up of moistures. those areas are supposed to be ventilated to the outside. it's easy to do except where you have property lying walls you can't cut holes to ventilate because you can't have