Areas We Serve:
Western Oakland County
Byron, Morrice, Perry, Dansville, Plainfield, Bunker Hill, Fitchburg, Williamsville, Hell, Unadilla, Waterloo, Dover, Hudson Mills, Webster, Lakeland, Mason, Leslie, Holt, Okemos, Bancroft, Durand, Gaines, Cohoctah, Oak Grove, Argentine, Rankin, Grand Blanc, Clyde, Highland, Oxbow, Union Lake, Commerce, Wixom, New Hudson, White Lake, Northville, Plymouth, Salem, Dixboro
Restoring, renovating old homes is what Paulson's is all about
August 8, 2002
by Candy Parent - Livingston County Press and Argus
Homeowners who are restoring old houses typically share a universal frustration.
Trying to find contractors who will both repair the old building and remain true to the period of the house has been difficult and, at times, virtually impossible -- until now.
Since 1998, Paulson's Construction Inc. has specialized in historic renovations, restorations and remodels for homes of all ages. Paul McClorey, owner, and his staff work closely with each customer to create a look appropriate to the house.
Over the years, Paulson's Construction has worked on many historic homes in the county. Most of them have been Victorian or farmhouses built between 1850 and 1900. Some have been restored based on old photographs. Other houses are made comfortable for modern living with a period feel and modern amenities.
"We work closely with the customer," McClorey said.
Paulson's Construction can do may of the projects owners of old buildings require. They can recreate or repair gingerbread trim from a photo, remove vinyl siding and restore clapboards, replace custom porch spindles, add a garage, redo a porch, replace a high-pitched roof, create new fireplace surrounds, repair cabinets and even determine the building's original paint scheme. McClorey said he has the resources to obtain missing hardware and to find uncommon species of wood to replace damaged pieces.
"We run into a lot of structural problems," said McClorey. "Although we can't always bring it back to level, we can bring it back to straight and solid."
The company can also repair or replace wet plaster, hang hand-painted wallpaper, install tin ceilings, and even repair antique lights.
"We can do anything the homeowner wants us to do, depending on their budget," McClorey said.
For homeowners who want to make their house look like it did when it was originally built, yet don't have photographs to go by, McClorey can direct the owner to design elements that were probably once there.
Although many homeowners use the words renovation and restoration as synonyms, McClorey said there are technical differences in the meaning of the words.
Renovation, he said, is what most old house homeowners desire. Based on research, clues in the building and photos, homeowners will "preserve the old character" of the house, but make it comfortable for modern living.
Restoration, on the other hand, is re-creating the house exactly like it once was. McClorey said the only true restorations completed are meant to be used like museums.
"Everyone is a little different," he said. "(But most homeowners want to) go for a historic feeling, rather than being true to the period."
After all, plumbing wasn't moved indoors until the early 1900s, yet most people want a bathroom and kitchen with running water.
"Think of it as recycling on a large scale," McClorey said.