June 24, 2018
To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing to recommend Steve Bielitz of Glastonbury Restoration LLC on the basis of the fine work he has done on our home at 227 Hubbard St. in Glastonbury. When we purchased our home 5 years ago, we consulted with several contractors regarding the first order of business, window restoration, and Steve stood out for his thoughtful read of our home and deep understanding of the materials and functioning of homes from this era. 227 Hubbard St. is a somewhat unusual property, in that it was built in 1904, most likely as a boarding house for workers employed at J. B. Williams Co. (now the Soap Factory Apartments). At some point in the 1920s or ‘30s, the structure was re-configured as two semi-attached homes. Steve understood the building’s layered history and has mobilized his network of highly skilled craftsmen to restore and enhance the somewhat unique structure. Although our home is technically later than the colonial-era structures that are Steve’s specialty, he has taken special care to research period-appropriate solutions which have not just restored our home but made it quite a bit better.
Since his initial visit to our home, Steve and his workers have completed window restoration in addition to rebuilding and restoring our front and back porches and re-roofing the front porch. The most extensive work that Steve has done on our home to date are the porches, so I will elaborate on our experience with this project of some scope. The initial job was to re-roof the structure, replace column casings as needed, replace the lattice, and identify better porch lighting. As Kris, Steve’s experienced carpenter, worked into the job, he realized that the original columns extended only from the roof to the porch floor and were not anchored to the ground. He also realized that the wooden column casings were significantly compromised, due to water damage from poorly installed gutters. In the end, Kris replaced all the column casings and anchored the exterior corner columns to the ground. We were able to preserve the wood on the porch floor, which was sanded down and repainted. Rick, another skilled carpenter, created period-appropriate railings for the porch, which improved its overall aesthetic. In reconfiguring the lattice, Steve proposed a slightly different design, adding two front lattice panels in order to better offset the stairs, and the effect is superior to the original configuration. For storm doors and lighting, Steve recommended local businesses and craftsmen, who provided superior products. Whereas the existing porch roof was entirely flat, Steve recommended a slightly sloped model that would provide better drainage. Kris expertly installed the roof along with gutters, and this practical and aesthetically elegant solution is now protecting all the fine woodwork and painting below.
Prior to beginning work, Steve provided a highly detailed quote for the job and consulted with us on the selection of materials. As often happens with older homes that have not been properly cared for, the project and budget expanded as we worked our way into the project. Steve was open and consultative at each step, offering us solutions within the original budget as well as costs for the more extensive options as these came into view. Steve does not always recommend the most expensive option; wherever possible, he prefers to restore existing materials rather than replacing them. In the future, we plan to hire Glastonbury Restoration to work on our home interior, including interior doors, plasterwork, baseboards, and flooring. We recommend them to you without hesitation.