A lot has happened over the past year, both good and bad. Nonetheless, all life experiences in which personal growth outweighs anything that may be considered failure. I’ve posted a bit about Vermont on Facebook through pictures, but didn’t delve into details about what transcribed during my time there. Firstly, I worked on a crew renovating an old farmhouse. Although some materials were conventional, we used traditional techniques and finishes to keep to the time period of the home. The original project was supposed to begin May 2015 in Waitsfield, but due to the fact that the property was part of the Vermont Land Trust, the amount of paperwork and approval needed before any work could be done took months. Luckily, my boss was moving into a similar style house in Berlin that needed many of the same renovations, so work carried on. I camped on the land in my little teardrop trailer and enjoyed the beautiful summer and fall weather.
The house was barely insulated so one of the first processes was to insulate using cellulose. The outdated wallpaper was removed and areas that were missing large patches of plaster were dry walled along with new walls that were added. A new layer of plaster was applied to unify the appearance. The technique is called modern plaster, in which a combination of plaster and joint compound creates a coat that easily adheres to surfaces, even drywall without additional “tooth”. The drywall joints are taped with fiberglass mesh as well as cracks in the original plaster.
Since the barn was going to be converted to additional living space, there were some processes that needed to done to prepare. Part of the foundation was removed and re poured. The cement floor was poured with radiant heating. French doors were installed which would lead to a future porch. Inside the house the old barn wood floors were brought back to life using oil and Vermont Natural Coatings. The dried plastered walls were painted and the kitchen received a deep clean, since the new kitchen was not going to be built for another year.
Although there were many tasks, a large portion of my time was spent plastering. Dave and Buzz were great mentors and the technique is generally affordable and can be used in both a modern or traditional aesthetic.
My time in Vermont was extremely valuable experience that challenged me both professionally and personally. I am really grateful for the folks I got to work with and for the beautiful environment that I hope to one day revisit.