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More stories about Backfill

  • Architect-Builder Uses Natural Tree Forms

    Architect Roald Gundersen and his team at Whole Tree Architecture and Construction are all for putting small-diameter trees — the “weeds” of the forest — to practical use.

  • Custom-Carved Corbels

    As part of a job finishing a side-porch addition to a Victorian home, I had to reproduce six decorative corbels.

  • Steam-Bent Shingles

    Renovations are a vital part of the routine at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Va., estate, which is open to the public 365 days a year. Recently, Steve Ritter’s company, Cedar Shakes and Shingles, was called upon to install decorative red cedar shingles on the bell-shaped roof of a reproduction...

  • Window on the Past

    As part of a recent restoration project, my partner and I were hired to restore an elaborate triangular window in the gable end of 150-year-old Howden Hall in Bristol, Vt. The problem was, there was no actual window left to restore; all we had for reference was an old sepia postcard.

  • Flexible Trailer Storage

    Finish-carpenter Brian Campbell wanted to keep his tools organized in his work trailer and still be able to transport the occasional full load of cabinets. He took his cue from a slat-wall system, where shelves, brackets, and hangers can be freely inserted behind horizontal slats without fasteners.

  • Watering Manhattan

    They’ve been an integral part of New York City’s skyline for more than a century: thousands of wooden water tanks, banded with steel and capped by conical plywood roofs, perched alone or in clusters on buildings throughout the borough.

  • A Rising Tide Lifts All Houses

    With at least one-third of their country below sea level, the Dutch don’t take the prospect of flooding lightly. But these days, the dual pressures of a growing population and limited space are forcing a re-evaluation throughout the Netherlands of land previously thought too wet or flood-prone for...

  • Marine-Quality Columns

    Miami’s STA Architectural Group originally planned to use solid ipe for the eight columns on this high-end residence, which is currently under construction in Bal Harbour, Fla. But when logs of sufficient size turned out to be unattainable, the firm asked Orleans, Mass., boat-builder Suzanne Leahy...

  • Roofing Under Cover

    According to Colin McGhee, thatched roofs are “a bit of a novelty in the United States.” That perception won’t be diminished by the job he took on this past winter when he and his crew thatched a Maine island retreat.

  • Fine Foambuilding

    After supplier quotes for the 1,000 ornamental balusters in a planned luxury home’s porch railings came in at $150 apiece, BOJ Construction of Boston decided to look elsewhere — namely in-house.