The Projects That Made Us: 1867 Fieldstone Manse Revitalization
Over the past 20 years, we’ve been lucky to have some incredible projects — like the revitalization of this 1867 manse.
Year: 2018 – 2019
As builders and designers at heart, there’s not much we love more than getting to work with beautiful, historic homes that are significantly older than each person on the project. A particular renovation that stands out to us is the 1867 Fieldstone Manse in rural Northumberland County, an absolutely stunning landmark that has held its place for well over a century. While the property has always been a beautiful, classic fieldstone home, there were aspects of the home — like antiquated systems and closed spaces — that the clients wanted to address with our help.
It can be exceedingly rare to work on old homes that actually include original features like those at the 1867 Fieldstone Manse. With this home, we were lucky to work with the original stone as well as the original floors, exterior doors and trim. The main concern for this project was maintaining the history and the feel of the old house, and doing so was exceedingly important to the clients and to us. With a lot of love and a little patience, we replaced the ageing plumbing pipes, updated the heating system to one with a boiler and radiator and re-bored the unsafe well. We also refinished the original floors, reconstructed the small kitchen area to something larger, removed walls to add more space and reconfigured areas to make room for upstairs closet space.
While there were problems along the way — including stopping work for a month to deal with a bat infestation — every single step and setback was worth it. “Their team of truly talented individuals were committed to the project for close to a full year. We encountered crumbling lathe and plaster, a bat colony in the attic and a two-foot high fieldstone walled crawl space under the house,” the client said. “With each setback, Gilbert and Burke dug in their heels and found often ingenious solutions that spoke to their decades of experience and depth of character. The challenges were many but we really felt that Gilbert and Burke were as truly invested in the project as we were.”
Although the home was stunning to begin with, the revitalized manse is a treasure. With a clean, bright and open design, we were able to restore decades of charm to a stunning historical home. We live for the projects that allow us to get creative, crafty and innovative like this one.