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February 24, 2023

First Place — Restoration, Renovation & Expansion: Sprunk residence

Photo from MIW
The Sprunk residence’s exterior is constructed of terra-cotta, mortar and all the proper building materials to make this house stand the test of time.

Location: Seattle

Mason contractor: Rife Masonry

Architect: Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates

Masonry suppliers: Conproco, Mutual Materials, Prosoco

This residence is known as the James A. Gibbs House and was built in 1931. Pitched on the hillside in Queen Anne, the house has 180-degree views of downtown Seattle.

The exterior is constructed of terra-cotta, mortar, and all the proper building materials to make this house stand the test of time.

Crews first pressure-washed the south elevation with hot water and Prosoco 2010 all-surface cleaner. Then, all the terra-cotta on two corners of the south elevation was removed, labeled and set aside for repairs.

The repair process consisted of installing stainless-steel washers and all thread rod for reinforcement — epoxied in place to add strength to the terra-cotta. The next step was to install Conproco Matrix patching material, and Conproco Matrix TR to the thin spalls and cracks. Conproco TerraColor was the product of choice to color match the patches to the existing building.

Finally, the repaired terra-cotta was ready to get installed. With this process, Rife Masonry fabricated 2-inch stainless steel clips to fasten to the existing retrofit grid.

All the corner terra-cotta was installed, and a caulk sanded expansion joint would allow for movement in the future and not damage any of the historical elements of the residence. Dow Corning 795 with a clean washed sand was used to achieve a seamless appearance to match the mortar as well.

All the sky-facing joints on the south elevation — windowsills, balcony banisters and window headers — were ground back, and then caulked and sanded to make for a watertight application.

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