Restoration Goes Green


Hey! Today is Blog Action Day 2009...focus: climate change. Anyone else joining in with a post?

So, has anyone ever seen or heard of the show called "
Restorer Guy" on TLC? (It's one of the 13 new reality shows that TLC is adding to their 2009-10 line up.) I caught 2 back to back episodes of it over the weekend while I was eating my breakfast and drinking my tea (11am and 11:30am). Seriously, is there anything better than sleeping late on a Sat. morning and then spending an hour enjoying the start of your day by watching whatever happens to be on TLC or HGTV?! In this case it was Gable Painter (yes, that's his name..I guess he had no choice but to grow up and become a hands-on home restoration expert).

And I was pretty impressed and sucked in. The show chronicles Gable (owner of GP Restoration in Richmond, Virginia) and his crew of equally young and studly gents as they restore historic homes. Like the show states in the opening credits...they're the new generation of restorers. Bringing new life to old structures while maintaining they're historic integrity, they try to save as much of the original home as they can.
And if they can't, well they make the new stuff look like the old stuff:)

{from Gable's Facebook page (he's the one in the middle)...not bad, right?!}

After doing some research online, it seems I caught Episodes 12 and 13 (the last 2 of the series...darn it! Anyone know if there are going to be more?) Are you wondering where I'm going with this yet? Well, what was really cool about these was that Gable was partnering with the Better Housing Coalition to restore the outside and inside of a house in Church Hill with the emphasis on going green. Here's a couple of recaps I found online:

"Episode 12: Green Restoration Interior
Gable's motto is "everything can be saved" and believes that being 'green' and restoration can go hand in hand. For his next project, he learns the intricate challenges of 'greening' while simultaneously restoring a home's interior."

"Episode 13: Green Restoration Exterior
For this next project, the crew tackles renovating and restoring the exterior of the home, while including many green elements."

"Tune in to The Learning Channel on October 10, 11:00 a.m. to learn about BHC’s procedure for upgrading a home with green technologies while rehabilitating it to historic standards. BHC’s rehab at 1201 N. 28th Street in Church Hill, part of the Beckstoffer’s revitalization intiative, will be the focus of this week’s episode of Restorer Guy, hosted by Gable Painter."

Cool, right? What I loved about this was how Gable and the BHC worked on bringing this turn of the century - that's early 1900s - Victorian house back to life while making it a more greener home for the next owners. They focused on making the house more environmentally friendly, more energy efficient and more safe. So instead of doing crazy demolition and getting rid of all the old stuff, these guys did careful "deconstruction". They saved everything that wasn't damaged (corbels, windows, doors, hardware, trim, the fireplace mantel, stair posts, hand rails, spindles, floorboards, etc), removed the lead paint (which is way harmful to the environment and obviously us), repainted with low VOC and put it all back together.

{Here's the outside of the Episode 12 and 13 house after...from the Church Hill People's News}

When they ran across stuff that couldn't be reused, they replicated new pieces to match the style of the old. And did this using recycled or sustainable materials, reclaimed woods, or went hunting in salvage yards to find used pieces from that era that would work. After tearing down the old rotted wood siding, they replaced it with a green siding product that needs less maintenance and used recycled materials like cellulose insulation inside that will keep the house energy efficient and looking great for another 100 years.

Now I'm kinda fascinated with this concept...preserving the old, restoring beauty, bringing back the original charm and at the same time using today's technology and knowledge to create a home that is as kind to the planet as it can be. What a cool job!! Gable, you need a girl on your team - wink, wink:)

I found another fan of Gables and she directed me to here, where you can see one of the crew's projects unfold (36th Street). Check out this series of pics where you can watch how Gable and the guys fabricate a new corbel to match and replace one of the old rotted ones.


  1. I love that show! I've been thinking of doing a post about it too. I really hope there is more to come.


  2. Hi!

    Would you have by any chance the email address of Gable Painter? I would love to get in contact with him..



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