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Posts from the ‘Carpenter on Call’ Category

Your 6 Step Guide to a Warmer Winter


We’re about to have our first hard freeze of the year here in Oregon and that has many of us scrambling to “batten down the hatches” in our homes and gardens to ensure our loved ones will be warm for the winter. Whistling windows, sticking front doors and slippery front stoops all make for a less than cozy winter experience.

With that in mind we thought we’d offer a handy Step Guide to a Warmer Winter this year.

 1. Warm up Your Windows.

The single pane traditional double hung windows in many of our older Portland homes provide very little insulation value. We like to say they have an R-factor of zero, which means the cold comes through those windows as easily as if it were an empty hole. No wonder you are shivering, right?

What can you do to address this? Here are 3 good options:

Restore & Weatherstrip your Existing Windows. Fix broken and rotten window parts, restore function to the ropes and pulleys and clean out the tracks so your windows operate smoothly with out sticking sections or gaps. Add weatherstripping to ensure your windows are wind and watertight.

Add Storm Windows. Did you know you can buy historically accurate wood storm windows with insulated glass that will vastly improve the insulation value of your current windows while still maintaining a classic look on the exterior of your home? Each storm gets custom fitted to your existing window openings and can be removed in the summer as needed.
Replace Your Existing Windows . Often, the most economical way to improve the insulation value of your windows is to replace your current windows with new wood or fiberglass “inserts” or “tilt-pacs.” These options allow you to install new product into the existing window frames, making them cheaper than a whole window replacement or restoration. Often you can match the existing look of your windows while improving operation and energy efficiency.

Tilt Pac

Which to choose? Ask the experts. Your Carpenter on Call Team member can help you identify whether restoration, storms or replacement windows are the best option for you.

2. Insulate your Attic.


Most of your home’s heat escapes through the attic. Adding insulation can have a huge impact on the warmth of your home (and your energy bill!) While you are at it, consider insulating your heating ducts to be sure more of the heat you are paying for winds up in the rooms rather than escaping through the walls.

3. Tune Up your Front Door.


Sticking or warping doors can leave gaps for wintry winds to whistle in. Give your front door a tune up to be sure the hinges are adjusted properly, the lockset works smoothly and any warping or sticking areas get repaired. Add weatherstripping and a door sweep to ensure a tight seal when the door is closed.

4. Fall Proof Your Front Stoop.


Wet weather, moldy leaves and chipping paint can leave your front steps slick, shabby and worse for wear. Add a fresh coat of paint to your entry area and consider adding non-slip paint or rubber treads to your stair steps to prevent visitors from slipping.

5. Cozy Up Your Color Scheme.

Robertson_1883_Kitchen_A_1_P (12)

A fresh coat of paint may not literally make your rooms warmer, but it can definitely make them a more welcoming place do be during the long winter months. Choose the room you spend the most time in and choose a bold and welcoming hue- studies have shown that  color of your walls can actually warm up your family’s mood.

6. Finish Your Basement.


Create a cozy escape from the winter gloom by turning your basement into a family fun space. This Arciform client transformed their basement into a dry, cozy and welcoming space by adding some insulation and painting the exposed ceiling and concrete floor to look more finished. A custom carriage door designed by Versatile Wood Products partitions off the unfinished laundry area while carefully placed artwork conceals a few necessary utility panels.

Ready to warm up your home for the winter? Our Carpenter on Call Team will be happy to help you identify which of these projects will make the biggest difference for your home.

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Congratulations to Jeremy for Becoming a Certified Project Manager


We’re thrilled to announce that our Carpenter on Call Manager, Jeremy Gould, has recently been confirmed as a Certified Project Manager through the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. This vigorous certification process requires 16 hours of coursework and the successful completion of a 3 hour exam to demonstrate knowledge of project management skills and procedures. We are so proud of Jeremy for his hard work and commitment to ongoing professional development to improve the skills and resources he can offer to Arciform clients.

We sat down with Jeremy for a quick Q&A about his favorite projects, long term goals and how he gets his kicks on the weekends (hint: it involves fire!). Here’s what he had to say:

How long have you worked for Arciform? What was your first position with the company?

I have worked for Arciform for 3 ½ years now and I started as a Lead Carpenter where I obtained my “Certified Lead Carpenter” certification also through NARI.

What’s your favorite part about the work you do here?

I really like the wide diversity of projects that I get involved with here at Arciform. I’m the type of person that will get bored pretty fast if I’m doing exactly the same thing everyday. I very much enjoy having projects that present unique (outside the box)  challenges to work through that do not really have an obvious solution. For instance, I recently put together a project where the client asked if I could make his master bathroom door a motorized sliding door that was operated with the push of a button. I also recently finished up a project that we installed an interior “slide up” door custom built by Versatile Wood Products.

Tell me about a project you worked on this last year that you particularly enjoyed.


I recently completed a deck project that I really enjoyed putting together due to some interesting challenges.

The first challenge was the fact that the deck is roughly 30 feet in the air hanging over a hillside.

The second challenge was a request made by the client to have a flat stone surface for the deck. The existing deck was as much as 8” out of level in some areas.

Her third request was to have a hand railing system that was as invisible as we could make it so that it didn’t block her gorgeous view of the city.

We ended up installing a membrane deck surface on the existing out of level deck joists and then installed 24” x 24” concrete tiles on adjustable legs sitting on the membrane. The result was a level concrete surface that moisture passes through and then runs off of the membrane beneath. Next, we installed a glass guard railing system with a ½” thick top rail and 1 ½” posts that we powder coated black (so they are invisible at night).

Lastly, we installed a rot proof fascia that was wide enough to cover the fact that the membrane deck and joists were 8” out of level so it looks nice and straight from the street below. I enjoyed working on this project because I got to design it, estimate  it, sell it and then project manage it.

Sounds like Arciform keeps you pretty busy. What do you do for fun?

Here’s a hint:


I am a volunteer Firefighter/Engineer/EMT with Newberg Fire.. I typically will work 2 – 3 shifts a month from 6PM until 6AM where I stay at the station overnight. When I am on shift I am in charge of Engine 21. I drive it to any call it gets called out on and then I am responsible to make sure it’s ready for the next call afterwards. I recently got qualified to drive our new patient transporting engine which is one of only a very few in the state.

Also, every three months or so we do an all-day training burn where we will train on a house that someone donated to us to have burned down. My role during training burns is usually a crew leader training the probies.

I love being a volunteer firefighter partially because it allows me to be an asset to society. I’m not the kind of person that looks to the government or anybody else for any kind of assistance. I also love it because lets face it! It’s really fun! Nobody ever says they wanna be an accountant or a computer tech when they grow up, they wanna be a firefighter! Driving that engine with the lights and sirens goin’, headed to a big fire where you can see that giant smoke cloud across town just rippin! Blastin’ through town with everyone gettin’ out of your way! Then to get there and run into the fire when everyone else is runnin’ out.

That’s just down right fun, I don’t care who you are!

Do you have a home maintenance project that could use Jeremy’s “out of the box” expertise? Email him at to set up an initial consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Tell Us Your New Year’s To Do List and Win!


Did your New Year’s Resolutions come with a hefty side order of honey dos and home repairs?

Whether your list includes things like “repair that squeaky stair tread,” “fix the chipped tile in the bathroom” or “make the living room less drafty,” our Carpenter on Call Team would be delighted to give you a jump start on a safer, more comfortable home this month.

So tell us your New Year’s To Do List for your home in the comments below

by January 14th, 2014 and one lucky commenter will

win a gift certificate redeemable for 4 complimentary hours* of Carpenter on Call service.

We can’t wait to hear what you’ve got planned!

*With new signed Carpenter on Call Letter of Agreement. Labor only. Excludes materials.

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