Categories
Construction

LEGACY RESIDENT RENOVATION PROJECT

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We started this company because we enjoy problem solving. We particularly enjoy when we can solve problems by lacing up our boots and persevering through a bit of sweat and dirt. Today we are writing about a success story, in which we were able to use our company to solve problems occurring right in our own backyard.

On June 5th, we received a call from Jubilee Baltimore. Jubilee and Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) had identified a local resident whose home was in critical condition. The roof was caving in and broken beams were popping through the ceiling. As a part of their “Legacy Resident Renovation Program”, Jubilee and NHS were prepared to finance the renovation and had begun looking for a contractor.

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Four Twelve was asked to bid on the project and after a competitive bidding process, we were awarded the contract. Working alongside the President of our local community association, we were able to identify 4 young men who were looking for work and hired them to help us on this project.

We began on June 26th and 24 days later completed construction. Over the course of the project, we were able to create 309 hours of labor for locally hired tradesmen, including 249 hours of labor for African-American men between the ages of 18-30, all of whom reside in Greenmount West.

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Timing to execute this project:
-Initial phone call —> Date of starting construction: 20 days
-Start of construction —> Stabilization of roof: 12 days
-Total days to complete renovation: 24 days

With the help of Jubilee, NHS and our community association, this project happened quickly. We view this as an example of what is possible, within Central Baltimore and throughout Baltimore City. Identify local resources, connect the dots and get to work.

Takeaways from this project:
As Baltimore’s neighborhoods continue to see investment, there is a real opportunity for developers and contractors to positively impact their communities. People are always searching for solutions to create systemic change. Construction and development could be that platform.

You don’t need a college education to work in construction and if you learn skills in construction, you can earn a living wage. There is also a real need for renovations in low-income communities.

It was a special experience to tackle our first legacy resident renovation – and we hope in collaboration with other community partners in Central Baltimore and Greater Baltimore City that we can build on these early successes to tackle more projects like this in the future.

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Categories
Baltimore Construction

BRICKS. PAYING HOMAGE TO THE PAST.

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Brickwork is something special in Baltimore City. Throughout the building boom that took place in Baltimore City in the late 1800s and early 1900s, most homes were built from brick. The majority of these rowhomes still stand today. The homes we are building at 1600 Barclay will be built in homage to the the historical architecture of this city.

In order to make our brick facades most authentic, we went and walked the block of 1600 Barclay St, in search of the oldest home with the most original architectural details. While all the homes appear quite similar, one home stood out as the oldest on the block.

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While some rowhomes are built exclusively with standard bricks of 2-1/4” x 7-5/8” dimensions, the original homes on our block were built using a variety of shaped bricks – not just standard ones. Looking at the facade above, you can see all the specialty bricks that went into the construction of the building – arched bricks around the 1st floor doorway and windows, jack-arch bricks above the second story windows and cove bricks tucked in the recess above the jack-arch bricks.

Below is a photo of our brick order containing all these specialty bricks, in preparation for our install.

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During the course of excavating our site at 1600 Barclay, we found a number of these specialty bricks buried in the ground – an indicator that the homes which originally existed on our plot were similar to the homes we are replicating in our design today.

Here are some photos of the bricks we dug up on our plot of land, side by side with the new bricks we had fabricated for the build-out of 1600 Barclay.

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Earlier this week, our masons began laying brick and when they’re complete, these homes will have all the similarities of their brethren down the street. One of the beauties of matching historical architecture is preserving the stories of the artists and craftsmen who originally built this city. In Baltimore rowhome construction, home developers were always trying new styles and nuanced elements to differentiate their homes from other ones in town. That is why rowhomes on 29th St next to Papermoon Diner, have green ceramic shingles and a sunroom. Meanwhile, homes in Federal Hill are made of old brick, thick grout joints and oftentimes come in small sizes. Each neighborhood was built by a group with their own unique style.

Seeing as this is our time, we at Four Twelve have been enjoying adding our own details to these homes.

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As the bricks go up, on the facade of our first home, we decided to get a stoneworker to etch the house number in a slab of polished marble. This is a detail that has been used on old homes before, and one that we wanted to bake into the homes we are creating now. A nice use of old and new techniques, to create a product that is uniquely Four Twelve.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Contact your local Baltimore Roofing Specialists today![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories
Construction

FOUR TWELVE & MONTESSORI CHARTER SCHOOL, “BUILDERS OF TOMORROW” CAREER SERIES

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As we have grown our company, we have identified many amazing institutions in Baltimore with which we were eager to partner with. One of the most wonderful we have found, is Montessori Public Charter School in Greenmount West.

Montessori wow’ed us from the moment we connected with them. We went to an informational about the school and were handed muffins baked in their kids kitchen while a mandolin troupe of students serenaded us into the building.

This school does amazing things, and we wanted to see if we could create something amazing alongside them.

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Throughout the month of May, Four Twelve played host to its first class of students. We worked with Montessori to select 8 talented 6th graders, who excelled in math, art and science, and teach them some things about homebuilding.

“The Builders of Tomorrow” career series was designed to show children that there are more careers available than they could ever imagine. Baltimore City is a particularly fertile environment for innovators and entrepreneurs – and opening your eyes to this dream, is the first step.

Over the course of the last month, we showed the kids all the things we love about our careers.

We took a walking tour of Greenmount West to learn about historical architecture. We visited the site of Four Twelve’s latest project, currently under construction. And we also taught them hard skills – learning how to operate saws, tape measurers and drills – in order to build a creation of their own.

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One of our personal dreams at Four Twelve, was to build a garden gate out of beautiful red cedar. Over the course of the past month, as we built the children’s skills with tools, we geared up for our capstone project, of making this garden gate come to life. We then let them tackle this project alongside us as equal partners. It was amazing what they were capable of.

Montessori has a large garden and a kitchen program as a part of the curriculum. Both are student favorites. Over the course of two days, we were able to put together a structure that ushers these students into this special place – and is something they can be proud of because they built it themselves.

They will also get the satisfaction of seeing something they built, last long after they are gone – a message Four Twelve and Montessori hoped to impart upon these kids through their involvement in the program.

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Categories
Construction

THE BEAUTY OF A BRAND NEW CONCRETE SLAB

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One of the beauties of new construction homes, is that you are working with a blank canvas. In old homes, you CAN tear out some elements that don’t suit your fancy. But one element that is there to stay, is the concrete slab and foundation.

WITH OUR BLANK CANVAS, THERE WERE THREE THINGS THAT PARTICULARLY APPEALED TO US:

1. We could build a darn big house. When our neighbors home was originally built, it sat 45′ deep. The homes at 1600 Barclay are actually zoned that they can extend up to 60′ deep. We took full advantage of this and built a home that is 55′ in depth, which is quite spacious for Baltimore.

2. Since we started from scratch with these homes, we had the opportunity to embed radiant heating in the floors of our concrete slab. This was, no pun intended, a pipe dream of ours. The first time we got the idea was when we visited our buddy who has radiant in his bathroom floor. It was the middle of Winter and his Great Dane was splayed out across the floor taking a nap. That in itself was enough for us.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”2358″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Below are some photos of the PEX tubing being tied down to our steel mesh. The blue stuff underneath is two inch thick rigid insulation to make sure the heat is reflected upwards through the slab and into the living area.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_media_grid element_width=”6″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1527640737280-a5482cdc-8021-0″ include=”2360,2359″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

3. The third thing we wanted out of this new construction project, was to use the concrete as the finished floor which our homeowners will walk on. Our company’s aesthetic is very industrial and we think polished concrete is a lovely detail. In approximately two months, we will get the diamond wheel on site and start to grind down these slabs, following up with a low sheen polish. For now though, our team did a fantastic job of pouring it smooth and we’ll have a great canvas to work on, when we get down to finishing off the slab.

Phew..we’re finally out of the ground !

Stay tuned for framing. These houses are about to become that much more real.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=37&v=YUbIT-YakIE”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Four Twelve – Custom home builders in Maryland
Contact us today![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories
Construction

THE BIRTH OF FOUR TWELVE

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Four Twelve Roofing is a product of the current climate in Baltimore City.

Following the recession of 2008, The Mayor of Baltimore City designed a program called the Vacants to Value (or V2V) program, with an idea to take vacant homes throughout Baltimore, and give them to people for cheap if they were able to restore them.

Being builders and general thrifters, this program allowed us a great opportunity. With pennies from our proverbial satchel, Four Twelve purchased its first home and spent the better part of a year rehabbing the property.

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This property is the namesake of our company, standing beautifully at 412 E Lanvale St. in Baltimore’s Greenmount West neighborhood.

Over the course of the build, we documented many of the processes and included the story here for your enjoyment.

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Categories
Construction

VIRTUAL REALITY FOR 1600 BARCLAY

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We are excited to introduce you to our new homes at 1600 Barclay and provide you a Virtual Reality experience, taking you inside the homes before they have been completed.

View Virtual Tour

These homes include modern staircases made of steel and reclaimed wood. The first floor has polished concrete with radiant heating.

The third floor Den features a wet-bar and is connected to an outdoor deck area.

We have provided a few views showcasing these houses. Below is a view of the first floor as seen from the entryway.

If you are interested in learning more about these homes, visit our website at www.fourtwelvedev.com/blog-post/2017/4/11/1600-barclay-officially-for-sale

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