Monthly Archives: October 2016

Corbels

When we were deciding what colors to use on the exterior of the house, the old white corbels played into our decision. They are a key part of what makes the house craftsman style and we wanted to accentuate their presence.  For decades, they’ve been camouflaged by an exterior color scheme of white-on-white.  After spending more than a century exposed to the elements, the old white wooden corbels really started to show their age.
The corbels sat snug in the eaves of the house.  From a distance, they look rather small.
Though up close, these architectural supports are actually quite large.
They were sized to fit the scale of the house; almost 3 ft long and 3 ft tall!
Most of them had rotten wood and some were deformed.  Down they came.
From the photo below, you can barely make out that they were originally crafted out of three pieces of wood.
It turns out these weren’t only decorative, but also structural.  They actually held up the edges of the roof.  Over time the corbels became weak, their angles slightly more acute, and the edge of the roof line then also sagged.  So the saggy edges of the roof had to be re-leveled and replaced.
One step forward, three steps backwards with this old house project!  Good thing we’re in no big rush. 🙂
Fresh wooden decking (fly rafter, I think it’s called?) was laid on the outer 3 ft of  the roof line. The new fly rafter is now supported by cantilevered support boards (lookout rafters).
Since the original corbels were beyond repair, we started looking for replacements which fit the size and look of the originals. Blaine worked with Mike from ZS Hawk to sketch up our design.
They found some new architectural elements that fit our look at Roofers Mart in Marion. They are made up of a couple different pieces, similar to how the originals were made. The one pictured below still needs caulk and finishing, but it’s looking pretty good already.
Below, a new corbel is installed in the foreground and the originals are seen further back.  Not a perfect match, but pretty close!
We have around 15 of these babies to install.
More exterior updates to follow soon!