The Art and Science of Brownstone Restoration, From Naim Construction

Photo via Naim Construction

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    For 30 years, starting with their first job in Windsor Terrace, a brownstone facade restoration on 16th street, Naim Construction has been renovating homes, specializing in historic preservation and landmarked buildings. Naim Amin, son of founder N. Amin, walked us through a typical project for a brownstone facade renovation.

    Naim will first set up a site visit. “We’ll make suggestions about budgets and how we can help the client save money,” said Naim. “Brownstone is a very labor-intensive job, and laborers’ rates can range from $40 to $75 an hour. However, each building is different. Some have more ornamental detail than others, so if something can be preserved rather than restoring it fully, we suggest they preserve it.”

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    Naim explains the entire process of the project verbally and makes sure the client understands everything. “I remember discussing the detailing on the brownstone and asking whether it would look like our neighbor’s facade,” said Mark Martin, a former client. “He replied, ‘Yes, but better.’ Well, he was true to his word.”

    Naim Construction

    Next, Naim produces a clean and accurate estimate of how much the project will cost, and how long it will take. After a contract is drafted and reviewed, the construction begins, a stage at which his company’s most valuable asset can shine. “Your employees are your business,” said Naim. “We hire dependable, knowledgeable and skilled employees, which has played a major role in our growth.”

    Naim construction

    Naim said the team differentiates itself in several ways — one being its proprietary in-house mixes for the brownstone cement. “This is unique because it allows us to know what type of material is being used, so we avoid using material that’s harmful to the building and the environment,” he said. “It also allows us to confidently give guarantees on a project. I think any client should be allowed to have more than one year of guarantee on the work itself. Here at Naim, we guarantee our work for more than one year.”

    Naim Construction

    Delivering quality work, of course, is Naim’s main priority. “Our façade wasn’t an easy job to do, with a bay front, terra-cotta tiles, two small roofs, a patio and challenges along the way,” said Ed P., a former client. “Family reputation over decades gave Naim an advantage. Talented craftsmen were used to accomplish a beautiful restoration.”

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