I Love the Stars on Rowhouses

IMG_5623, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

But I ask you, is the house below taking it a little too far?

5 Comment

  • Those stars are REALLY popular house decorations in New England right now, for some reason. But the original small ones, I learned this summer, actually serve an architectural purpose of some sort – I think each point holds up a beam or load-bearing wall or something. Anyhow, I always wished my house had them!

  • The stars aren’t merely decorative. What you’re seeing is the cap on a support rod that is running through the structure. You typically see them in houses that have been renovated or added on to.

  • EDIT: Sorry, didn’t see Lindsay’s comment before I posted mine!

  • Not only renovations and add-ons, but repairs, generally foundation or settling issues. If you see an old house with more than a few of those, you can be sure it has had foundation problems in the past. Maybe they have been fixed, but you can be sure they happened.

    It is pretty funny if Linday is right that they are now being used for purely decorative purposes, as to my eyes they are basically big signs on the wall saying “effed up foundation.”

  • When I bought the inspector told me that they capped steel beams that added additional support to our brick house. He also said that you’ve got to maintain them, that if the beams inside rust that they will swell, which starts those lovely “step cracks” you see up the side of some DC rowhouses. So, if you got them, file off the rust and throw on a coat of paint before the steel beams rust (and if you have an extension ladder I can borrow, let me so I can do the same).

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