Brownstone Restoration – Who to Hire?

Soon after I moved into my house, a neighbor down the block had his brownstone façade restored.  I passed by the house everyday on my way to work and kept an eye on the process.  The façade turned out beautifully and I made a mental note of the contractor.  Between then and now, 3 other neighbors on my block have used the same contractor to restore their facades. So when it came time for me to hire a brownstone restoration contractor, I knew I wanted to work with them too. 

Brownstone façade restoration is seasonal work, so I was lucky that the contractor’s spring schedule was not yet booked up.  I specifically requested the same mason who worked on the house down the block since a lot of the façade details are the same.  While demolition can happen at any time, the curing process for the slurry and scratch coat needs to occur during warm weather. 

The whole brownstone project should take about 3-4 months. Below is a rough outline of the steps:

  1. Scaffold goes up
  2. Demo takes about a week to a week and a half
  3. Slurry, scratch coat and curing takes about 25 days
  4. Final coat takes about 20 days
  5. Wait 8-9 days before power washing

My house is not in a landmarked district, so I did not have to get Landmarks approval for my brownstone facade project. However, houses that are within a landmarked district will need to get approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for the windows, doors and brownstone color before work can start.


Anita Lin