Circleville Presbyterian Church Restoration
Utmost Renovations is a masonry restoration company that provides services to Columbus, Ohio and some of its immediately surrounding areas. Mark Huffer, company owner, likes to make exceptions in terms of pricing for his hometown of Circleville, Ohio. Many Ohioans know Circleville for their famous Pumpkin Show held every fall, but something that cannot be overlooked within this town is the massive historical church- the Circleville Presbyterian.
The building that is currently the Circleville Presbyterian was first constructed in 1899. This city icon was in need of a historic renovation. A large wing was added to the East side of the church in 2005 to accommodate for the growing number of attendants and services. Most of the work being done on this project took place on the original Western side of the church. The brick walls and stones needed to be cleaned and weather-sealed, caulking needed done around window perimeters, stone needed repaired and mortar joints needed tuckpointed.
Mark was contacted to bid this project since he had previously done repairs on it before and they were happy with the results. He bid the project for a fair price and to the church board’s surprise, it was significantly lower than the competitors’ prices- one of the competitors bid was even three times higher than Mark’s price. The board decided to hire Utmost Renovations for the work, and in doing so they saved over $30,000.00! Utmost had underbid their competitors significantly and still came out with a decent profit on the job.
It is common practice for other Columbus masonry restoration companies to price gouge during the busy season knowing that customers won’t have a choice if they really need the service. Mark hopes to put an end to this practice; he feels price gouging is morally wrong and would never do that – especially to a church. Mark treats his customers as fairly as possible. On this project he even agreed to additional requests outside of the contractual scope of work, something many restoration companies won’t do. Circleville Presbyterian received a two-year workmanship warranty and a 10-year material warranty on the water repellant used on the project – also rare in the restoration industry.
Besides repairs on the brick walls and stone of this massive building, the bulk of the work was actually the restoration of the original chimney on the West side of the building. This giant chimney was at such a stage of deterioration that it had to be torn down to a much lower and stable height. Of course, being as large of a chimney as this was, the masons had to use a lift to access it. While demolishing the chimney, they had to continuously lower the lift down and back up in order to deliver the old brick down to the ground- and the inverse process when the chimney was being built back up. While repairing the chimney, care had to be taken to not damage the slate roof. Throughout the whole process of restoration, our masons made sure that not one slate was broken. This was not an easy job for our masons (especially on a hot day) and it requires a lot of patience and persistence.
Not only was the church and its chimney very large, but it is a historical building and required a certain amount of expertise and care to do the job right. There are certain types of brick that must be tuck-pointed with “historical” mortar, and our masons know exactly how to make and apply it. There were also very large stained-glass windows that were being caulked around their perimeters and needed a lot of extra care and protection. It was a very tedious, dangerous, and sensitive job, but the Utmost crew worked together to deliver efficient and fine workmanship on the Circleville Presbyterian Church restoration.