Intricate Exterior Home Trim Evokes History
- Pegasus Luxury Homes’ Massachusetts Division
- Brookline, Massachusetts
- Project Year
In the prestigious Boston suburb of Brookline, Massachusetts, part of New England’s scenic landscape, an eclectic mixture of historic Colonial and Victorian houses reside next door to new luxury homes. Brookline’s architecture is diverse yet harmonious, and its beauty is most often discovered in the exterior details of the town’s captivating houses.
Pegasus Luxury Homes, Boston-area development and renovation experts, recently enriched that beauty with an extraordinary, new custom-designed home that evokes “Old World” character and richness. This Gambrel Colonial, or “Shingle-Style” Gambrel, home is an enchanting masterpiece with a Scandinavian influence, especially in its exterior trim and other intricate details. “Gambrel” refers to symmetrical, dual-sided roofing with two slopes per side, where the lower slope is dramatically steeper to maximize interior space.
“Two styles of homes are no longer built in Massachusetts–Gambrel Colonial and Victorian–because they are difficult to design and construct. But I saw an opportunity in Brookline to bring the Gambrel-style house back to the landscape in a fresh way,” said Koby Kempel, CEO of Pegasus Luxury Homes’ Massachusetts Division, who was recruited from overseas in 2004 to operate the firm specializing in historic renovations. “I studied Scandinavian architecture extensively, including the many intricate details that authenticate it.
With the right people and products, I knew I could realize my vision.
Koby did exactly that, assembling a top-tier team of local architects and residential contractors. They collaborated closely on the new home’s historically accurate Gambrel design and construction, breaking ground in June 2013 and completing the exterior in January 2014. Versatile, high-quality products were specified to give the house architectural authenticity, integrity, and durability for life. The most pivotal exterior product was Kleer® Trimboard from The Tapco Group.
“Kleer Trimboard delivered everything needed to create the Gambrel’s historic, elaborate details, including its expansive gables. Kleer appears just like wood on the house. It doesn’t have the plastic look of other trim. It’s also as easy to install as wood–without priming, getting damaged on the job from moisture or temperature extremes, or wood’s high-maintenance,” said Koby. “I’ve tried other trim, but Kleer is superior in versatility for architectural details and in durability–joints and seams don’t open when weather changes. Thanks to Kleer, our Gambrel home is stunning and has a true historic look that complements the area’s landscape and architecture. Everyone loves the house.”
To refine the home’s exterior proportions and scale, Koby sought the expertise of Architectural Designer Tom Trykowski AIA, NCARB, at Silverman Trykowski Associates, Inc., a cutting-edge architecture and interior design firm focused on high-end “developer-residential” endeavors. Tom’s role was to ensure that the Gambrel home’s numerous, intricate exterior details worked in concert. With 25 years of architectural experience spanning all phases of design and construction, Tom had innovative ideas for optimizing the framed structure’s historic appearance and rich, authentic details.
When Kleer Trimboard products were specified by lead contractor Brian McCarthy, Tom was immediately impressed by Kleer’s breadth of trim and moulding profiles, versatility for challenging and highly detailed Gambrel applications, and its ultralow maintenance. With Kleer, Tom fine-tuned every detail beyond expectations. For the heavy eaves, he used thicker trim to create larger bands characteristic of the Gambrel style. Tom was also responsible for the ornate window trim, how the roofing interfaced with the eaves, accentuating the entry portico, and other eyecatching details.
“Compared to other trim, Kleer is extremely versatile, easy to work with, and lets you create beauty everywhere. We used Kleer trimboards in white in a typical Gambrel pattern around the second-story windows, and we added Kleer Sheets painted in Terra Cotta above to make the gables really stand out. Then we used Kleer Crown and Cove/Scotia Mouldings to trace around the eaves for elegant finishing touches,” said Tom, a Principal of Silverman Trykowski Associates for the last 18 years since starting the firm.
“This was the first time I’ve worked with Kleer Trimboard. I was impressed by how readily the products navigated the details, corners, and roofing intersections. The pieces all worked together, making it easier for us to manage the vast number of elements required to finish an authentic-looking Gambrel house,” added Tom. “To my knowledge, it’s the only Gambrel in the immediate area, making it even more unique. Kleer accomplished everything we needed and gave very clean resolution to the details. It also ensures virtually no-maintenance, so the home’s intricate details will stay beautiful for decades,” Tom added.
Enlisted as lead contractor for the Brookline Gambrel house, Brian McCarthy of McCarthy General Contracting, Inc., in Stow, Massachusetts, has been a framing contractor for 23 years. He started his own business in 2003 and has collaborated with Pegasus on a dozen projects. Brian’s expertise allows him to focus on high-end jobs for large homes with complex roofing systems and extensive trim packages, including historic renovations of trim, in the Boston-Cambridge area. With a decade of experience working with Kleer Trimboard, Brian was a natural fit for the Gambrel Colonial, which involved the heaviest installation of Kleer trim products he has ever used on one home.
“I could use wood or other trim products, but the benefits of Kleer in terms of durability, aesthetics, consistency, and low-maintenance make it the frontrunner for every project. Kleer’s visual impact alone makes it worth using.” said Brian. “Every job looks better with Kleer. You can’t see the seams or joints. There are no open spots like with wood. Kleer has dimensional stability so it doesn’t warp either. It also takes paint better and doesn’t need repainting.”
“The consistent look of Kleer trim is outstanding, unlike wood where pieces don’t match, so there’s less waste. The product is also easier to obtain. If your lumberyard has Kleer’s catalog, you can get all the trim products you need through one supplier instead of 3-4 suppliers. You no longer have to hunt for individual pieces, such as a specific-sized crown moulding. Kleer offers more than typical styles and sizes too. Kleer has it all, making life easier,” said Brian.
Crafted from strong cellular PVC, Kleer Trimboard comes in a wide array of profiles, a benefit essential to making the Brookline Gambrel home exterior unique, elaborate, and evocative of another era. To re-create “Old World” European-style living in the heart of a modern New England suburb, Brian specified diverse trimboard products, including five distinctive styles of Kleer moulding– Crown, Cove/Scotia, Band, Bed, and Rake. Three Crown Moulding sizes were also needed to finish off the exterior, plus different sizes of Kleer Trimboards as well as Kleer Sheets and Adhesives.
“Brookline’s Gambrel home has so many incredible details that I can’t imagine using anything other than Kleer Trimboard. It performs predictably, an imperative for this job. At times, we worked in 10-degree weather, heat-bending boards to make elegantly curved mouldings for the garage doors. We needed a product we could count on,” added Brian. “Kleer trim offers ease of installation, longevity, and authenticity–it looks just like wood, whether you’re viewing it up-close or from the curb. Kleer has a flawless appearance that endures– it’s simply the best solution for any trim job.”