Exterior Maintenance Requires Constant Vigilance

Exterior Maintenance Requires Constant Vigilance

We often think about the need to protect our home’s exterior in the winter months. Storms dump snow and ice on exposed surfaces and can even introduce moisture beyond the home’s outer shell via damaged wood, mortar, or caulking. When water penetrates a home’s exterior fabric, the cycle of freezing and thawing can lead to damage that is unseen until a much bigger problem presents itself, usually on the inside.

But damaging weather isn’t confined to the winter months.

Strong storms – whether summer afternoon downpours caused by soaring temperatures or fall hurricanes that can dump inches of rain over hours or days – can also do much damage to a home that isn’t properly safeguarded.

The best way to ensure a home is protected is to examine it – closely – on a regular basis.

“We’re always happy to send someone out for an assessment,” says H.J. Holtz & Son President Rick Holtz. “Our team knows what to look for, whether that’s evidence of rot, mold, or just a few cracks. The key to maintenance is to be ahead of it, whenever you can.”

Any flat exterior surface is vulnerable, and it doesn’t matter how wide the surface is; water can sit anywhere. Home features such as window sills, porch floors, wood decks, door thresholds and framing, decorative trim, and fencing must be maintained thoughtfully with the recognition that nothing lasts forever.

“Sometimes, we can address a problem with a fresh coat of paint or sealer,” Holtz says. “But if the damage is too advanced, replacement carpentry is required. In most situations, we can handle that repair, too, with our in-house carpentry team.”

The goal is always to find and address issues before they become complicated … and expensive.

“The best way to save money is to be proactive,” Holtz says. “We’re here to help with that. Just give us a call.”

Bold Kitchen Refresh Requires the Holtz Touch

Bold Kitchen Refresh Requires the Holtz Touch

Sometimes, you know exactly what you want, but are wary of taking the plunge. 

That was the case recently when H.J. Holtz & Son partnered with Richmond-based KDW Home to refresh a kitchen that the homeowner had grown tired of. “There were two inspiration photos – one with a high gloss turquoise room, the other with a muted, all-gray look,” says Peyton Edwards, a principal of KDW Home and lead designer. “The homeowner knew she wanted to do the turquoise but needed the push.” 

The kitchen refresh represents a departure from other areas in the home, which feature white walls as backdrop to an eclectic art collection. “There are bold splashes of color throughout the house,” Edwards notes. “But this is the only room that has high-gloss paint.”

The project began with custom cabinets in Sherwin-Williams’ Nifty Turquoise sourced through KDW Home. Then the Holtz team used Fine Paints of Europe Hollandlac to paint the remainder of the kitchen in the same hue. 

“Our cabinet maker provides a special finish that really stands up to heavy use, which is what you need for cabinets,” Edwards says. “We knew we could trust Holtz to match the color, which they did.”

To break up the color, Edwards and the homeowner selected stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops with a matte finish, and kept the stone wraparound for the island. The room is further anchored by the original concrete floor so the bold color doesn’t overwhelm. 

Edwards says the project went well because of the strong working relationship between KDW Home and H.J. Holtz & Son. “Everybody had to do their part, but we have good communication and we know Holtz team members are going to show up when they say they will.”

Holtz can also be relied upon to do the job right the first time, Edwards adds. 

“The Holtz team has years of learning and trial-and-error behind them,” she says. “No one else in the state of Virginia could execute this successfully. Certainly, it’s not going to appeal to everyone, but the client knows Rick Holtz really well. They have worked together for a long time.”

Putting Your House’s Best Face Forward

Putting Your House’s Best Face Forward

Every year, the Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week in Virginia demonstrates the power of “curb appeal” – the term often used to refer to the aesthetics of a property’s exterior. H.J. Holtz & Son understands the importance of that initial impression.

“There’s so much to think about outside,” says company President Rick Holtz. “Shutters, windows, trim, and doors – these are all obvious. But you also have fences, railings, porches, benches, even outbuildings. Sometimes, homeowners don’t consider those elements, because they’re so focused on the inside, but that’s what people see first.”

For 2024’s tour, Holz & Son worked at 4601 Lilac Lane, where on April 23 ticket-holders will be able to tour nearly four acres of garden and farm, tucked inside Richmond’s city limits. The homeowners, longtime Holtz clients, had the company repaint shutters and doors as well as paint the entire pool house. Tour participants on April 25 will be able to see 109 Nottingham Road, which has a fresh, Holtz-painted front door covered in a Fine Paints of Europe coating.

Not everyone has a house that will someday be featured on a Historic Garden Week tour, but an exterior assessment to take stock of what might need a refresh is recommended at least once a year. Outdoor surfaces are subjected to greater wear and tear than indoor spaces, thanks to the effects of sun, wind, precipitation, and even bugs and wildlife. With an in-house carpentry division, Holtz & Son is often able to repair or replace damaged wood, so a separate contractor isn’t necessary. 

“In the past, we’ve rebuilt an entire gazebo, and we regularly fix railing posts and fences,” Holtz says. “Our carpentry team works both on-site and in our new expanded shop, which allows them to manage multiple jobs at a time with greater efficiency.”

To schedule an evaluation of your home’s exterior, call H.J. Holtz & Son, 804-358-4109.

Sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia, Historic Garden Week dates to 1929, when it began as a way to raise money for historic Kenmore, the Fredericksburg home of Betty Washington Lewis, George Washington’s sister. Funds raised support the ongoing restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic public gardens and landscapes across the state as well as a research fellowship program in landscape architecture. 

For more information about Historic Garden Week or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.vagardenweek.org/.

Historic Garden Week Comes to Richmond April 23,24,25

Historic Garden Week Comes to Richmond April 23,24,25

The spectacular properties featured during Historic Garden Week have been prepped for a year or more for their time in the spotlight. Participating homeowners know that hundreds of people are eager to see meticulous gardens and plantings as well as pristine interiors filled with floral arrangements created by the state’s garden club members. Nearly every year, H.J. Holtz and Son helps to ensure those spaces look their best by providing interior painting, exterior painting, custom cabinetry, and cabinetry painting. 

“We’re always happy to assist an existing or new client who’s getting their house ready for the tour,” says company president Rick Holtz. “Sometimes, it’s a small project, like painting the front door and shutters, but other times, the homeowner realizes that they want a full interior refresh.”

Timing is everything when it comes to getting ready for a big event, whether it’s Historic Garden Week, or any special event. “We always encourage people to call us as soon as they have a date in mind,” Holtz says. “Our calendar typically fills quickly, but we want to help repeat customers when we can, and sometimes we have an unexpected opening. And we’re diligent to make sure we hit deadlines.” 

Crews have been hard at work for weeks to ensure Holtz client homes are ready for this year’s Richmond dates: Tuesday, April 23, in Windsor Farms-Nottingham; Wednesday, April 24, in River Hill; and Thursday, April 25, in Windsor Farms-Coventry. Visitors will see Holtz handiwork in homes on both the April 23 and 25 tours.

Tuesday, April 23

Windsor Farms – hosting two tours this year – was envisioned in the early 1920s as an upscale residential neighborhood away from the grittiness of the city. Designed in an English garden style popular at the time, the carefully plotted area features many historic homes that have been thoughtfully modernized. 

At 209 Nottingham Road, Holtz & Son team members painted cabinets in advance of Historic Garden Week for a new client. At 4601 Lilac Lane, where only the exterior gardens are open for the tour, the Holtz team did exterior painting on the pool house and main residence shutters and doors.

Thursday, April 25

On this second day in Windsor Farms, visitors will encounter varied architectural styles, including English Tudor, Storybook or Cotswold, and European Revival.

At 4300 Dover Road, Holtz team members painted both the dining and living rooms as well as two interior fireboxes with high heat paint. At 4500 Coventry Road, the team hung new wallpaper in the den and painted several chairs in the shop. Projects at 109 Nottingham Road included painting the front door, crown moldings, windows and trim. Holtz craftspeople also installed wallpaper in both the living room and family room, and painted in those rooms as well. The living room also features a Holtz Built cabinet.

Sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia, Historic Garden Week dates to 1929, when it began as a way to raise money for historic Kenmore, the Fredericksburg home of Betty Washington Lewis, George Washington’s sister. Since then, the tour has been canceled only twice: once during World War II and in 2020, due to the COVID pandemic. Funds raised support the ongoing restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic public gardens and landscapes across the state as well as a research fellowship program in landscape architecture. 

For more information about Historic Garden Week or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.vagardenweek.org/.

Holtz Expands Window Restoration Services

Holtz Expands Window Restoration Services

Only one thing can detract from a beautifully painted home exterior: shabby windows. That’s why H.J. Holtz & Son has extended its services to include full window restoration.

“We see this as a need for our customers,” says company President Rick Holtz. “We have the expertise when it comes to painting and carpentry; all we needed to do was apply those skills to windows.”

The Holtz carpentry division has added staff in recent years, enabling the company to increase its wood restoration and repair capabilities. The ability to offer those services has proved especially useful for older homes, which most often need carpentry repair throughout the structure. Because windows involve the joining of glass to wood, they are especially vulnerable to temperature swings, weather ranging from severe summer storms to freezing winter precipitation, and even blunt force (think tree limbs or hurled balls). Without careful monitoring, windows will, quite literally, fall apart. 

Before beginning any exterior painting job, a Holtz project manager completes a thorough inspection, looking for any areas showing damage that can include wood rot, mold or organic growth, or any other harm that should be repaired before painting can begin. That inspection includes the windows, when the need for window restoration might be identified. 

“We don’t want to overlook any issue,” Holtz says. 

Sometimes, only one window needs attention, but if your house has original wood windows that are more than 30 years old, it’s likely they all need work. The glazing – the putty that holds the glass in the sash – breaks down over time. Without a solid seal, moisture and even bugs can make inroads, leading to the need for larger repairs or replacement.  

With an expanded work space in the company’s new location in Chesterfield, the Holtz carpentry team is able to efficiently manage even large jobs. The first step in window restoration is to bring the windows to the shop, where they are disassembled. The sashes are stripped of paint and any necessary repairs are made. Then the window is reassembled, primed, and painted. The team then replaces or reinstalls the glass, reglazing with fresh putty for a thorough seal. Special care is taken during the priming stage to prevent mold growth, as the primer used provides a line of defense against encroaching moisture. The team can also improve the window’s pulley system by replacing original rope with a metal chain, making it easier to open and close the window. 

The team is currently working with a general contractor who is restoring a home nearing its centennial. The owner wanted to keep the original windows for historical accuracy, so Holtz carpenters are fixing and repainting all 50+ windows. 

“It’s a privilege for us to help return this house to pristine condition,” Rick Holtz says. “We are so happy to have the in-house expertise that’s needed to maintain the authenticity of these windows while ensuring they remain fully functional for years to come.”


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