The conservation project for Strathmore House in Cobourg, Ontario, was limited to the building exterior: exterior walls, doors, windows, as well as verandahs and terraces. The neoclassical house was previously converted into administrative offices, and the entire exterior was covered in Kenitex (a non-breathable stucco-like cladding) in the 1970’s in order to reduce maintenance requirements. However, over time the coating had caused the masonry to fail and woodwork to rot.
The primary goal of the project was to protect the heritage fabric through the removal of the damaging Kenitex coating. There was no precedent for this work and even the Kenitex manufacturer advised that it was not possible. Through extensive testing, mock-ups and research, the project team was able to devise a removal methodology. Once the Kenitex was removed, the repairs to the wood and masonry elements could take place. The conserved building received a new masonry appropriate coating and linseed oil paint, to return the house to its historic white colour.
The verandah and terrace concrete platforms were also replaced, and the entrance made barrier-free and 1600 square feet of decorative marble mosaic tile was restored.