Framing Repairs

Research & Collections

Because portions of the interior framing had settled throughout the house (in some rooms the floors had sunken as much as 3½"), a survey of all the interior framing elements was undertaken prior to restoring the interior. Several major areas of damage were discovered in the basement and they were repaired after the major elements from the duPont house were removed.

Images of the Framing Repairs

Repairs being made to a ca. 1765 summer beam. While almost all of the original floor framing from the Madison-era house survives, several beams needed extensive repairs, such as this summer beam. The interior of the beam pictured had been almost completely consumed by fungus, leaving only the exterior shell intact. To repair the beam, modern lumber was dropped into the interior of the beam to restore its former strength while preserving its historic exterior surfaces.

Summer beam being clamped in place while the epoxy cures.

The deteriorated end of a joist is repaired with a new wooden “dutchman.” When only a small portion of the wooden beam was found to be decayed, the deteriorated portion was removed and replaced with a new piece of wood.

A carpenter replaces one of the braces for a king post truss in the garret. The duPonts removed a large amount of the structural bracing that originally supported the roof in order to make room for servants’ quarters. All of these important structural elements have been replaced using period construction techniques.


Montpelier Restored

Restoration of the physical structure of Madison's home was deemed officially complete on September 17, 2008 - Constitution Day.