Ticco: What aspect of improving our cities or communities are you most passionate about right now?
Lindsay Jones: I'm definitely passionate about the way that keeping and using beautiful old buildings brings people together, makes places more beautiful and walkable, and makes people want to come and just hang out and spend money locally! Not only that, but also how their reuse is good for the environment. It's the ultimate form of recycling!
I can't understand how people replace windows and don't notice that all of their old ones are filling up landfills. It's soooo wasteful! The same goes for plaster walls and doors, wood siding, etc. The modern construction industry has made people believe that everything that isn't perfect should be replaced with plastic, caulk, and concrete. Those materials may be quick and cheap, but if you replace important components of your old house with them, you'll actually create damage.
Of course there is some waste in my work, but I don't need dumpsters. I usually have about a half full contractor bag at the end of any job, which is usually just caulk and foam insulation and old clothesline that someone added and caused damage. The truth is that owning an old house means buying into the historic maintenance needs that the house has. Replacement parts are not the solution, and I wish people would offer more of their time to their buildings by maintaining and finding better uses for them, rather than throwing them away.
T: What projects are you most excited about at the moment?
LJ: This is a tricky question because as exciting as any job is before it starts, they're all equally stressful. This is our third year in business and it's been really interesting to see how our work has changed and evolved in just this short amount of time. I started off restoring windows, kind of not believing that I would ever get people to hire me to work on larger commercial or publicly-owned structures. Then in the second year I got two huge projects, one doing monumental steel windows for a developer and one storing the artwork in a church including a 40' tall abstract mosaic of the last supper.
It was huge to have those projects when I was just starting out, because it helped financially support us through the winter while we went back to small window and door work. This year all of our big jobs were delayed, but it turned out that we had enough momentum with smaller jobs to sustain two full-time salaries! Now we're already bidding into next summer even though it's only the end of the year! I'm kind of just excited about all of the jobs as a whole, knowing that we're really making this thing happen! We're also starting to pull in artwork contracts, including cleaning public sculpture for the Columbus, OH Public Arts Council, and to restore a decorative painted ceiling in a historic theater in Cuyahoga Falls. We still love working on window restoration, but the fine art work that I never thought was possible has become a reality and it's really validating to see the company grow with all of these new opportunities.