A sampling of just a few of Rehabilitation/Restoration projects
completed by Tim Lantz


The Best of Both Worlds | Gilroy, California

Resting on 5 acres of flat land, this 6000 square foot home was meticulously crafted by Tim Lantz with historic materials reused throughout, as well as use of new materials where necessary for a seamless and stunning combination. A labor of love and vision for Tim, this very special property combines the best of old-world craftsmanship with cutting-edge materials and design. The property also featured a restored guest home, barn and pump house.

Blend of old and new

New staircase

Living room fireplace

Malpas-Taylor House | Los Gatos, California

Fully restored historical residence

In October, 1989, when the Loma Prieta earthquake sent shock waves throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, this three-story, 5,000-sq. ft. Victorian came tumbling down, literally falling 7 ft. 2 in. off its foundation into the basement. Coming to rest at a 60° angle, the structure was racked out of square, twisted, its floors, decks and walls crushed.

Lantz lifted the house by the first-floor ceiling. “The joists were structurally sound and dimensionally stable, and portions of the house had been balloon-framed, which also gave it a lot of structural integrity,” he says. He placed three 60-ft. I-beams to support the ceiling joists. Using a system of cribs and hydraulic jacks, the house was gradually raised to a level position, its first-floor walls and floor allowed to dangle until the correct elevation was achieved.

Earthquake-damaged home

Earthquake damage is extensive

Staircase damaged in earthquake

Staircase damaged in earthquake

Restored staircase

Restored staircase

The house was then moved 32 inches to the north and 36 inches to the east to remove the 16-in. rack and align the building in its proper position. The new foundation required more than a mile of steel and some 67 cu. yd. of concrete. Lantz also reassembled the sandstone block walls supporting the porches with the help of a circa-1891 photograph supplied by a relative of the original owner residing in New Jersey. A computer-enhanced blow-up of the photo helped him recreate its original random ashlar pattern.
After the Malpas-Taylor residence was placed on a new foundation, much of the exterior work consisted of reconstructing substructure walls crushed by the enormous weight of the building. “Porches suffering from both time and earthquake damage, portions of walls moldings, lattice screens and stairway were rebuilt to original configurations, said the builder. Interior damage was extensive, but great care was taken to restore walls, floor and woodwork, including the entry hall constructed of quarter-sawn white oak paneling. Photography by Willie Sundquist

Prairie Style, circa 1926 | Morgan Hill

Victorian/Craftsman, circa 1905 | Morgan Hill

This beautiful structure, built in 1905 by an established banker/developer, had been neglected over time, abandoned and vandalized for eight years when Lantz was called to the rescue. Not only was the house in complete disrepair, with pigeons roosting indoors, but a questionable, out-of-level addition had been built rela­tively recently and was already falling apart.

“Some contractor had literally hacked a hole in the back of the house and not even tried to make the addition fit,” he remarks, “so our attitude was to demolish the new portion and create another addition that blends smoothly on the interior and matches so well on the exterior that only a trained eye could notice the differ­ence.” The first part of the rehab’ was to restore the house to a “convenience” level, that is, retain its historic features and materials while making it livable for today. The next step expanded the existing kitchen and modernized it. Lastly, Lantz added a “great room” that is visually and architecturally compatible with the size, scale and features of the original structure. For this project, too, he received a restoration award.

Victorian-era Ranch, circa 1863 | Sunnyvale

This project was a combination rehabilitation/restoration of a circa-1863 home in Sunny­vale. It is the city’s oldest house and likely one of California’s oldest surviving wooden buildings. Structurally, the house is quite sound, though it bears the scars of wear and tear and shows a lack of proper mainte­nance in recent years. The son of the original builder had remodeled the home in 1910, modernizing it with indoor plumbing and electricity, adding a solarium, a library and a formal dining room.
When the present owners purchased the house, they had the foundation repaired before they moved in. Then they hired a local contractor to replaster the walls and ceilings and commenced work on restoring the interior themselves. “Sadly, they became the target of a horrible mistake, a contractor who didn’t know what he was doing,” laments Lantz. “After they spent well over $100,000 on ‘repairs,’ the house is still way out of level, the floors wavy and the place unlivable. The plaster had to be completely redone – again.”
The discouraged owners brought Lantz into the pic­ture to rehabilitate the house and their spirits. Jointly, they decided to restore the house to its 1910 state, rather than return to the earlier period. “In historical preservation, you have to determine what por­tions of the structure are pertinent,” Lantz explains. “Strictly speaking, to return to the 1860s, we would have to take out the plumbing and bring back the outhouse, take out electricity, install antiquated stoves for heating and remove the rooms added in 1910. Not only is it impractical, but it would reduce the quality of living.”

2 Responses to Portfolio

  1. Donna Avina says:

    Is this the Tim Lantz who used to teach stained glass art for community services at Gavilan College?

Leave a Reply