Rembrandt Builders

Rembrandt BuildersCustom craftsmanship on your lot

'Tis the season...to turn off your hose bibs!

This upcoming winter is expected to be even harsher than last years! During the colder months, if water pipes are left on, they tend to freeze which causes them to expand and burst. Most of the time these pipes freeze within exterior walls of homes. If a pipe bursts there, water tends to gush into adjoining rooms or the basement.

One step you can take to prevent any freezing and bursting pipes is to turn off the outside hose bibs. A general rule of thumb to winterize your hose bib is to turn than off just before Thanksgiving and leave them off until around Easter time when it starts to warm up again. The process of doing this is pretty simple.

First, locate and close the inside cutoff valve(s), located in the basement mechanical room of our homes. A “Hose Bib” tag will dangle from both valves. Then open the valve on the outside. This should do the trick. As always, if you have any questions about this give us a call!


See ‘The Science of Frozen Pipes’ here.

The Sycamore Store

Many people ask about our office, the old Sycamore Store on MacArthur Blvd. The history of the store is quite interesting, especially if you are familiar with the Glen Echo area.

The store first opened in 1919 and was run by Hugh ‘Boots’ Johnston. The Glen Echo Electric Railroad would run right past the store daily, and stop at the Sycamore Station right at the corner of MacArthur Blvd (then called Conduit Road) and Walhonding Rd. In 1935 ‘Boots’ hired a young man named George H Rogers who worked as an employee until 1953 when he bought the place from Boots.

The Sycamore Store’s heyday, as well as other neighborhood grocers, was between 1935-1955, when there were no supermarkets and everyone depended on their neighborhood grocer. The store sold fresh fruits and vegetables, custom-butchered meats, provided delivery, and had 2-3 employees.

The store remained a full grocery store until the 1970s. Then they started making sandwiches at lunchtime which became their biggest part of the business.

The Sycamore Store closed for good in 1995. Our company, Rembrandt Builders, bought the place in 2010 and converted it into a charming 2 bedroom home with an office in the rear. George H Rogers and his wife, Louise, have since passed away, but their grandchildren have visited a few times and shared their dear memories with us. The original “Sycamore Store” sign still remains up today -- it’s quite sentimental to the community and provides a feeling of nostalgia to many.

See full story here.