A Major Renovation of a 1950's Brick "Cape Cod" Style Home

Week 19: Four weeks to go!

Jamie Magee  June 19 2009 01:16:44 AM
Image:Week 19: Four weeks to go!
All the brickwork and stucco is done, and we're really happy with it.  After it's acid washed, the copper bay roof will be installed.

Inside, trim, painting, and tile are almost done.  Cabinets are set.  Then electrical and plumbing fixtures, counter tops, shower glass, floor refinishing, and final coat of paint.  Looks like about 4 weeks to go.

Image:Week 19: Four weeks to go!

Week 15: Brick work almost done

Jamie Magee  May 18 2009 07:09:04 PM

Brickwork is coming along nicely, thanks to Vinny Rizzo's skilled crew!  The big window on the right will get an arch and keystone like the upper left one, and there are still plenty of bricks to get laid in the form of a decorative wing wall, and also around the new front door (and no the door won't be blue!).  Bay window will get copper roofing after the brick is complete and acid washed.  Stucco is starting in the rear, and will also be applied to the dormers.

Inside, hardwood floors are laid, tile is being prepped in four bathrooms, drywall is ready to paint.  Basement gets drywalled this Friday, so lots of homeowner wiring, vacuum pipes, and sound insulation to do.  
Image:Week 15: Brick work almost done

Week 11 - 13: Update

Jamie Magee  May 7 2009 11:50:35 PM
The last month has flown by, sorry for lack of updates.  Lots has happened...

1) City of Newark has a relatively strict statute requiring fire sprinklers throughout a house if more than 50% of it is renovated.  They don't define what constitutes "renovated", but initially we were approved to start the project without sprinklers.  However, half-way through, they changed the way they measure "% renovated" and now we DO have to install sprinklers.  Ugh.  This had been a huge debacle at several steps along the way, and it all stemmed from the City giving me the wrong advice in the first place.  Don't even get me started.  The downside is cutting into every ceiling, and paying a nice chunk of our budget for this system, is not something we had planned on.  The good news is I bid this out to 5 different firms and found CMP Fire LLC that a) was local, b) took the time to plan exactly how they'd do it with minimal impact on our design, and c) was very reasonably priced.  And yes, these are the same fire sprinklers you see in commercial buildings, but in homes the heads are often recessed into the drywall behind a flat white plastic disc about 3" in diameter.  So they actually look fairly unnoticeable compared to the lights, speakers, smoke detectors, etc.  

2) Now that we're going over the 50% threshold into sprinkler territory anyway, we can recover some budget and gain some schedule by finishing the basement at the same time rather than a separate project later (which was the original plan in order to avoid going over 50% renovation at any one time).  Here's our basement plan...
Image:Week 11 - 13: UpdateImage:Week 11 - 13: Update

3) Drywalling is complete on the main and upper floor.  About 15 guys, none taller than 5'6", put up all the wall board in a single day.  It was amazing.
Image:Week 11 - 13: Update


4) Bricking is underway
Image:Week 11 - 13: Update
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Week 10: Cutting new windows, doors, and fireplace

Jamie Magee  April 7 2009 09:08:05 PM
The Living Room window is being widened from 4 to 6 feet, and an arch and keystone will top it.  Lots of brick dust, but Pat and Tim are used to it.
Image:Week 10: Cutting new windows, doors, and fireplace

Jared and Pat frame new windows where a solid wall used to be.
Image:Week 10: Cutting new windows, doors, and fireplace

The new windows combine with a half wall and wider opening on the left to open up the space and incorporate a new built-in banquette into the family room and kitchen area.
Image:Week 10: Cutting new windows, doors, and fireplace

The new family room fireplace will be recessed into the wall by protruding it outside.  A "dog house" (named because it will be about the same size as one) wraps the fireplace and is framed by sistering floor joists into the basement ceiling.
Image:Week 10: Cutting new windows, doors, and fireplace

The window on the left used to be smaller and was the exterior wall to a bathroom in the original layout.  The window on the right was part of a bedroom.  Opening up the space yeilds a 20 x 16 foot family room open to the kitchen and eat-in area.
Image:Week 10: Cutting new windows, doors, and fireplace

Week 9: Roofing is complete

Jamie Magee  March 30 2009 01:59:11 AM
These two guys did the entire roof in about 12 hours...

Image:Week 9: Roofing is complete

Image:Week 9: Roofing is complete

Week 9: changing the roof slope

Jamie Magee  March 30 2009 01:30:18 AM
On the plans, I had always thought this "radius" curve to an almost flat slope was just a representation of some curve to be determined onsite.  But the crew did exactly what was in the plan, and the resulting low slope at the end would require expensive black rubber-looking EPDM for any roof section less than a 4/12 slope.  Also, although dramatic, it didn't quite seem to fit the traditional style of the roofline in our concept illustration on the right...

Image:Week 9: changing the roof slope  Image:Week 9: changing the roof slope 

I mocked up the modification below, with a 4/12 slope taking off tangent to the curve they had already framed.  

 Image:Week 9: changing the roof slope  Image:Week 9: changing the roof slope

In a couple of hours, the skill full carpenters Pat, Tim, Sean, and Jared easily fixed it right in place, without having to redo the whole section.  Monitor any critical framing early and often so you can point out stuff that doesn't meet your expectations... it's a whole lot less work than just a few days later when other work is done over it.

Image:Week 9: changing the roof slope

Week 8: Roof and gable are taking shape

Jamie Magee  March 18 2009 08:15:28 PM
Image:Week 8: Roof and gable are taking shape

Image:Week 8: Roof and gable are taking shape

Week 8: Exterior is framed

Jamie Magee  March 17 2009 11:16:48 PM
Lots of progress in the last few weeks.  Building the roof takes priority until it's weather proof.  A full tarp is nailed in each night, and removed each morning, until roof is in place.  Then they'll work on the interior framing, windows, etc.

Image:Week 8: Exterior is framed
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Week 7: Front gable framing

Jamie Magee  March 12 2009 03:55:04 PM

Image:Week 7: Front gable framing

Week 7: Framing the second floor, rain or shine

Jamie Magee  March 10 2009 01:15:36 AM
Image:Week 7: Framing the second floor, rain or shine