South Slope Reno
We’re moving right along on the first floor. Taping and spackling. Seems to go on forever. We’re looking for a semi-functional first floor by Thanksgiving, and it seems we should make it. Plumbing inspection is a few days, which is what will make or break us.
Still waiting for the shower glass upstairs from Brooklyn Kitchens and Baths. Ten weeks and counting.
But you know you’re making progress when the eye candy shows up. In our case, that’s the 48″ 6 burner Wolf stove. Six hundred fifty pounds of beauty. This is what it’s all about, baby! (And that’s the refrig in the background box).
This, plus the hood, is all we need for Thanksgiving! The hood should be up any day. We were worried about the hood conflicting with the AC duct, but there’s enough room for both.
The kitchen floor is tiled and ready to go. I know a lot of folks feel wood is the way to go in a kitchen; experience tells me differently. What can we say? Photos at:
We used more tile than we thought on the second floor bath, and the 4″ square tile we need for the walls has been discontinued (we apparently used too much on the second floor). But we’ve arranged to have some 13″ square tile cut down to the size we need. It will just take a few days.
The first floor has no room in the ceiling for AC ducts, unlike the second floor, so we’re doing soffits. And we’ve decided to put the air handler in the basement for the first floor. So we have some rather large ductwork happening. The supply and return ducts will be routed in the same soffit in the DR, next to the kitchen.
Here’s the AC ducting pretty much boxed in.
The oak floor was delivered today and should be completed in the next couple of days.
Over the course of this entry we’ve insulated and sheet-rocked the downstairs, built the A/C soffit, and begun taping.
We’re still waiting for the glass for the upstairs shower from Brooklyn Kitchens; nine weeks and counting.
If you recall my last entry, some of the windows were found to not have any brick under them, so the first thing we did is install the brick.
Insulating comes next.
When the insulation was finished, the crew chief came down and had a look. He likes things nice and warm, so he approves.
Here we’ve been ‘rocking and taping, and the A/C soffit has been roughed out.
I’d like to call this the ‘home theater’ edition, as most of the problems that have arisen have been coordinating the installation of what I’d call a modest home theater, and a couple of speakers in the back of the house that will carry music into the dining room/kitchen from my main music system in the living room. I’m fairly good with wiring electronic equipment, so we’re doing this ourselves.
The goal is to have all the wiring and speakers buried in the wall. Guys don’t mind wires, wives to, so this is to keep the wife happy!
I’m certainly aware that installing in-wall (as opposed to freestanding) speakers is supposed to result in sonic compromises. We’ll see. I did say a ‘modest’ home theater! First problem here, the GC is really an ‘old-school’ guy who has no idea about HT technology today, so I had a hard time explaining the whole concept. The electrician, otoh, is much more up to date on HT, but he’s only here intermittently.
The HT is to be located on the wall that is common to the L/R and bath. The left, right, and center speakers will be installed on that wall, around the TV, and the two surrounds in the ceiling. The plan is to install all the components in and on the walls (which means we have to sheetrock the front–living-room side–but not the back–bath side.) Then, we have to test everything, then remove all the components, sans wires, so we can tape, prime, etc. The wires to the HT receiver will be left hanging out of a gang box and then brought into a home theater wall plate. I’ll wire some short leads and banana plugs to connect to the amp.
The first thing we did was to reinforce the wall with 3/4″ plywood to make sure we had a stable place to hang the TV and bracket. And naturally, we placed an electric outlet there.
Next we hung the TV bracket, which was fairly simple given that we had access to see where all the studs were from behind the wall. The tricky part was getting the hundred pound TV up on the wall, since it was just my wife and I. A quick check of the BluRay player and we had a picture and sound from the TV speakers.
Now that we knew exactly where the TV went, we installed the speakers around the TV, as well as the ones in the ceiling. We brought up the home theater receiver from the basement, wired up all the speakers (except for the ones in the ceiling–they had already sheetrocked the ceiling without running the speaker wires). Here’s everything in place.
The two round holes in the ceiling are the surrounds. This is an all 1080p system and the sound was much better that I had hoped for, even without the benefit of surrounds and sub. Then we got to remove everything and put it all back in the basement!
Now we’ve done some more taping, there’s an AC vent in the same wall, and the electrician managed to snake those ceiling surrounds without too much trouble.
Here’s a view from the back, inside the bathroom. We’re going to insulate that wall to help with the sound.
You’d think installing a pair of in-wall speakers in the dining room would be easy. The electrician ran the cable and left it hanging in each corner while I placed the speakers. Then the sheetrock guys just came and did their thing and left it hanging there. The below pic is pretty funny; you can see the wire hanging in the corner while the speakers are in the wall.
Sure enough they had to take down some sheetrock and route the wires properly. See
Now that we’re somewhat comfortably nested upstairs, with AC, heat (finally), a couple of nice rooms, (one bedroom and one guest bedroom that’s being used almost as a L/R), it’s time to start the first floor. Of course ‘comfortably’ is still relative; we have no glass shower enclosure, thanks to Brooklyn Kitchens taking seven weeks and counting, so we have to mop up every morning. And to call our temporary kitchen/dining arrangement ‘comfortable’ is stretching it. But it’s been worse.
Photos of the downstairs demo all here:
The GC brought in a different demo crew this time and they had some issues taking direction, apparently. The plaster wall along the detached side of the house was supposed to remain, as it did upstairs, and to get covered with 1/4″ sheetrock and plaster. However the demo crew started tearing it out. I stopped them when I came home that day around 2PM, but the damage is too severe so the GG is just going to remove it all and frame it out. The bad thing is we’ll lose another 2″ of width in a 16′ wide house. The good news is that it will all be insulated. Photos here:
Bye bye dumpster, baby!
I always thought that a total gut reno like this is easier and better then trying to maintain historic detail in a historic house (which this is not). One reason being that you don’t get banged up by ‘hidden conditions’. Nevertheless we managed to find one. Seems that the bricklayer ran out of brick in a couple of places under a couple of windows, and just let the plasterer cover it up when the house was built. This must have cost owners a pretty penny in energy costs over the last eighty years.
The partitions are now up. Simple set-up; in the front we have a long L/R and ‘seating area’. That will end at a small bathroom. On that partition, we’re planning to build a modest home theater with all the speakers except the sub in walls and ceilings. Coordination will be a challenge.
On the other side of the bathroom, we’ll have a kitchen that is open to the dining room behind it, across a counter (partition in photo). From the D/R you can exit the house to the garden.
Unlike the upstairs, were there was room in the ceiling, on this floor we’ll be building a soffit to carry the A/C duct and other services. Part of our deal with the boiler guy is that we insulate all the Fostapex tubing carry heat and hot water around the house, so that’s the wife handling it (inside the bathroom)
The electrician and plumber are working away. We’re looking for enough completion to have a decent Thanksgiving dinner!
The master bath is about finished.
We await only the shower glass, (another week, but we are using the shower) and the rads (also next week).
A series of photos starts here:
There were a host of minor issues as the bath moved along. Many of those issues relate to mistakes made by my vendor, Brooklyn Kitchens aka Garfield Kitchens aka Brian Ackerman. He is poorly reviewed on Brownstoner. In fact I should have known better, as I used him previously for a kitchen, and two bathrooms, and had major delivery problems. Nevertheless, I thought that maybe the devil that you know is better than the devil you don’t know. It maybe that I made a mistake on this score, as everything I’ve ordered has been a minor disaster. Still, I have to say that I have been generally happy with the items I have received, and the prices for same.
But this guy seems to thrive on drama. When you are unable to sleep at night, threaten to cancel all your orders, promise to hire three kids from East New York to wreck his showroom, and to jump across his desk and lay him out, well, then he seems happy and gets you your stuff. Sometimes.
Take the vanities, for example. We liked the Ronbow Juno he had in his showroom.
He said, ‘good choice, I have fifty of these in my warehouse at all times’! A month before I estimated that I would need them, I asked for them. Actually, it took twelve weeks for them to show up. He, or his wholesaler, ordered them direct from China. No warehouse. It so happened that we failed the plumbing inspection and so lost eight weeks, so the vanities showed up almost in time.
When we opened the box, there were no tops. We had assumed that when we ordered what he had in his showroom, the same vanity tops would accompany them. Silly us! Instead of using the twelve weeks while the vanities were on the water to get the tops or ask us to pick them, we just wasted that time. But Brian would make it up to us by giving us whatever top we wanted, no extra charge. So we chose some nice Carrera marble tops, which we were assured were made on Union Street, and would be available in a matter of days.
The day after we ordered them I had a bad feeling. I remembered that we had ordered from Brian (and had in our possession) a faucet assembly that requires but a single centered hole in the vanity, but that a common layout would be a three hole setup. I wanted to remind him we needed the single hole configuration. I stopped by the store and reminded him in person the very next day.
I’ll spare you the details but it took three weeks of drama to get the marble vanities. When his associate delivered them, of course they were drilled wrong. They were drilled for three holes. Rather than refuse them, I agreed to accept a different faucet/handle configuration, which I have to say I got in a couple of days. Then he went to drop the tops into the vanities. The sink clips were on the wrong part, and the tops wouldn’t fit. They had to be returned. When I got them back in a couple of days, the old pins weren’t completely cut down, and I had to finish the job with a Dremel. And then, in contradiction of what I said earlier about how the products were OK even if delivery wasn’t, the back top side of the marble backslash was not polished. They too had to be returned. This whole fiasco set me back about two weeks.
Meanwhile, the tub. The plumber, way back, had a hard time reading the drain diagram, and asked for the actual tub to lay out the drain. More of the usual Brooklyn Kitchens drama. Eventually the tub showed up, the drain was cut, and the tub sat around until we could pass inspection. Meanwhile we ordered the faucets, which were clean modern versions that exactly matched the original sink faucets (but three holes). When the plumber opened the box he saw that the tub was drilled for the old clawfoot style (two holes) but we had a three hole setup. Back to Brian for a replacement. It’s a lot harder to get a modern style in a two hole tub. Kohler makes one but it’s $1500 discounted. Here’s what we ended up with.
We’re thinking of getting rid of that whole hose assembly and just capping it off.
Meanwhile our lovely shower plumbing didn’t seem to be working very well. Flow was low (even after removing the flow restrictor) and the HW temperature was just barely adequate. I complained to the GC, who made a whole host of suggestions. I decided to take matters into my own hands, and I opened up the shower body, as well as inspecting the shut-off valves. Turns out the HW shut-off was partially throttled. I opened the shut-offs to full capacity and re-balanced the shower body. Now, my wife, who loves it hot hot hot, is happy, and I who love it cooler but with more flow are both happy. Except we have ordered a extension for the shower head from Brian. He says it’s on order, I say we never see it.
Then there was the issue of the light over the tub. I could wire the fixtures, but it’s the electricians’s job, so we let him do it. When I went to turn the fixtures on, the one over the tub (three halogens) had problems. The bulb on the right was not working. I replaced it, still not working. We did a circuit test, no power. To my great disgust, I envisioned having to drive back to the Bowery (btw, all the light fixtures came from newgenerationlighting.com) just to swap out the defective fixture. I took it down and all that was wrong is that the electrician had forgotten to add the pair of wires from the right bulb to the other bulbs! Now it’s working fine.
But it all works now.
We’ve moved upstairs as demo starts below. Our temporary kitchen/DR is working OK. In fact with what’s going on we’re glad to have maintained the option of being able to separate the top floor out and rent it if need be.
(If things are OK this will end up as my office)
PS: The tub really looks foreshortened in these pix due to the use of a wide angle lens.
We’re now moving quickly on our upstairs master bathroom, after having been delayed by failing the first plumbing inspection.
As mentioned before, this is a 16′ x 66′ semi-detached brick house. There are windows all along the detached side. Because of the existence of the windows, it complicates the design of the rooms, since you couldn’t have (for example) a room that ends halfway in the middle of a window. Of course, one could move the windows, but that brings an added layer of expense and work that we didn’t want to face.
After allowing for a master bedroom for us at the front (with walk-in closet), a guest bedroom/office for my wife at the back, and a small office/computer room for me, and lining up the windows accordingly, that left us with a very large space for a master bathroom.
The bathroom will have two entrances; one public, through the hallway, and one private, through our master bedroom via the walk-in closet/dressing room.
Therefore there is more than enough room for a tub, separate stall shower, two vanities, and space for wardrobe or similar piece of furniture.
Any number of people, mostly contractors, have said in varying tones of voice ‘that’s a BIG bathroom’. One of the Mexican subs on the job went so far as to say ‘that’s bigger than my room’. Sorry! But this past weekend one of my wife’s friends came over and really like the luxury of all that space.
There’s not much more to say except to bring you plenty of pix!
As of today the tiling is done, the toilet is working, as is the shower. The glass shower doors are on order, the tub is not yet working because the dealer ordered the wrong faucet configuration, and the same dealer has delayed the vanity tops. Nevertheless we hope to have this all straightened out early next week. This weekend we paint, and next week the electrician will be summoned to install all the fixtures, switches, and outlets.
The tile came from A&K; the floor tile was about $7 psft, the wall tile is the same but about $8 psft, and the glass ‘peopod’ tile $30 psft, less a contractor discount for all. The tile installer liked the peopod so much he decided to use it on all the corners and not just on the top of the wall tile and shower, as was originally planned, so we had to order another box, at $300.
We’ll update this when everything is finished.
Our arrangement with our GC calls for us to obtain and supply all ‘finish’ items, to be installed by the GC. Appliances, tile, lighting fixtures, outlets, cabinets, countertops, moldings, faucets, are all to be purchased by us.
The wife and I really didn’t have much trouble picking things out until we got to the interior doors. Then we ran into difficulty. Of course the architect has just specc’d out standard white hollow core doors, but we had better things in mind. Complicating this was the fact that we had forgotten to budget the doors altogether, so whatever we spent was over and above. And, we needed a lot of doors. Seven interior plus two sets of bi-folds.
Doors offer so many choices. Solid softwood like pine? (Not for us). Solid core with a hardwood veneer? (Our ultimate selection). Solid hardwood? Then the panel style. Arts and crafts? Plain? Paneled? And, most hardwood doors are sold unfinished, so we would have to do the finishing (not a problem).
Our furniture is all Arts and Crafts. And most of the furniture we have in the bedrooms (where the doors would end up) is cherry. At first, we decided to go with a Mission-style door in cherry. But remembering that we did a few too many Arts and Crafts touches in our old apartment, which were all ripped out by the buyer, we decided to stick to the plan for this house, which is to keep it as simple, classic, and as desirable to as many potential buyers as possible, rather than turn it into a Mission museum (pretty hard to do anyway to a South Slope brick house).
We went to look at doors in a few places in Brooklyn. We saw some beautiful doors in the $500-$700 range, which was more than we wanted to pay. We looked on the internet, but in my opinion you need to touch and heft some things and doors are one of those things. We ended up back at Home Depot, where we looked at a custom line of solid-core doors by Jeld-Wen. And it happened that HD was having a 20% off sale on custom doors. And so we placed an order for six-panel cherry veneer doors, plus bi-folds. We paid an extra $10 per door to upgrade the hinges to satin chrome. The doors averaged out to about $350 each, including tax and delivery.
Here’s a photo of the doors after delivery:
Here’s a regular door, installed but unfinished (after the first one, we discovered it was easier to finish the door after the installation, not before.
Here’s a door after finishing (same as embedded image):
Here is a set of bi-folds, before:
Before we got to the point where we could buy good furniture, we made do by obtaining old furniture either from thrift shops or from dumpsters and refinishing it ourselves. So I’ve learned a bit about finishing over the years, and the product that I keep coming back to is Formby’s Tung Oil Finish. It’s a rubbed-on penetrating oil finish, and it’s just about idiot-proof. It’s not a production finish, as it takes up to ten or more coats to achieve its magic (several more than claimed by the mfgr), but all you have to do for each of these coats is to pour it on a cloth and rub it in. At the end, simply sand down with 500 or 600 grit sandpaper and give one last coat. I’ve found that it works better on real hardwood as opposed to a veneered product like these doors, where it can end up slightly ‘patchy’, but that can be remedied (as it was here) by a final application of butchers’ wax, which is then buffed in by hand.
A note on Home Depot’s special order practices: They have deny and obscure down to a science. We were quoted three week delivery, which turned out to be six weeks. They give you, in writing, what is alleged to be a firm delivery date. A week before you call to check, and they assure you it will be in on time (even though the website keeps showing ‘not shipped’). On the promised delivery date, they will assure you it will be coming in on ‘tonight’s truck’. The next day when you call, they express amazement that they didn’t arrive, and say they have to give it to the ‘expediter’, who of course never calls back. I actually got Jeld-Wen to help me and also made two personal trips to HD to complain.
A short note on the blinds: We wanted to keep the sense of light that drew us to the house in the first place, while obtaining the needed privacy. So we went with a plain, white, single-cell honeycomb shade, that at least in these rooms goes both top-down and bottom-up. Bought from blinds.com based on past favorable experiences.
Here’s a set installed. Pretty simple DIY installation that we wouldn’t bother the GC to do.
That’s it for now! Should have a master bathroom entry soon.
Time for some sheetrocking, taping, priming, painting, and flooring.
This is all being done on the second floor. When finished, we plan to move up here and demo the downstairs.
Because it’s a two family house and we didn’t want to change the c of o, we are putting in a minimal kitchen. We’re going to see if we can finish the main kitchen downstairs so we don’t have to use this, but we haven’t discussed this with the GC yet. In any event, should we sell the house to someone who wants to rent out the top floor, or should we suffer a major financial reversal that will cause us to rent out the top floor, the gas and plumbing will be in place.
The room layout is as follows in this, a 16 foot wide house. I should add that we had real problems envisioning the layout upstairs, so we were fortunate enough to be friends with a noted feng shui consultant, (I’ll give him a plug here, www.alexstark.com ), and he came over and helped us lay it out. One of the problems is that, being a 66′ long semi-detached house, there are windows along the side that match up with the original layout, which included a kitchen. We didn’t want to spend massive amounts of money bricking up the windows and starting from scratch, so we had to make the layout match the windows.
In the front of our house, we put our master bedroom. A door leads to a large walk-thru closet/dressing room, which in turn leads to a very large master bath. After the master bath comes a small room, which will be my computer station/office, and, in the back of the house, my wife’s room/guest bedroom which overlooks the yard.
I don’t find ‘rocking and taping to be all that exciting, but there’s a collection of images at
For various reasons, we went with a simple pre-finished white oak flooring. Mainly because we have a cat and a dog, and we were concerned about outgassing. One thing we like about our general contractor is that he is ‘green’ in that he is willing to make things work, and re-use things. So, when we contacted other flooring contractors, first about saving the original parquet, and then about installing new, they all wanted to install a 3/4″ plywood sub-floor over the existing sub-floor before installing the finish floor. Our GC was willing to forgo the new plywood sub-floor and install over existing. Places that needed patching he was willing to remove old and substitute with new plywood. Here’s the MBR before floor installation. Note the patches in place.
In the two rooms we have done (upstairs master bedroom and guest bedroom), we are happy. In some places where there is furniture, it doesn’t sit exactly flat, and that’s OK too. We saved the cost of the new sub-floor, as well as the weight. Here’s a photo of the MBR floor just being started:
Here’s the finished floor in the MBR with just primer, getting ready for paint:
We decided, as a cost-saving measure, to prime and paint ourselves. The ‘title’ image above is that of my petite wife, seemingly overwhelmed by the job at hand. We’ve painted together many times in the past, and we have the routine down. She paints the trim and detail stuff, I do the ceilings, and we share the walls as our schedule permits.
For the walls and ceilings, we did BM Linen White eggshell, one of our favorites through the years, and the trim was BM Bright White semi-gloss. After a coat of BM Fresh Start primer, of course.
Here are some images of the guest bedroom:
This one is with the unfinished bi-fold closet doors deliberately off track to allow for painting:
Here the GBR is done with the doors finished (I’ll be doing a whole segment on doors and shades soon):
GBR facing out (tired of mp3′s, had to bring up at part of the music system sans turntable)
Meanwhile, in order to be able to live on the second floor, we needed to make the walk-in closet happen. I’ve installed several closets using Lowes’ ClosetMaid system. It’s not high-end or crazy, but it works. Here’s the WIC painted with the floor in place:
Of course the closet was adjusted when we actually moved upstairs.
I’m kind of a infrastructure guy, in that I’d rather spend money on the bones than on the decorations. So when we looked at this house there was no question that we wanted a complete new heating and central air system.
When we took possession, the heat was supplied by an old Weil-McLain boiler, making up steam and distributing it through the usual cast iron pipes and radiators. The hot water had been made up by a gas-fired water tank, but at some point it had failed and the previous owners elected to have the boiler make up the water directly rather than replace the tank. We managed to make it through the winter without any major failures, although with limited insulation and an inefficient boiler our heat bill was over $700 per month. Boiler at
The original plan was to do radiant heat. But with new floors, subfloors, and other complications, it seemed the cost was going to get out of control. We ended up going standard baseboard hydronic system with new mod-con boiler and indirect water tank.
I called a company who I know and trust, Pulse Combustion in Hicksville NY (Chuck Milan, 516-997-9681, tell him who sent you). When I was in a PS co-op, they were the only company that was able to straighten out a very messed up boiler system. I know some of the mechanics and they’re top-notch; in fact one was a steamfitter in the WTC for ten years.
Pulse recommended a TurboMax indirect water heater and a Lochinvar Knight mod-con boiler, both state of the art efficient.
We started by pulling out the old non-working water heater and he hooked up a temporary gas water heater so we could have hot water while they installed the permanent equipment (we started the installation in the spring to no heat was needed). See at left
We’re dividing the house into five zones; one for hot water, one for the first floor, one for all of the second floor except the guest bedroom, one for the guest bedroom, and one for the basement at some future time when we have the money to think about finishing it.
In the middle of the job, it looks like this:
The boiler and tank has been working fine for the last couple of months in providing hot water. It’s not yet hooked up to the rads as we are still working on the interiors.
So, for now, here it is (same image as above):
The eagle eyed may note a difference in the PVC venting in those above two photos. Neighbors, neighbors. Although the boiler was legally vented to the side of the (semi-detached) house, my next door neighbor bitterly complained that fumes from the boiler were interfering with his quality of life. Not wanting to start off on the wrong foot, I ended up spending an additional $1500 to run the vent up the chimney. During the process though, may neighbor felt I wasn’t doing it fast enough and called KeySpan to complain about my ‘illegal’ installation. KeySpan gave the installation its blessing, to his chagrin. But it was all taken care of. See
Ah yes, money. About $38,000 including the new vent.
A couple of my other ‘friends’ were going to take care of the central air for me. But they didn’t. So I ended up with the GC’s guy. Don’t know the name of their company, they were a couple of Lithuanian guys. The bid was 17k, which I thought was quite reasonable.
We opted, for efficiency and redundancy, to use two compressors and two air handlers, one each for each floor. Yesterday I posted a photo of some of the ducting on the second floor; here it is again.
The original plan was to put the compressors in the back yard. Then the neighbor factor happened again. He was unhappy about what he thought would be excessive noise, and wanted me to put them on the roof (where his is). After scratching my head, and noting that the compressors would really take up a lot of room in the yard, I bit the bullet. Unfortunately, this one hurt at an additional 5k to install the dunnage (steel beams), and to undo and redo the lines that had already been installed. Here are a couple of shots of the work in progress.
Here I wouldn’t mind hearing from some other brownstoners with similar experience: Did you attach the compressors to the dunnage, or just let them sit there? The contractors insisted to me that it was safe and that they would not blow over in a windstorm. I think otherwise. I ended up handling it myself by using some steel strapping and rubber scraps. See
Anyway, we got the AC up and running in the upstairs almost in time for summer. So life is good.
Last time I posted, to the forum, it was the end of April. Brownstoner has now given us our own renovation blog. For what happened up until the end of April, please see
As of then, the 2nd floor had been demo’d and the walls/partitions were just beginning to go up. I’ve combined all these images into a single gallery. The last image shows the demo finished and the studs going in.
Meanwhile, we tackled some of the exterior doors on the first floor. There was a door to the exterior in the middle of the house, where the downstairs kitchen was. The plan, I suppose, was to bring your horse carriage up to the door and unload directly into the kitchen. In actuality, the ‘horsewalk’/driveway is too narrow for a modern car, and the door was never used. It just took up space. So we decided to brick it up altogether.
The new plans for the first floor call for a greatly expanded kitchen that would feed (moving towards the back of the house) into a formal dining room. The kitchen and DR would be separated only by a counter. In warm weather, we also plan to eat outside in the garden, so we needed to open a doorway in the back door and install a door and its associated stairs. This makes the traffic flow Kitchen > DR > Garden. The existing widow had to be removed and replaced with a door.
Here are two images of the doors being worked on, as well as the final result. We like it.
As promised, I will try and name contractors and prices where I can. The contractor who did this was Basonas Construction, president Mike Brion. Basonas usually does much bigger jobs than this. I worked with him on some serious renovations of the coop where I previously lived, so I’ve seen his work. I wouldn’t let anyone else work on the outside of my house. He charged us $9500 for closing up the one door and installing the second with deck. He can be reached basonas at aol.com, tell him denton sent you.
Back to the second floor, the insulation in the previous incarnation was slim to none. There was no insulation at all behind the perimeter wall facing the driveway. The insulation above the ceiling was of the ancient blown-in (or thrown-in) variety. We insulated the perimeter wall, and the space between roof and ceiling. In the photos below you can see the walls taking shape, the insulation going in, and the ducts for the CAC on the second floor. Photos here.
One of the things that impressed me with the GC (to be named another time) is that he was willing to try and save some of the plaster wall on the attached side of the building, rather than rip it out and rebuild. If you look at the first image (http://www.pbase.com/dentontay/image/100849956 ) you’ll note various iterations of a plaster wall along the right side. This has been made new with the installation of thin gypboard and plaster of paris. The GC really did a great job. Pix later.
Next post I’ll do strictly HVAC. In addition to central air, we’ve installed an efficient modulating condensing boiler with an indirect water heater. Both are partially up and running.