Matt on his favorite job site - the start of the BRBF

The work done in the below post reflects a lot of work of a very good friend of ours that recently passed away. I would like to dedicate this post to Matt London.  Thank you for the years of friendship and the hard work on our project.  You will be missed.  

Mathew London  1990 - 2014

I am going to start to merge many projects into one post since we ended up going so deep in this renovation.  (and it is sold already and I need to catch up!)  Today lets talk about what we did in the back of the house.  The shingles had to either come off or be repainted.  We changed both sliders, the kitchen window and the downstairs bath window.  We also had to determine what to do with the upper deck, all the rails and the stairs off the back.  

The upper deck was a bit of a mystery.  The deck was a huge 22x10 feet and at first glance we thought we could salvage it.  After digging into it we realized that it was half rotten and it just had to come down.  

The surface was asphalt shingles and was soaked with water and rot.  I used a skill saw and Sawzall to cut the roof into large chunks and drop them onto the bottom deck one piece at a time. We cut them into 3’ x 3’ squares that ended up weighing about 100+lbs a piece.  It was challenging to get them down without damaging the deck below.

The downstairs door came out and we framed it to hold a single French door.  This is going to allow us to add much needed cabinets on the outside wall of the kitchen.  Even though you are losing four feet of glass you are gaining a TON of light with a smaller deck up top.  We also painted the deck lighter in the end to help reflect the light into the kitchen.  Well worth the change to update the layout of the kitchen.  

The sink got a new Anderson Casement window along with the downstairs bath.  On the door we ended up going with a Therma-Tru 8 light exterior french door.  

New Anderson window in the bathroom

New casement window over the sink

Slider out and framing for the single french door is done

French is installed

When we started to look at the top deck.  We wanted to avoid having posts, again to help increase sight lines to the marsh as well as make everything feel more open.  On the recommendation of my good friend Mike from MJ London Construction we decided to cantilever the framing by sistering them against the beams of the second floor.  

Code calls for a 2/3 cantilever.  Since we wanted a full four feet of beam outside the house we used 12’ Pressure Treated 2x8’s.  

We flashed each beam first sealing it from water going back into the house.  We then ran lead well beyond the flashing on the beams.  My dad always told me to, “think like a raid drop,” when flashing anything.  If you imagine a rain drop falling along the house you want to make sure any possibility of it getting into the house is avoided.  Everything overlaps from the top and if you have any hesitation step back and think a third time.  Fixing leaks sucks...

We decided to use a JELD-WEN

Builders Vinyl

sliding door, which I would 

never recommend

 using again.  It is made of all vinyl which is great since it will last forever with no maintenance.  But it also means every time you move it during installation one of the jams goes out of level.  This was the most challenging door I have ever installed. It fought us for 4 hours but once it  was in it worked and looked great (and the price was right) BUT DO NOT BUY THIS DOOR!

Matt enjoying a well deserved PBR at the end of a long struggle with that door.

The upstairs slider is finally in.  The combination of the french door, new casement window and new slider look fantastic!

Over the next week we hired a subcontractor to shingle the entire back of the house.  While at it I had him replace all the window trim on the house and completely redo the dormers in the front.  We also started to work on the rails.  We started by installing a really inexpensive but great looking

PVC post sleeve

.  Much cheaper than the full composite sleeves.  We found them at Home Depot in the railing section.  

The other thing we did was remove the second set of stairs on the back of the deck.  There really was not a need for them with the small set to the driveway.  Nothing 20 min and a Sawzall couldn't fix. A quick patch of lattice work to repair the hole under the deck, 2 yards of loam to fill in the old pond and BOOM.  Less to paint, less railings to install and a much larger yard.  



The result is a completely changed look and feel of the house.  Trying to patch the shingles would have been a nightmare and at the end of the day we saved money by just tearing it all off.  Subbing it out was also one of the best moves I made.  I left on a Sunday and came back on Saturday with the entire thing done.  Now I am ready to finish the rails and the back is complete.

One last post on the rails and front of the house and we are finally on our way inside.  Stay tuned for kicking walls, peeling wall paper and getting filthy...

Lets get inside already!

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