Complete Renovation


Circa 1975
Circa 1975
After Renovation
Built in the 1950's as a summer home, this house featured a dark kitchen, small dining room and living room and two bedrooms with a full basement including a one car garage. In the '70's new owners finished the basement to include a small in-law apartment. The wall between the dining room and the living room was removed. The small porch off the kitchen was made into a large deck, and insulation was blown into the walls to create a year-round home. In the early 90's the deck was removed because it was rotting. In 2001, the owners decided to put an addition on the front of the house to expand and upgrade the kitchen, and to replace the deck. They wanted more light and space in the living/dining room. Since the kitchen addition required removing part of the roof, they decided to fulfill a secondary dream and raise the entire roof turning the low attic into a full upstairs with two bedrooms and a bath. The two existing bedrooms and the basement would remain unchanged.

Back of the house
Circa 1975 (Back of House)
Back Side (South)
After Renovation (Back of House)
Initial inspection uncovered termite damage in the back requiring replacement of the sill. Termite damage extended to the frame of the large basement window. Since there was some water damage to second floor large window from a former leaky roof, the homeowners decided to replace that. Ultimately they decided on new windows all around on the main floor, including double windows where there had been single windows in both the dining room (over the garage) and the back (master) bedroom, to increase light inside. This additional work was in part cosmetic, but the windows were old and, as the homeowners said, "we'll spend less by doing it now, while you're here anyway."

West Side
After Renovation (West Side)
East Side
After Renovation (East Side)
We carried the new kitchen roof line all the way across the west side over the deck to provide a six foot space on the deck that is always shaded and protected from rain. The homeowners wanted the ramp, rather than stairs, from the deck to the front yard: easy access for large furniture, and trash removal via wheelbarrow. Much to the homeowners surprise, the house is visually interesting from all four sides.
The new shingles all around was an additional bit of work. The new windows and the added second floor meant that there would be shingling around the entire house. The old shingles were as old as the house, and although in reasonable shape for a few more years, it made sense to do the whole thing at once. Additionally, this allowed us to remove the painted trim, replacing it with shingles on the corners and with red cedar at the eaves. No more trim painting. Maintenance costs will be lower.


The Process

Kitchen Foundation In December, 2001, the foundation was built. We capped it, including a blue plastic tarp, for the winter. We did not want to remove the roof during the winter.

In the spring we put up the walls and roof of the kitchen before removing the roof from the main part of the house. Kitchen walls and roofline
While Marty and John framed in the kitchen, Dennis worked on the deck.

Once the kitchen addition was framed we began work on the upstairs expansion. We removed the roof and built floor, walls, and new roof in three stages so that the amount of area with no roof was managable with tarps overnight. We were lucky with the weather. There were only two rainy periods during the three week period when there was only partial roof coverage. New roof in stages

Back of the house looks huge Once we began putting up the walls, the back side of the house began looking enormously tall. Architects plans called for leaving the original roofline to break up the space. In consultation with the homeowners, we removed the old roofline entirely, using a diamond pattern in the shingles to create a visual break. This removed a long expanse of expense in terms of flashing, and provided a cleaner simpler line in keeping with the rest of the house.

Raising the roof required extending the length of the chimney. Much of this work occurred during the hottest part of July, which is why the masons put up the blue tarp for a little relief from the sun. Re-building the Chimney

Rafters The gables on each side and the dormer in the middle provided some tricky angles and juxtapositions when tying the rafters together. We kept the third window in the dormer open, using it to bring materials upstairs by ladder, until it was time to put the shingles on.

Dennis cuts the skylight opening in the kitchen while Tom finishes the plywood roofing around the dormer. Completing the roof, making it tight against rain and weather, was the first priority. skylight and dormer roofing

Wall demolition While Dennis and Tom shingle the roof and put the siding up, Marty removes the wall between the old dining room and kitchen. The dining room will now extend into the old kitchen while the kitchen moves out into the newly built section. Now that the exterior is solid, the new kitchen becomes the highest priority.

Once the roof was on and the kitchen opened up, plumbers and electricians "decended en masse" to get in all the wiring and the water and heating pipes while things were still wide open. They began work in the kitchen area, then moved upstairs to the new bedrooms and bathroom. Wiring and Plumbing

Putting up Wallboard While plumbers and electricians worked upstairs, insulation and wallboard were installed in the kitchen/dining room areas.

Richard "mudded" the walls. Where it was hard to reach
he used stilts, which fascinated the owners.

bringing in the wallboard for the second floor addition We left one double window un-shingled so that the wallboard could be hoisted into the second floor through the window. Here we are opening up the window as the truck is hoisting the wallboard up to us.

Upstairs begins to take shape. The hallway has storage cubbies along the outside wall. The owners envision the grandchildren playing in these small spaces when they're on the Cape, and storing things like car seats and booster chairs, maybe life jackets and snorkeling equipment, the children don't need to have in California when they go home. upstairs hall

kitchen cabinets Back downstairs again, once the primer coat of paint was on the walls, the kitchen cabinets were unpacked and installed.

Windows were framed, sanded, stained and polyurethaned. The owners wanted to keep the natural wood color, so the stain used was very light, to keep the pine wood from yellowing, keeping it in harmony with the light natural maple cabinets and butcherblock counters. John sanding window frame

Floor Tile The owners chose tile for the floor because it transfers heat best from the radient heat used for the kitchen. They brought back several tile samples and laid them out on the floor with a sample of the maple of the cabinets and granite for the counter under the sink. We were all asked for our opinions on the best match. Much to the owners' surprise, the least expensive tile won the contest.

While the interior of the house was taking shape, landscaping
was going on outside. The first job was to create rip rap
on the steep hillside on the west side of the house between
the edge of the deck and the front lawn.
rip rap

Installing railing on the deck Once the hillside had been stabilized Marty and Brian were able to install the ramp connecting the deck with the front of the house, and put up the deck railings.

Stove and counter Sink, counter, fridge, door to pantry

Cathedral ceiling and skylights "The finished kitchen is a joy to cook in and simply to be in," says the owner. "Almost every woman who walks into it, and some men as well say they simply want to stay right there. Somehow it feels both cozy-comfortable and airy-spacious at the same time." The warm color of the walls and cabinets give the kitchen its cozy feeling, the high ceilings, windows on two sides, and skylights give it the light airy spaciousness.
The butcherblock counter to the left of the stove had been in the house where the owner grew up. She sanded it down and refinished it, per our instructions. The rest of the counters, including the granite under the picture window, was purchased new. The pantry, visible through the doorway in the right hand photo, is also the laundry room.
This kitchen was a true collaboration. The owners knew basically what they wanted -- we knew how to make it happen.

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Employee Owned & Operated

We educate, advocate and include sustainable energy features where possible with all of our renovation,
new building and restoration projects. We are facilitators of sustainable and energy saving building & renovation practices since the early 1980's.

EPA Certified Firm

We are facilitators of
Passive House Design Principals


Contractor Supervisor License #016018
Home Improvement Contractor #100011
City of Boston Building License #B20374
Commonwealth of Mass Lead Safe License #L-W000052
EPA Certified #NAT 21989-0

Cape Painting and Carpentry, Inc.
24 Bay Road - P.O. Box 39
North Falmouth, MA 02556-0039

Tel. 508-563-9393