Wow! Basement to Barn In Sixty Days

Wow! Basement to Barn In Sixty Days

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Maxwell Ryan
Aug 19, 2016
View from the front, from what will be the driveway. Front door under the overhang and side door to the kitchen through the porch on the left side of the house.
(Image credit: Eric Striffler)

Welcome to The Stacked Barn project where I lead you through a year-long odyssey that I've never been on before: the building of a new house. I'm going to show you how my new home gets built - step by step. This is Chapter Four.

Today I'm going to run you through a couple of months, June and July, where a lot happened really quickly and it got exciting fast. After the old house was torn down, the basement subcontractor came in and A. dug a huge hole which had to be about 25% bigger than the actual basement in order to get all around it (you'll see in the pics) and then B. poured the footing and then the basement walls. These then had to "set" for nearly two weeks before he came back to backfill in around the walls and the framing could start.

Standing at a vantage point that I've never had before, I snapped this pic looking back down at the foundation hole, not yet complete. As you can see, the soil out on Long Island is nearly ALL sand, with a tiny bit of top soil.
(Image credit: Maxwell Ryan)
This is the view from the end of the yard. You can't see past the piles of sand and dirt (they nicely separated the sand from the topsoil). Some of this will go back around the foundation, the rest we decided to use to regrade the yard. My daughter, Ursula, still has her trampoline, which keeps getting pushed around the yard.
(Image credit: Maxwell Ryan)
(Image credit: Maxwell Ryan)

Foundation Molds Arrive and Quickly It Is Poured

June, 2016

All of the pieces to building a house are handled by various sub-contractors who specialize in their area. Peter Germano, our amazing contractor, says of himself that he's just an orchestrator of all these crews and aims to keep them flowing through the house without interruption. Indeed, it's all about scheduling so you don't lose any time.
(Image credit: Eric Striffler)
I was blown away by the foundation. It was such a "statement" piece and, never having had a cellar in the old house, I couldn't believe how much room was now going to be available for storage and washing machine, etc... In addition, the workmanship of the foundation was immediately noticeable and I was excited by how well built and "tight" the new house would be. The old one leaked like a sieve.
(Image credit: Maxwell Ryan)
This is a view from the front that shows the last minute change for the cellar door. Originally we had a "hatch-like" Bilco door on the side of the house, and when we had to move it, we realized we could nicely tuck a staircase down against the front, which would make entering far easier. This was a good example of having to change something on the fly and it ending up being better than the original plan.
(Image credit: Maxwell Ryan)

Framing Begins

July, 2016

After the foundation "set" it was filled back in and framing started immediately.
(Image credit: Eric Striffler)
The framing crew, the second set of sub-contractors to hit the house, worked swiftly from the plans and the whole thing was framed out in about two weeks.
(Image credit: Eric Striffler)
Here you are looking across the first floor from the kitchen. In the background are the two guest rooms. The hole in the floor will be the staircase down to the basement.
(Image credit: Eric Striffler)
The second floor begins... This is the big, upper "stacked barn" volume, which is nearly identical to the bottom barn, but with a more peaked roof.
(Image credit: Eric Striffler)
The overhang from the second floor is SERIOUS and I was a bit shocked when I saw it the first time. I'm getting used to it, but it's going to be the most defining element of this house.
(Image credit: Eric Striffler)

The Second Floor Goes Up

July, 2016

A view from the front. Driveway will be on the left... Front door directly under the overhang.
(Image credit: Eric Striffler)

These pics are from only a few weeks ago. As you can see, the framing is done and plywood has been laid on the roofs for the shingling team to come next. The shape of the house is now clear.

This is, apparently, the fastest part of the house build, and from now on you won't see as dramatic of a change, but I will, next, take you inside, show you the basement (dreamy) where they're pouring a slab this week and give you a tour of the rooms as they are forming.

It became super important to me to "walk" the house often through these weeks and get a feel for the rooms. We caught many small things that we changed, which we couldn't see on paper, such as lowering the windows on the ground floor, and which made a big difference.

It is easy to change many things if you catch them early and you just can't design a house 100% on paper. You really have to get into it, spend time in the rooms and see how it all feels as it comes together.

Final view of the rear of the house, showing the second floor head on. It does look a bit scary at this point, but as it is all knit together and the back porch put on, I believe it's going to come together beautifully.
(Image credit: Eric Striffler)

Next: The View From Above

August, 2016

(Image credit: Maxwell Ryan)

Resources:

Architect: John Berg, Berg Design Architecture
Contractor: Peter Germano

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