We are in Lambertville, NJ. Our mission, if we choose to accept is to take a really old duplex which was built around 1865, tear down half,
and rebuild it bigger and better that it was. Doing this while having only a driveway access and a very small backyard. The Owners, Dr. &
Mrs. Keith Finkral, purchased the right half of this duplex, and hired us to do the impossible. I'm going to put this job on three pages
because it's massive and I have a ton of pictures.
This is a view of the front of the house before I started anything.
This is a view of the front of the house before I started anything.
To get a true feel for what's been done here, We have to
start from the beginning. The following pictures are taken
from before the construction got started.
You may notice that all the paragraphs on this page
be left aligned. This is mostly due to the fact that Mrs.
Finkral is a retired teacher from South Hunterdon
Regional High School, and she put the pressure on me not
to center the paragraphs. But....she didn't say nothin
about speelling or gramer..
This is a picture from the driveway. You can see the screened in porch that gets knocked down.
This is looking at the rear of the house. Most of this will be knocked down.
From the rear, but further back.
We start the demolition from the beginning of the screened porch.....wait, you'll see!
A close up of the screened in porch.
The foyer, and here is proof that the stairs leaned before we did anything.
This is the old family room with the washer and dryer in the room.
This is the old dining room, That door was to the enclosed porch.
The basement stairs.
This is the crawlspace under the section that is to be knocked down. A full basement will be put in it's place.
Now we start the demolition of the
back section. This had to be done with
extreme caution, because of the fact
that the building is well over 100 years
old and we also had to take into
consideration that the common wall
had two really nice (and
accomodating) people living on the
other side of it. So we started from the
roof, and took the back part of the
house apart piece by piece. It was like
This is what the old kitchen looked like. They were metal cabinets.
This was one of the first walls to go. They used brick as insulation in the good ol days.
This brick was in good shape, but the mortar was really deteriated in some spots.
Jeff is jackhammering out the screened in porch area. The concrete wall was six feet below grade...somewhat unexpected.
We had to be extreemely careful up here, it was in bad shape and it was a long way down.
All this garbage, and more had to be carried off to the street, to the dumpster.
Jackhammering out the fortress.
Where did the roof go??
We had to keep everything covered to protect what was going to stay and also to protect the neighbors behind the common wall.
This is the old bathroom...very outdated!
On every job there are
"Oh My God's" but this
job was an exception. The
"Oh My Gods" started
real early and pretty much
kept going through the
job. One of the first really
big things was finding a
Cistern under the common
wall. It was filled with
stone and capped off.
This Cistern was used to collect water, but now caused a problem. I just noticed a bottle of water on top...ironic ??!
The township made us keep the Cistern and fill it with stone and cap it off with concrete.
The entire back of the house is now gone.But the remaining needs to be protected, which was a daily routine.
The only place to keep the dumpsters was in the street, there was no room to get them into the driveway.
The only thing left standing now is the old kitchen area....soon to be gone also !!
There was tons of brick that came out of this house. They had to be taken down, one by one.
A big chunk of the back wall fell and went through the floor below, thankfully no one was hurt!!
Now that the demo is finished and only took two weeks
to take it apart by hand, we are ready for the excavator.
But before I go on, let me explain in more detail about
the Cistern. No one knew it was there, not the owners,
the architect, or the neighbors. It was in the crawl space,
and behind a wall, so it was completely hidden and a
surprise to all. We took a measurement...it was about
twelve feet deep and about fifteen feet wide. It sat
directly under the common wall, so half was on our side
and the other half was on the neighbors side. The
township wouldn't let us take it out, so we had to make
some structural changes to accomodate the structure.
Now we begin to dig out for the basement......
The little machine is finished and we have some hand digging to do. A good shot of the cistern exposed.
The guy on this machine from Munds Excating was an expert and thankfully so.
The hole for the basement is almost finished now.
The trackhoe can do no more or else it wouldn't get out. A smaller machine had to be brought in to finish up.
The area is marked out for the excavator to start digging.
A good shot of the cramped situation. But it got done !!!!
This monster was a real surprise to see squeeze in between the two houses.
Another view of the tight quarters. These guys are experts !!!!
All of the dirt had to be removed, because there was absolutely no room to store it. What a tight fit !!!