Alteration In Princeton
Here we are in Princeton, NJ again. On this, our current job, we were hired as the General Contractor to take a tired
looking home with numerous problems, and transform it (hopefully) into the dream house the owners,( Mike and Kathy
Havardansky) have always wanted. I'll start out by putting a picture of the house before we started and as usual will
picture guide you through the progress. Please be patient there are lots of pictures.
This is the before picture.
We are going to Install all new exterior
doors. The front door will be enlarged with a
sidelight. The porch will be torn down and a
wrap around porch will be installed. The
stucco will be ripped off and "Hardy Board"
siding will be installed. The roof will be
striped down to plywood and a new roof will
be installed. Cultured stone will be installed
under the bay window, on the support piers
for the porch, and on the new chimney
stack for the new gas fireplace. And much
much more...............
The sheathing used when this house was built, was a pressed board type and was breaking apart where it had gotten moisture,
With the bottom half re-sheathed, we find that some of the insulation had to be replaced.
On the pictures on the top right
and left, we needed to take off the
brickface stucco and the stucco on
the top, so we could prepare for the
new porch. Under the stucco was
old shingles, and under the
shingles was a compressed board
that was used extensivly in the late
60's and 70's. There were parts of
this material that had gotten
moisture and was falling apart. It
was decided to tear off all of this
material and sheath the house with
1/2" plywood. But once we started
to take off the old sheathing we
found that at one time the house
was infested with mice, which had
tunneled through the insulation.
Some of the insulation was
completely gone in sections. So, we
replaced all the bad insulation also.
This kind of put a kink in my
The machine was there to remove
the old concrete porch slab, and dig
footings for the porch piers and the
base for the bay window, which is
to get cultured stone.
The rest of the house is wrapped with
The main house is wrapped.
The new chimney stack is ready for the cultured stone.
The sheathing is now almost completely finished(just the garage needs to be done) and the house is wrapped in
"TYVEK". We are ready to start the cultured stone work on the chimney stack. The new gas fireplace will be installed
this week also. Did I mention that for three weeks the heat index was about 110 degrees?
The cultured stone is now being put on..
The footings for the piers are ready for concrete.
The gas line had to be extended to the new fireplace.
The holes for the
porch piers are dug,
the gas line is
extended from the
main basement
through the front
yard and into the
garage for the new
gas fireplace. The
cultured stone is now
ready to be jointed.
The garage is now
re-sheathed and
The block work is done for the bay window and piers for the porch.
The block work is done for the bay window and piers for the porch.
The Chimney is now complete and ready for the new fireplace to be installed.The cultured stone on the bay window and
piers for the porch will be next. We altered the plans a little, because as the job progresses you can see how some changes
will enhance the total project. One of the big changes was the detail under the bay window, the plans called for  partial
stone on the bottom and
AZEK frame on top. I convinced the owners to go all the way up with the stone, and well look
at the pictures and tell me if I was wrong.
Click Here To E-Mail Dominick For An Estimate
The cultured stone is now finished on the chimney stack, but we have to do something with that ugly flashing on top.
That's me laying the stone on the bay window.
The stone work is finished, now we are installing the joints.
The stone work is finished, now we are installing the joints.
The stone work is now complete.
Another view of the bay window.
The old roof was ripped off and the new one is being installed.
The old roof was ripped off and the new one is being installed.
The second floor is being braced for the new front door.
The new front door with sidelight is now in.
The new front door is now installed.
The new front door is now installed.
The new front door is now installed.
We used the old porch roof as scaffold to take off the stucco on the upper part of the house.
After one day the stucco is half off and the porch roof is down.
After one day the stucco is half off and the porch roof is down.
Before we got the permits for this
job(which was a job in itself) We
removed the old back door and
installed a "Therma Tru" door with
built in blinds.

In these pictures on the right and
left, you can see the process of
taking off the stucco. We used the
old fashioned muscle method. This
created alot of debris, which had to
be carried off in a dumpster just for
the masonry. The old,
cracked,concrete walkway was also
taken out and disposed of.
Here you can see the heat duct in the porch roof.
In this picture the heat duct was removed and the overhang is insulated.
We have started to frame out for the new chimney.
The framing for the fireplace is finished and the new garage entry door is installed.
In the pictures above, we found that the original builder ran the heat duct for the master bath through the ceiling of the
porch. The second story overhang had little if any insulation, which exposed the upstairs to the elements. We removed
the duct and tied into another duct from the attic, and insulated the overhang. It was finished off with 1/2" plywood.
The chimney stack for the new fireplace has been started, and the new "Stanley" fire door is installed in the garage.
The shingles stand ready to be installed.
The cultured stone if finished
under the bay window. The
original plan was to stop the
stone about two feet under the
bottom of the window and
frame it out with the AZEK.
The roofers have started the new
roof. The original roof had two
really old layers on and had to
be ripped off. Fortunately for
the owners only about ten sheets
of plywood had to be replaced.
The fireplace is now installed
and we took down a wall to wall
mirror in the living room and
had to re-sheetrock the wall. We
also installed crown moulding in
the entire room.
The fireplace is in and the gas is on!
The fireplace is in and the gas is on!
The new roof is now complete.
The Hardy Board siding has been started.
In these pictures, you can see
the different phases of the roof
The fireplace was installed, but
caused me a small problem.
Being a Zero Clearance
fireplace, with a metal vent and
chimney stack, the very top had
to be flashed(look at it on the
picture above right). Well it
didn't look good to have
flashing bent over the top, on
the stone. In the next couple of
weeks I needed to come up with
a solution.....and I did.
The new wrap around porch is
now being framed. We need this
porch done so we can start the
"Hardy Board" siding.
The old siding is being removed.
The framing for the porch is started.
The Hardy Board siding is finished on the left side of the house.
For those of you who don't know, "Hardy Board" is a fiber cement product with a fifty year warranty, and carries a
fifteen year paint warranty. click here to check out the
James Hardy site. I personally, am very impressed with this
product. You look at it and swear that it's wood. All of the corners and windows are trimmed with a pvc product called
AZEK, click on the word to check out their web site.
In the interest of saving space, I'm
going to put more pictures in each
section, because..... there are a ton
of them.
In some of these pictures, notice
the shed in the rear of the house. It
was about a foot away from the
corner and created a bad moisture
and mold situation. You will see
later that I insisted that it be moved.
The siding on the lower part of the house is now finished.
The porch is now framed.
The siding is being done on the upper half of the house.
This is a nice picture of the progress.
The siding on the rear of the house is just about finished.
The siding on the front and side looks nice.
Almost done with the siding.
All the stone work is now complete.
This is a nice view from the end of the driveway.
The stone piers are finished and ready to be backfilled.
The stone piers are finished and ready to be backfilled.
A nice close up picture of the stone work. Isn't it really nice?!
The coloumns are being installed.
Another view from the driveway.
As you can see, the roof is done, the siding is now finished, the porch is roofed, and the stone work is complete. The
wood coloumns were a bit of a problem though. By working closely with the homeowners, Mike and Kathy, we went
through four different kinds of coloumns untill they were satisfied. I'm very happy with the final decision.
In the pictures below, you can see that we have come to a solution on the top of the chimney. The stone work on the bow
window in the rear of the house is finished. The owners love the stone so much that they requested that we put stone on
the other metal chimney stack which is also pictured below. The color for the concrete pad under the porch is on order
and will take two weeks to come in. The brick pavers for the front walk are also ordered. The porch is now complete, and
the gutters are going on the house. The challange for the gutters was that the owners didn't want to run the downspouts
in front of their beautiful stone piers, so the solution was to try to pitch the front all the way to the was really
a challange! The shed is moved with a bobcat with forks attached, and chains, and rope, and time, and care.....
I had to build the backing for the stone with brick.
The stone is finished under the bow window.
The shed is now moved away from the house. Now the house can breathe again.
All of the posts are now installed.
Full view of the almost finished product.
The gutters are now being installed.
The gutters are now finished.
A nice view of the back of the house.
Finally, that darn shed is moved away from the house.
We found a nice spot in the back yard for it.
By putting stone on this chimney, it gives the house balance.
Now we go back to the inside of the house.
The surround for the fireplace has arrived and is being installed. It is a man made stone product. You can visit their
website here. Unlike natural stone, it is not only half the weight, but it looks incredibly real. I'll
give you a dollar if you can tell the difference between the two. We also installed a ventless fireplace, with an oak
surround in the master bedroom. They had what looked like a "Pocono's" 1960 wood burning fireplace surrounded by
fake brick...nice. We also installed a shelf to match the surround.
The grading, seed and hay is now finished(the grass started to grow in three days!!!) and the exterior lights were installed
on custom made pieces of "AZEK". Oh wait...did I forget Sheldon?... I can't go on without mentioning Sheldon.
Sheldon is the Havardansky's old Bassett Hound. He often escapes and comes outside to inspect the progress. I swear he
really is checking things out. He is currently going through chemo and still gets around really good. Lets all take a
second now and give a little prayer for Sheldon's continued success.
Shedon often escapes, and we chase... good thing he has short legs.
This man made surround is glued to the wall, then chaulked.
Nice detail work on this surround.
Don't on all the
pictures to enlarge, and if you hold
the curser on the picture to the left
you can see before and after !!
The fireplace doors are installed and the fire is roaring.
This is a ventless fireplace that we installed in the master bedroom.
We built a custom shelf above to match the fireplace.
The t.v. sits real nice on this custom oak shelf.
The exterior lights are installed with a custom piece of AZEK.
The rear lights also have custom AZEK backings.
The miracle grass was planted on a Friday and this picture was taken on Monday morning!
Email me here
The front door, moulding, and sheetrock are all finished.
We replaced all the interior doors, hardware, and trim.
In the pictures below, we replaced all the interior doors. On most of the doors the frame was in good shape, so we
replaced the door slab, the hinges and hardware. We also installed a pocket door for the master bedroom. The bathroom
was small and the old door swung into the room, creating a "skinny person only" entrance. We had to knock down part
of the wall and reframe it to accomidate the pocket door.
The pocket door is in, the sheetrock is finished and the trim is on the door.
From inside the bathroom, with the door closed.
The finished door from inside the master bedroom.
The inside of the house is now finished. We go back outside to pour the front slab for the porch. The owners picked a
colored concrete...Sombrero Buff....
The final phase of this job is to install a brick paver walkway. By now you should know the Havardansky's, They don't
just want a walkway, but the kind that lights up. So we installed paver lights right into the border. I think it looks
I hope you enjoyed this page. It was really a great job to turn an ugly home(no offense Mike & Kathy) into a beautiful
masterpiece. I am truly proud to have been a part of this project. See You On The Next Job!....
The slab is a colored concrete. The color will lighten after a few days.
A nice angle of the concrete slab.
The pavers are started. The wire for the light ran for over two hundred feet in the transformer.
It's pretty cool how the pattern turns into an angle pattern at the intersection.
The walkway is now finished and all the lights are working(after three transformers).
I'm not floating....I stood on top of the dumpster to take this one. Cool angle...huh?
Ahh the finished product.... what a great feeling!
Looks good from every angle...Doesn't it?
Sad to be finished, we really got attached to this family, I will miss them!!!
Back to Addition In Dunellen
This page is exceptionally large with a lot of
pictures. It may take a while for the page to
completely load, but I guarantee it'll be
worth the wait.
This is really an amazing transformation!!!
We replaced the rear entry door with a
This is the inside view of the door.
It's cool that the blinds are built in.
We now have to take off this brickface stucco.
We now have to take off this brickface stucco.
We now have to take off this brickface stucco.
d & j Construction
Here is a beautiful letter we received
from the Homeowners!
Click on it to see the larger version!