Renovation step two- AST removal and reincarnation

Renovation Step Two:

What to do while waiting for the roofing materials to be delivered?

Step one: Remove the oil tank

Here is our oil tank. Not only did Will have to begin the extrication, he had to drain more than 50 gallons of oil from it before he could take it apart
Here is our oil tank. Not only did Will have to begin the extrication, he had to drain more than 50 gallons of oil from it before he could take it apart

Jason’s crew should have moved right into shingling the roof once the sheathing was on – but out of the blue I decided to listen to my first instincts and not use asphalt shingles. Unfortunately, all my best purist restoration intentions had to be set aside when it came to the roof. Reverting back to the original cedar shakes used when it was built in 1928 was far too expensive- high cost of materials and high labor cost as well. In an impulsive mid stream switch (and really…. it was Will’s first choice which I vehemently resisted) we decided to go for a clean and modern look by installing a metal roof which naturally turned out to be more costly in material than the cedar, but far less to install. Suddenly the expense didn’t seem to matter when we considered the roof life span, the potential discoloration from sunlight and weather, and maintenance. Jason checked on the availability of the metal roof and it turned out we had a ten-day waiting period before the roof materials could be delivered.

Will had worked hard in the basement removing the furnace and a lot of the old disintegrating pipes for water, sewer and so forth. We had no idea how much oil had been left in the tank and assumed that it was not much at all, considering the cottage had been condemned and uninhabited for years. Will rigged a hose from the tank to drain into a 50-gallon plastic drum and much to his surprise, managed to fill it in no time. This meant two things- we had no way to continue to drain what remained in the tank- its was clearly too much for us to dispose of, and therefore Will would not be able to cut the oil tank into sections to remove from the basement.

first attempts at removing oil from the tank in the basement
first attempts at removing oil from the tank in the basement
Will draining oil
Will draining oil

Of course there was also the fact that this should all be done according to the Massachusetts EPA rules. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets down regulations–based on laws passed by Congress—that guard the health and well being of U.S. citizens. Federal and state governments make oil tank removal laws for underground storage tanks (USTs), while the states make most of the laws for above-ground storage tanks (ASTs). Each state has its own environmental agency(s) and, under the guidance of the EPA, regulates the environmental impact of petroleum storage containers.

We hired Miller’s Petroleum http://www.millerspetroleum.com/ to have the oil tank removed.

Miller's to the rescue
Miller’s to the rescue

 

They arrived bright an early on a frigid cold morning  to do the removal. On the average an AST (above ground storage tank) takes about four hours. The standard basement tank holds about 275 gallons. Miller’s Petroleum pumped out the remaining oil and transferred to a holding tank in their truck. The lines were purged and removed, and the pipes cut and removed. The tank was then cut into pieces, cleaned and then removed in sections. Everything is then sealed and inspected by the fire department before the tank can be disposed of at a licensed steel recycling facility.

 

OIl tank removal team at the crack of dawn, dressed for subzero temperatures and ready to go
OIl tank removal team at the crack of dawn, dressed for subzero temperatures and ready to go

 

Oil tank removal team opens lead access to oil tank to begin the draining process
Oil tank removal team opens lead access to oil tank to begin the draining process

 

The hose attached, draining oil from tank into truck
The hose attached, draining oil from tank into truck
Frigid morning in the Berkshires, draining 15 year old oil from a tank... You have to love this guy's smile....it doesn't get much better than this!
Frigid morning in the Berkshires, draining 15 year old oil from a tank… You have to love this guy’s smile….it doesn’t get much better than this!

I wonder if our oil tank will be reincarnated?  I read somewhere they come back as trucks…

Step two: In the interim Jason’s crew began framing for the new windows and doors.

 

We decided to vault the ceilings in the cottage and add a small round window under the roof peak
We decided to vault the ceilings in the cottage and add a small round window under the roof peak
Looking outside from the inside through the newly framed openings for the french doors and windows- you know it isn't serious until you have a porta potty in your direct line of vision
Looking outside from the inside through the newly framed openings for the french doors and windows- you know it isn’t serious until you have a porta potty in your direct line of vision
We added four skylights to the roof on the south side- the first two getting framed in
We added four skylights to the roof on the south side- the first two getting framed in

IMG_1482So imagine if you can ..opening the  the front door and  seeing right through the cottage into the most amazing yard

aka “the money shot”

 

 

 

Renovation step one- new roof

Arthur Schwartz observing roof installation
Arthur Schwartz observing roof installation

Only eight months had passed since we had signed the purchase and sale agreement for the red house and white cottage. However, it seemed like it had taken forever to arrive at the point where we could advance from deconstruction and demolition of the cottage to renovation and rebuilding.

I think the interruptions and delays thrown in our path; unanticipated asbestos abatement, surprising discovery of the extent of fire damage and decay, major reduction in the re-buildable square footage, and another set of plans, disrupted our honeymoon, making it feel like a long drawn out lapse in time before the renovation could get underway.

However, no sooner had we received clearance from the asbestos abatement and Arthur Schwartz had completed his plans and drawings for the white cottage then Jason’s team was able to move in and the renovation began at a full throttle pace- and full throttle it was, marked with the arrival of our first dumpster, and frigid temperatures. ( Remember last February?)

The first of many dumpsters arrived
The first of many dumpsters arrived

 

 

Tool Box: check, power tools, power cords: check, architects drawings: check, gloves: check
Tool Box: check, power tools, power cords: check, architects drawings: check, gloves: check

 

Jason set up shop
Jason set up shop

 

The first part of the house to be addressed was the roof, and within one day, yes- one day, Jason and his team had not only removed the existing original layer of cedar shingles which had been covered by at least another layer or two of asbestos shingles, but had reframed the entire roof and covered it with sheathing.

 

Original roof rafters - scorched and charred in the barn fire
Original roof rafters – scorched and charred in the barn fire

 

Josh
Josh

 Moving beyond a little paint and wallpaper….Things I learned along the way about a new roof…

Rafters: the most important step in the process is measuring the rafters correctly and calculating the size that will be necessary for the cottage roof. You need to calculate:

  • Run of each rafter (in feet). This measurement refers to the total length of each segment of the rafter. Basically, each truss will be made of two rafters, making the width of the house the length of the run, times two.
  • Rise (in feet). The rise refers to the height of each truss, measured from the bottom of the roof segments to the top-most point or peak of the roof. Think of this as the total height of the roof itself.
  • Pitch (in inches). The pitch of the roof refers to the amount the roof slopes for every 12 inches it extends horizontally, and it usually given as a fraction. A pitch of 7/12, for example, would mean that the roof rises 7 inches every foot that it extends.
  • Length of each rafter segment (in feet). After determining the previous measurements, you’ll need to calculate the length of each individual segment of the trusses–the lumber for the run, for the diagonal, and for the sloping sections of each truss.

 

 the white cottage- ladders, scaffolding and...snow
the white cottage- ladders, scaffolding and…snow

 

Next comes the installation of the sub-fascia. Sub-fascia boards are used to connect the wall to the end of each rafter. While not strictly necessary, they can be used for extra support as well as aesthetic purposed.

  • A level line is drawn to the bottom of the first rafter tail, adjusting so the tail hits the end of the overhang. A mark is put there, the same measurement made on the last rafter tail, and a straight line is drawn connecting the two points, marking the bottom of all the rafter tails. The sub-fascia plywood is then cut and nailed to the rafters, extending as is necessary at the ends to make up for the overhang.
White cottage- roof framed in
White cottage- roof framed in

 

After all the rafters are braced and installed, a layer of roof sheathing is installed– It is basically just plywood, over which the weather stripping and shingles will be installed–nailing it to the outside of the rafters accordingly. Depending on the shape of the roof, the amount and the shape of the sheathing will vary. The sheathing is started along the bottom of the trusses, the first pieces are set on either end, then to another side so the seams will be staggered and the roof will be strong.

Jason's crew adding sheathing on the north side of the roof
Jason’s crew adding sheathing on the north side of the roof

 

Sheathing nearing completion
Sheathing nearing completion

 

Voila…..