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67 Kuhlthau - Milltown

Written by Peter Manis on June 5, 2015

We acquired another property earlier in the year. This property is located at 67 Kuhlthau Ave, Milltown, NJ 08850.

It was previously damaged by a fire.

Below are pictures of the property and a Survey showing the lot and existing house foot print.

existing house front
existing house right side

Front and right side of house.

existing house rear
original survey

Rear of the house and Survey showing existing structure on the lot.

There are infinitely many things we can do to improve this property, such as renovate the existing house, demolish the house and build a new house in its place, etc. To determine what action to take, we brainstorm the problems and solutions with this property and its neighborhood, and work backwards from our exit strategy (aka. expected sales price) to figure out what we think is the highest value and best use.

Neighborhood problems:

  • Slow traffic (25 mph), but busy street means ingress and egress need to be carefully thought out.
  • Limited street parking. Car parking is only allowed on one side of the street.

Property problems:

  • Existing structure was damaged by fire and needs extensive work to save.
  • Existing structure has an obsolete floor plan and needs extensive work to update to modern standards.
  • Existing structure is a grandfathered 2-family, and the zoning rules have changed to 1-family homes. If existing structure is to be saved, it would need to be converted to a single family.
  • 50' width conforms to neighborhood, but is a relatively narrow lot.
  • Lot has a hill with retaining wall on left side. The hill limits building possibilities.
  • Driveway on right side of house limits the house width footprint and max driveway width is 1 car wide.
  • Large trees on property look dangerous and one in particular is too close to the existing house and its location limits building possibilities.
  • Existing house is set back only 10' from the sidewalk and limits building and driveway possibilities.

Solutions:

  • Obsolete floor plan / extensive work to save existing structure / single family conversion
    • Demolish the existing house and build a modern single family new construction.
  • Parking / Ingress / Egress (new home to be able to park up to 6 cars)
    • New homes are expected to have garages. Our new build will have a built-in 2-car garage, which gives ability to park 2 cars inside.
    • Set the new house back 40' from sidewalk and build a new 2-car width driveway for our 2-car garage. The new driveway will be able to hold 4 cars.
    • The wide driveway will help with ingress and egress, especially since driveway is not expected to be full. Studies show the average American household has between 2-3 cars.
  • Existing Driveway
    • Remove existing driveway and use that area as a set back requirement. Run underground utilities (gas, water, sewer) in this set back.
  • Trees
    • Clear lot. Cut down all tall and dangerous trees and remove stumps from the site.
  • Lot is on a hill
    • Remove the hill and create new grading with a mild slope from the new building location to the existing sidewalk. Move extra dirt off site to a new location.

What makes Manis Construction Group special is our imagination and our ability to move the earth to our convenience. Everything and anything is possible!

We will completely change the dynamic of this property, and when we are done no one will have any idea what we started with!

Below are pictures of the Survey showing the lot and new home foot print, and new home front elevation.

proposed_survey
proposed_elevation

Proposed new home survey and front elevation.

Highlights our new home will feature:

  • 2,400 Square Feet
  • full basement with 9' ceiling
  • 9' ceiling on 1st floor and 8' ceiling on 2nd floor
  • 4 bedrooms on 2nd floor
  • 2 full bathrooms on 2nd floor
  • 1 half bathroom on 1st floor
  • Gourmet kitchen with island and eat-in area
  • Separate family, living, and dining rooms
  • Master bath with dual vanities, toilet, stall shower, and whirlpool-jetted tub
  • Shared full bath with dual vanities, toilet, and tub
  • 2-car built-in garage
  • 2-car width driveway capable of holding 4 cars
  • 2-zone heat and central air conditioning



67 Kuhlthau - Milltown - Update

Written by Peter Manis on July 8, 2015

On June 5, I wrote a blog describing our plans for the property located at 67 Kuhlthau Ave, Milltown, NJ 08850. See that post here.

We made progress with our transformation of this property. The original house has been demolished, cut down and removed all the trees and stumps, dug out the basement in its new location, and are now constructing the foundation.

original house front
original house right side

Front and right side of original house.

demolished house
hole where house used to be

Demolition of original house (left). Hole where original house used to be (right).

After demolishing the original house and removing all the trees and stumps, now we dig our new basement. The extra dirt will be taken off site to another location, but creates some logistical challenges in the meantime. The work site is tight as it is without all the extra dirt in the way!

extra dirt

Extra dirt creates challenges.

Below we have our footing formed out and prepped. We will pour concrete once we pass our building city inspection.

formed footing front
formed footing rear

Front view of formed footing (left). Rear view of formed footing (right).

formed footing aerial view
electrical ground

Aerial view of formed footing (left). Electrical ground (right).

Below concrete freshly poured and troweled.

concrete front view
concrete rear view

Concrete front view (left). Concrete rear view (right).

concrete aerial view

Concrete aerial view.

When the concrete has had sufficient time to dry, we strip the forms and prep the slab.

I like to install the foundation drain, also commonly referred to as French drain, at this time. I find it so much easier to install the foundation drain now that the footing is more easily accessible rather than after the basement walls are built.

The building code requires an exterior foundation drain along the exterior of the footing. Although not required, I also install an interior foundation drain inside the basement as well. It is great insurance in the event the exterior drain has a problem and it doesn't cost all that much more to install it now at this stage of construction.

Also, while code requires one sump pit and pump, I always install two sump pits and pumps. The second pit and pump will help pump out water that much faster if needed (hardly ever the case), and also becomes insurance in case the other pump malfunctions for whatever reason (main reason I install two).

Both exterior and interior foundation drains and both sump pits and pumps are interconnected to each other. I like to use the perforated pipe with the sock for my foundation drains. The sock is extra insurance to help keep any dirt particles that somehow manage to get to the pipes from clogging them.

foundation drains along front
foundation drains along rear

Exterior and interior foundation drains along front and rear.

After the exterior foundation drain is laid out, a layer of 3/4" stone is placed on top. The stone is meant to let water in and keep dirt out. A layer of commercial grade landscape fabric is placed on top of the stone to further keep dirt out while letting water in.

exterior drain complete

Exterior foundation drain completed.

The next step is to finish the interior foundation drain, prep the slab, and build the walls.



67 Kuhlthau - Milltown - Update

Written by Peter Manis on July 31, 2015

We complete foundation stage in this update. In the previous update, we dug out the basement and constructed the footings. Now we build the foundation walls, waterproof, and pour the slab. This house has a 13 course basement wall, which will give us the 9' ceiling height we want.

foundation walls
wall plaster

Foundation walls and plaster.

wall plaster
wall plaster

Plaster and aerial view.

waterproofing
waterproofing

Waterproofing.

waterproofing
waterproofing

Waterproofing.

slab prep
slap pour

Slab prep and pour.

finished slab
finished slab

Finished slab.

completed foundation

Completed foundation.

Stay tuned for the next stage - Framing!



67 Kuhlthau - Milltown - Update

Written by Peter Manis on August 29, 2015

Framing is where the house really starts to take shape!

Here we frame our house, and install the sheathing, windows, doors, and roof.

1st floor
garage

1st floor and garage.

1st floor
2nd floor

1st and 2nd floor.

2nd floor
roof overhang

2nd floor and roof overhang.

roof overhang
roof rafters

Roof overhang and roof rafters.

roof rafters
roof rafters

Roof rafters.

sheathing
sheathing

Sheathing.

sheathing
sheathing

Sheathing.

roofing, windows, doors
roofing, windows, doors

Roofing, windows, and doors.

Next up - stone work and siding!



67 Kuhlthau - Milltown - Update

Written by Peter Manis on September 16, 2015

Partial stone front and siding installed!

Now the beauty of this house is showing itself!

front
front left side

Front and front left side.

front right side
rear

Front right side and rear.

street view
street view

Street view.



67 Kuhlthau - Milltown - Update

Written by Peter Manis on October 13, 2015

Today we installed a new sewer and water line.

The existing street sewer line is made of 5" terracotta (clay) pipe which happens to enter the property in the middle of our new driveway. We don't want to have our new sewer line under our driveway because if it ever needs to be serviced or replaced in the future we don't want to have to rip the driveway up to get to it.

The best place to run all our underground utility lines (sewer, water, gas) is along the right side of the house within the 10' side yard set back.

To bring our sewer line to the right side of the house we connected to the street as close as we could behind the sidewalk, which will become our driveway apron in the future, and redirected our line towards the right side of the house with a 45 degree turn. We avoid 90 degree turns as it is more prone to clogging.

While not required by the plumbing inspector, we installed a clean out at the first 45 degree turn which will be changed to a flat metal cap, cut low on finish and flush with the driveway. We angle the sewer line to run straight up the right side of the property with another 45 degree turn.

Two more clean outs were installed - both required by plumbing code. One at the second 45 degree turn and one just outside the foundation wall.

We also ran the water line in our trench and left plenty of excess whip to connect to our curb box when we open the road to connect to the street water main. The utility company, PSE&G will run a new gas line opposite our sewer line as well.

front street view
street connection

Front street view (left). Connection to street (right).

clean out at street
clean out an run to house

Clean out at street (left). Sewer and water lines to house (right).

water and sewer to house

Sewer and water lines into basement. Holes in foundation wall to be sealed before back fill.



67 Kuhlthau - Milltown - Update

Written by Peter Manis on October 25, 2015

Now that the exterior of the house is protected from the weather (roofing, windows, siding are installed), we can work on the inside.

Inside work consists of rough electric, plumbing, and HVAC. After we pass our city inspections for our rough work, we then fireblock and schedule for building and fire city inspections.

See examples of our rough electric, plumbing, and HVAC work below.

rough
rough

Living/family room and kitchen.

rough
rough

Bathroom, kitchen, and dining rooms.

rough
rough

Foyer and hallway.

rough
rough

Master bedroom.

rough
rough

Master bathroom.

rough

Whirlpool tub pump access.

rough
rough

Laundry room.

rough
rough

Hall bathroom.

rough
rough

Bedrooms.



67 Kuhlthau - Milltown - Update

Written by Peter Manis on October 30, 2015

We passed our rough electric, plumbing, HVAC, fire, and building inspections.

Now we insulate our exterior walls.

See examples of our insulation work below.

insulation
insulation

Garage.

insulation
insulation

Living/family room and kitchen.

insulation
insulation

Foyer and master bedroom.

insulation
insulation

2nd floor and master bathroom.

insulation
insulation

Master bathroom and hall bathroom.

insulation
insulation

Bedrooms.



67 Kuhlthau - Milltown - Update

Written by Peter Manis on November 9, 2015

We passed our insulation inspection. From here on there are no more city inspections until the final inspections.

After insulation, we drywall. The drywall pictures shown are taped, sanded and ready to paint.

See examples of our drywall work below.

drywall
drywall

Living/family room and kitchen.

drywall
drywall

Dining room and living/family room.

drywall
drywall

Foyer.

drywall
drywall

Master bedroom.

drywall
drywall

Master bathroom.

drywall
drywall

2nd floor hallway.

drywall
drywall

Laundry room.

drywall
drywall

Hall bathroom.

drywall
drywall

Bedrooms 2 and 3.

drywall

Bedroom 4.



67 Kuhlthau - Milltown - Final

Written by Peter Manis on February 3, 2016

Today we showcase the finished product at 67 Kuhlthau Avenue, Milltown, NJ 08850!

Compare the before and after exterior pictures to realize what we started with and how we transformed this property!

And be sure to scroll further down to see more after pictures, including interior pictures.

final
final

Front before and after.

final
final

Right side before and after.

final
final

Left side before and after.

final
final

Rear before and after.

Below is a more comprehensive list of after pictures.

Exterior Pictures:

final
final

Front and right side.

final
final

Rear and left side.

Interior Pictures:

final
final

Kitchen.

final
final

Kitchen sink and Breakfast area.

final
final

Family and Living room.

final
final

Dining room and Hall.

final
final

Foyer.

final

Foyer chandelier.

final
final

Master Bathroom with dual sink vanity, whirlpool tub and frameless stall shower.

final

Master Bathroom toilet.

final
final

Hall Bathroom with dual sinks, tub and toilet.

final

Hall Bathoom toilet.

final
final

2nd and 3rd Bedrooms.

final

4th Bedroom.

final
final

Basement.

final
final

Basement and rough plumbing for a future Bathroom.