Rebuilding After Hurricane Sandy | This Old House: Trade School

in 34 years of This Old House we’ve
covered a lot of natural disasters stories and a question we always ask
ourselves should we even be building in some of these places well we’ll explore answers to those questions as we go along but one man who has no doubt is our first homeowner here in Bay Head Jed Laird hey Jed hi Norm
so how did you end up with one of the oldest houses in Bay Head I was looking
for a summer rental and the real estate broker pulled up in front of this house
and I got out of the car stood across the street and said I’ll take it all
right well why what drew you to it it was really the porch 33 summers later I can say to you it’s where we live so this is a very
important part of the house for you it really is it’s the the place where we
live my girls have sold 2,000 shells across the last five years oh look at
that you had a table set up right out there in front of the steps 2,000 shells that’s a
lot of shells yes it’s a commercial street so we have lots of
passers-by this is our living room and it wraps around the corner
here this closed-in porch we’ve had hundreds of meals in our dining room wow I can just imagine you and your family and all your friends having a great old
time out here definitely now it wasn’t long ago though you had a big problem you had a flood out here Sandy came through and just devastated the street was
flooded you can see the water line unfortunately up to here wow that’s a
good three feet up look at that comes right across there and the
salt here on the brick well the outside doesn’t look too bad but I know from
experience that it doesn’t matter if the water comes to here or here or even up
here it can cause a lot of damage on the inside can I check that out my wife is
inside and she’ll show you around all right thanks Chris Norm welcome hi hi so sorry to
hear what happened to your house I mean floodwaters can do tremendous damage to a home oh thanks it’s been a long haul but we’re starting to finally feel like
we’re turning a corner in the early going our structural engineer told us we
should better rip it down and start all over it’s pretty obvious to me you
didn’t take that advice no our family has too much time and love invested in
our home and we just really want to rebuild and restore around the things
that we love you can see the beadboard up there our contractors ripped down the
beadboard from all the walls in the living room and family room and we’re
hoping to actually restore that beadboard is beautiful perfect for a
shore type home and I see you’ve already started some structural work we got a
beam here and new joists have been sistered onto the second floor
nice big open plan oh it’s not gonna stay that way my husband likes a
traditional dining room and so we’re gonna rebuild it with the walls and the
pieces that we love all intact all right so this piece has been here for a long
time it looks like and I would say it was built by the carpenter right on site
and you’re not moving it at all no it’s staying right where it is we’ll build up
the walls around it back the way it was all right the big change is really going
to be in the kitchen that’s the one thing that we’ve always had dreams about
but never really had a reason to act on them the kitchen cabinetry was out of date we had a linoleum floor my husband does all
the cooking in our household and that’s not gonna change but what will change is
he’s gonna have his own range that he can look out the windows and do the
cooking and here we’re going to have a two-tier island that my girls designed
so that we can sit and watch Jed do the cooking and enjoy it while he does all
the work sounds good now you’ve been at it for quite a while
and this obviously is more than a 50% renovation so you still have a long way
to go we do we have to rebuild everything according to code but the
good news is it’s gonna be our old house when we restore it it’s just gonna be 10
feet off the ground terrific I’m glad to see you’re elevating it because I’m
always skeptical about building back at those lower elevations now it’ll be up
and it’ll be safe yeah Jed’s dream kitchen will be safe and we’ll be able
to pass it along to many many generations of Lairds and hopefully it’ll be strong and secure a hundred years into the future well I’m gonna be back when they start jacking this up excellent

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