My Cape-An Introduction

1952 Cape Cod style home.  For those who don’t know what a cape is, here is a definition from Wikipedia:

A Cape Cod house is a low, broad, single-story frame building with a moderately steep pitched gabled roof, a large central chimney, and very little ornamentation. Originating in New England in the 17th century, the simple symmetrical design was constructed of local materials to withstand the stormy, stark weather of Cape Cod. It features a central front door flanked by multi-paned windows. The space above the 1st floor was often left unfinished, with or without windows on the gable ends.

1952 Cape.

The home isn’t large, 24 x 32 with an unfinished basement and an additional 500 square feet in the upper “half” story, which includes 2 bedrooms and a bathroom.  The upstairs contains knee walls with storage and sloped walls. The main level contains a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room.  The basement contains all the utilities, including a natural gas forced air furnace, electric water heater, 100-amp electrical service panel, washer and dryer, along with a fourth bedroom containing an egress window and deep window well.  I don’t consider this bedroom finished.  The walls have older wood paneling, a suspended ceiling with ductwork below and no floor coverings. This space will become my office.  There is a brick center chimney that has been knocked down from the roof.  As I remodel, I will be removing the chimney all the way to the basement.

There is a deck that wraps around three sides of the home which is in poor condition.  Removal will be the first project next spring, unless we have a mild winter.  Mild winter, yah, right.

The basement is concrete block and slab with just under 8-foot ceiling height. There is evidence of some water leakage through the block and the previous owner did disclose this leakage on the purchase agreement.  There is a 2-inch sag in a center bearing beam.  The very center post that supports the beam is wood and the basement floor has been poured around this post.  I’m thinking the post does not have a proper footing underneath which caused it to settle. I will be attempting to lift the sag before I move in.  I will be writing a blog about that process, successful or not.

The main floor is 2 x 4 construction with a drywall interior.  No plaster, thank goodness.  I’m thinking the exterior sheeting is 1x boards and the siding is the man-made slate looking product that contains asbestos.  Part of the exterior siding has been replaced with both batt and board and more recently, vinyl siding.  Some of the windows are original, single pane with storms, and some appear to have been replaced with 2-pane.  Most likely sometime in the 1980’s.

Northeast corner of home. Patio door enters master bedroom.
The north side of the home. Not sure what’s under the sun. Will find out next summer.
Man-made siding, contains asbestos. The lighter colored streaks are from water exiting the eaves during the spring thaw.
Southeast corner of home. Notice ice melting cables on roof eave.

The roof is almost brand-new asphalt shingles with very small overhangs and no eave ventilation.  The small overhangs aren’t helping the water in the basement situation.  The very peak has both a gable end and ridge ventilation. The interior upper level knee wall is 2 x 4 and sloped ceilings are either 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 framed.  The sloped ceiling has poor air ceiling and older fiberglass insulation.  I conducted a blower door test of the home during the inspection, a little over 12 ACH50, most leakage was in the upper story of the home.  It’s too late in the season to attempt a fix for the roof issues I know are present.  I will be watching and documenting these issues this first winter and repairing next summer.

There you have it, several years worth the work.  The next 1952 Cape posting will be in a few weeks, if all goes as planned.  Until then, I’ll be posting my normal blogs every Sunday.

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