Archives for posts with tag: Storefront

I live in the greatest little town on earth.

Yes I could live without the 2-hour commute to my office in Boston. Sure it’s tough to find a place to eat after 9:30 pm. Entertainment? Forget about it. And yes it would be nice if we weren’t the only gays in the village. (Little Britain reference. And for the record there are more of us.) But our village neighborhood and waterfront, in particular, are like few other places.

Walk the narrow streets where one car still needs to pull over to let another pass and you find houses, like our own, that have been here since the late 1700s, and secret gardens tucked behind picket fences. Or wander down to the town wharves on any night in the warmer months and see people sitting on large pieces of old Mattapoisett granite passing the time or watching boats come in and out of the landing. Or dare to join the group of regulars who show up most nights at dusk with their own folding chairs and take over part of one of the four wharves while they catch up on their day.

As we renovate our storefront (latest progress pic of the facade below), I decided to visit the Mattapoisett Historical Society Museum and meet with their archivist to look at photos of some of the old storefronts in town that resided both in our own house, as well as our neighbors’ here on Water Street and up and down the village’s side streets.

I’m not going to label every photo but here are a few storefronts and businesses that were once the mainstay of Mattapoisett life. Water Street and the village were certainly the commercial center of town life way back when. While much of that has moved up to Rte 6 today, hopefully our future shop will be a nod to Mattapoisett history.

Progress photo of our storefront:

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Last week’s work was all about anything to do with the floor.

I’ll start this post with showing how the space looks after a week’s worth of work on the floor. After alot of hard work, we have a sub-sub floor down. I took this photo late this afternoon as I was in the shop looking around. (Still keeping windows covered with bad curtains to keep interested townfolks out.)

Glenn The Carpenter (GTC) isn’t afraid to deal with what are to me the most discouraging of problems. Like 200+ years of moisture that has caused some of our beefy floor joists and the a couple areas of some sills to deteriorate. He assures me that while it may look bad, it’s not so bad. (famous last words) In fact, some of the floor joists are still biggers than today’s floor joists just because, well, this place was “overbuilt” as GTC likes to say.

Some areas of the plank floor had to be cut away and replaced with glulams. On Tuesday I came home and found a variety of holes cut open and I could look straight down into the basement.

The area in front of the door was particularly in need of repair. Based on some of the old framing, shading on the floor and overall deterioration of the plank floor, chances are very good that when the house was first built the entry had an exposed vestibule of sorts where the floor immediately in front of the door outside was exposed to the elements. So, what does GTC do? He just cuts it out and patches the floor with some glulams. I came home on Wednesday to GTC yelling, “don’t come in!”, as I opened the shop door….because I would have fallen right into the basement. Or down there:

Different angle view looking through floor into the basement.

Entrance to our basement is usually accessed through a door and then down some stairs via our mud-room. Thankfully, GTC cut a hatch in the floor so he can go up and down without having to drag a mess into the house. We’ve decided we’re going to frame a trap door in the shop for direct access to the basement when all is said and done.

This week’s work was also about finalizing the design for the front of the shop and having a visit from an engineer who our architects insisted we had to involve. There were some concern that with new codes and our need to buy hurricane proof storefront windows, we might also have to frame out the whole storefront in STEEL. Ugh. The dollars just kept adding up in my head and lead to much anxiety. Here’s our architect John talking with the engineer.

We ended up with a different solution which does involves some structural panels being built into the wall…but it appears they will be a fraction of the cost of what the steel would have involved.

We have settled on a revised storefront design based on some of the structural requirements. We’ve also settled on some interior specs. While the majority of the shop’s interior will be left wide open, we are adding a new bathroom and a small kitchenette, and the architects have included what will be likely area for some sort of reception desk for our eventual hobby!

But again, alot of good progress this past week. Next week is all about the basement. We’ve decided since things are still relatively “opened up” we are going to add some support in the basement for the floor joists and likely poor a cement floor. We have a dirt basement floor that we covered with vapor barriers a few years back. But we may poor what is called a “rat-floor”, in the biz. 😉

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