Essex | Human Centered Design, Demolition

Kevin heads downtown to Boston to the Institute for Human Centered Design to see how good design can make living easier for people of all ages and abilities, not just those who are disabled. Back in Essex, Tom and Roger are underway with site work so that our doorways can eventually be level with the ground, requiring no steps. Inside, demolition is underway, and on the second floor, it has revealed bizarre and unsafe framing from a previous renovation that will need to be fixed. At the small kitchen bump out, excavation is complete, and the footings are in progress. Architect Sally DeGan shows Kevin that in her practice, accessible homes don't have to be institutional, they just need a short list of key considerations—one-floor living, room to get around, good lighting, no thresholds, and barrier free showers. Back in Essex, a few weeks later, the foundation for the addition is complete, as well as the first floor platform and gable end of the kitchen. Before work can progress, Norm, Tom, and Kevin need to remove the bad shed dormer. They make quick work of it with careful demo and a 60-foot boom lift. Meanwhile, Roger shows the progress on the retaining walls that will support the new patio. Then, Norm, Tom, and Kevin frame up the steeply pitched roof of the kitchen addition starting with the ridge beam and then all of the rafters, one by one.


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