Transformation to Modern Beach Home in Manasquan, New Jersey
by Brendan McHugh
Here in Manasquan, NJ, we weather many a storm. My friends Steve and Dovie live down the road from me and their kids go to school with my kids. As we got to know each other through the years, they would often say,
‘Someday we want to renovate this house, we’re just not ready yet.’
When Hurricane Sandy hit on October 29, 2012. Steve and Dovie had 3 feet of water in their house. Sand and water had washed out their whole first floor. The Jersey Shore coastline was devastated and people were in shock in the aftermath of the storm, struggling to comprehend what happened to their homes and lives.
All of the towns that were hit by the storm were coming together as communities helping each other recover and rebuild. The first priorities were to get cleaned up, get the utilities re-established and create a path back to a lively community.
Steve and Dovie had moved in with their family up north and were commuting back and forth to clean up, get the kids to school and assess how to put their life back together. That very first week, though, Steve came to me and said,
‘I need to get moving on this. I need to get my family back in their home.’
It was time for a complete house renovation. We agreed to change the whole style of the house, which had good bones but quite honestly lacked character.
This was not a typical fixer upper. Instead, the house would have a whole new look and feel.
The new flood elevations had already been released while we were designing but the town was still assessing how the zoning requirements would be affected. The property was a non-conforming lot and the current home was at the allowable building height.
Our design was going to lift the existing house 4 feet for which we would need a variance from the planning board.