Everything You Need To Know If You Want a New Deck or Roof Deck for Summer 2017

West Canton St, South End Roof Deck

Dreaming of a new deck or roof deck this summer????

East 7th St, bi-level deck

Well now is the time to get the ball rolling. Too often we have customers call us in the early summer months asking to build a roof deck ASAP! However, while the building process itself may take 3 or 4 weeks, most people are unaware that you MUST HAVE A PERMIT first and unfortunately after applying to The City it could take anywhere between 4 – 14 weeks depending on your zoning district…… our guide below will give you a good idea of the time and costs involved so you don’t get caught drooling over your neighbors enjoying summer evenings sipping margaritas al fresco in Summer 2017!!!


Step 1 – Contractor

Gold Street Roof Deck

Do your research! Find a reputable contractor that is experienced in deck building, preferably local to your area as they will already be familiar with your zoning laws and restrictions. A good contractor should be able to give you a Free Estimate in about a week. If your budget allows then proceed to step 2.

Note: At Abacus if a customer is happy with their Free Estimate we then do a site visit, followed by a meeting with our estimator to select materials to work out a detailed proposal and price breakdown before the customer signs anything.

Also,Its good to shop around but remember “cheap work is rarely good and good work is rarely cheap”.


Step 2 – Find out which permit you need

East 5th St Rear and Roof Decks

There are two types of permit, Short Form and Long Form. 

Short Form: If you have an existing deck but want to tear it out and get a swanky new one then this is the type of permit you need. Here at Abacus we usually procure permits on behalf of our customers but you can also apply apply at ISD either in person or online and have it next day.This is because you are replacing a deck that has already been approved and ISD already has the original plans. (If your deck is very old you should check first that it was built legally, this is something we come across from time to time, it would mean that you would have to go through the Long Form process, see below)

Long Form: Lets say you own the top floor condo in a building and have roof rights but there is no deck there at all. This is where the Long Form comes in. Depending where you live, at best 4-6 weeks, at worst up to 14 weeks to obtain this permit. Another big difference here is in order to get the permit you need to submit Drawings from an Architect, and a Certified Plot Plan by a Registered Surveyor along with the permit application which we will get to later, again Abacus will help our customers obtain drawing s etc and submit them with the application on their behalf. In a nut shell, Long Form Permits take longer and will cost you more but there is no way around it if necessary to your project.

Note: Permits cost 1% of total project cost, for a $30,000 deck expect to pay $300 for your permit


Step 3 – Architect Drawings

Upton St, South End, Roof Deck

This step only applies to Long Form applicants. We here at Abacus have 2 or 3 architects we work with year round, so we point our customers in their direction as a good place to start. Depending on the time of year you can expect to wait a week or two for a site visit. After that you will get a rough estimate. Drawings, depending on deck size, run between $3000 – $6000, if this suits your budget then you begin work on the details and design with the architect and hopefully have finished drawings for submission in another couple of weeks. Overall, allow for 4 – 6 weeks.

Note: After agreeing on price the wait time depends greatly on you the customer. The architect will send you questions and such that if answered promptly will speed things along. A steady flow of communication is key – check your inbox!!!


Step 4 – Construction

Gold Street – custom roof deck kitchen

As soon as you have your permit the contractor can order all the materials. Usually the bulk of our materials and supplies are readily available at National Lumber, Beacon Sales, Home Depot etc and we can get everything delivered to the site in just a couple of days. Skylights, Hatches, Metal Railings and spiral staircases take a bit longer but the guys we use at American Design Iron Works and Fortress Railings provide great lead times (If any item is special order or custom its better to order ahead of time to avoid unnecessary hold ups). Overall build time is 3 -4 weeks.

Note: The cost of a cranes to deliver materials to the roof, and Police Detail to block of your street should all be included in your contract price.

Step 5 – Invite Your Friends Over

All told, from start to finish, its going to take approx 12 – 18 weeks. For urbanites everywhere its well worth the wait for a little piece of outdoor living in the city. Invest in a couple of outdoor lounges, planters and an outdoor heater so you can enjoy your new deck well into the fall.


CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR EXTENSIVE AND VARIED DECK PORTFOLIO

Dont hesitate to call our office,we will guide you through the process and connect you with an architect if necessary as you may need drawings when applying to ISD AND we will give you a FREE ESTIMATE.

Home Fire Prevention – Pro Tips From Boston’s Fire Restoration Experts

The good news is home fires are on a downward trend as seen here in graphs from the U.S Fire Administrations website

Photo Jul 26, 10 28 03 AM     Photo Jul 26, 10 28 17 AM

However, homes built in recent decades burn up to eight times faster than comparable homes built between 1950 and 1970.


WHY??

Many factors are causing fires to burn faster and fiercer. For one, homes are bigger and often have open floor plans, yes it looks great but as a result fire spreads with fewer barriers. Plus all that open space accelerates fires by allowing for faster airflow and more oxygen. Most problematic though are the materials used to decorate homes. Our houses are literally filled with them: Everything from furniture  and clothing to carpeting contain these fast-­burning substances.

modern-open-floor-plan

 

Given that our homes are literally flammable, fire prevention and awareness have never been more important.

PREVENTION

Fire prevention starts with you and the many things you can do yourself at home AND knowing the things you should NOT do yourself. (I’m not going to include the common sense stuff like don’t leave candles burning unattended with your five kids and three large dogs in a room full of old newspapers)
Lets start with DIY list –

~ Anything that can burn should be at least three feet away from heating equipment like a furnace, fireplace, wood stove or space heater.

~ Invest in interconnecting smoke alarms (see below)

~ Mark a calendar to remind you to do monthly smoke detector tests, to schedule annual heating equipment inspections/chimney cleaning, and to do an annual cleaning of the vent pipe from your dryer to remove lint.

~ All fuel burning equipment should be vented to the outside of the home to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. During the winter check the outdoor vent flaps to make sure it is not blocked by ice or snow.

~ Extension cords should NEVER be used for major appliances, they should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Extension cords are intended for temporary use, you can always have more receptacle outlets installed by a professional if needed.

~ Try to plug in only one heat-producing appliance (toaster oven, coffee maker etc) per receptacle outlet.

SafeHouse Comm 2013

Just call a Pro list –

~ For stationary space heaters, water heaters and central heaters and installing wood burning stoves always use a professional.

~ Have ALL electrical work done by a qualified electrician. and call them if your having problems with circuit breakers/fuses, if you feel a tingling when you touch an appliance or if you notice warm or discolored outlets.

~ Consider installing Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters are a kind of circuit breaker that automatically shuts off electricity when a dangerous condition occurs.


File Jul 26, 2 49 18 PM
Today it is highly recommended that smoke alarms be interconnected, so that when one sounds, they all sound. The devices should also be able to detect multiple indicators of a fire, not just smoke, but also heat and carbon monoxide.
Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm speaks with a human voice during an alarm, so it can communicate information instead of just beeping. They are readily available and run about $100 at your local Home Depot It is a safe, effective and smart way to ensure peace of mind for you and your family. It looks for fast-burning fires, smoldering fires and carbon monoxide. And it tells you where the problem is and can alert your phone in case you’re not home. Visit Nest.com to learn more.
All our new property developments are equipped with these and  installed by local company Modern Castle Inc

Loss Prevention

What is Loss Prevention? it basically refers to protecting your home after the fire to prevent further damage to your property and belongings. To do this you can make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Board up windows, weatherproof or tarp cover any openings in the roof or walls and remove any saturated ceiling insulation or water saturated carpet. This can be quite overwhelming to most people especially after a home disaster, usually the right course of action to call in the professionals. Hiring the right contractor to restore your home after Fire or Flood damage is a crucial first step for a speedy return to normalcy. Because of our wide range of services, and reputation for being experienced with this type of reconstruction we receive hundreds of calls each year for Fire and Water Damaged Home Restoration.
CLICK HERE for more info and to view fire restoration projects we have completed in the past.

Abacus Builders – St Patrick’s Day Parade, South Boston

Proudly Supporting the Allied War Veterans

Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.

Abacus was delighted to have two of our trucks in the parade, packed with family and friends, a great time was had by all.

Special thanks to Neil Kelly for building the platform inside the truck.

Jeff, Ger and Victoria for driving.

Dee, Trisha, Nikki, Elyse, Nessa and all the kids for braving the cold, waving flags and throwing beads!!!

Look below to see more of our photos from the day!!!!!

Boston Fire and Water Damage Restoration Experts

Hiring the right contractor to restore your home after Fire or Flood damage is a crucial first step for a speedy return to normalcy.

Because of our wide range of services, and reputation for being experienced with this type of reconstruction we receive hundreds of calls each year for Fire and Water Damaged Home Restoration.

We’ll work with you and your insurance company to secure the property, identify and estimate structural damage to being rebuilding and get you back into your home as soon as possible.

Here is just a few examples of homes in the area we have fully restored after extensive fire, and subsequent water damage.

Langley Road, Brighton

 

Actual footage of the fire itself.

 

 

 


 

Worcester St – South End                                                                           For Full Album Click Here

Full gut and remodel of a 5 story Brownstone in the South End. This project involved 5 separate condos.

 


West 7th St, South Boston

This 3 family on West 7th St in South Boston needs to be gutted and remodeled. Check back in a few weeks for the finished pictures

 

Abacus Getting Involved in Community Arts

Tír na nÓg

UnknownMedicine Wheel Productions Presents Tír na nÓg  in partnership with the Fenway Alliance’s Public by Design Initiative

Tír na nÓg is a temporary public art installation by two internationally acclaimed artists: Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile (Ireland), “South of Hy-Brasil” and Michael Dowling (Boston-US/Ireland), “Well House”, commissioned by South Boston’s Medicine Wheel  Productions.

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Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile drawing for South of Hy-Brasil

Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile’s  site specific floating art work is called “South of Hy-Brasil” and it directly references Irish mythology – Hy-Brasil is a mythical land, located off of Ireland’s West Coast, that legend says only becomes visible once every seven years, and is the home of a mysterious advanced civilization. It is  sited in the lagoon behind the Museum of Fine Arts. In conjunction with this outdoor public art work,  the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library  has  several of Caoimhghin’s sketch books and drawings on display to the end of October along side maps from their collection that include the depiction of this mythical island (Link to The Map Center’s Press Release).  (More info about South of Hy-Brasil, Artist Bio)

Tír na nÓg  is supported by Culture Ireland  as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme– a global initiative to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising which set Ireland on its path for independence.  Boston is the only U.S. City hosting temporary public art projects to commemorate the 1916 Centennial.  Tír na nÓg is a vital component of Medicine Wheel’s multi-year Brooch Project that is engaging and connecting the communities along the finished and unfinished links of Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace Park System and it also celebrates the 2016 Centennial of the National Park System of which the Emerald Necklace is part of.

Artists Michael Dowling and Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile cutting the ribbon

Assistant Secretary of Business Development & International Trade for the Commonwealth, Nam Pham, Boston Parks Commissioner Christopher Cook, Artists Michael Dowling and Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile, State Senator William Brownsberger, and Boston Inspectional Services Commissioner William Christopher cutting the ribbon

Deepest gratitude to “Tír na nÓg”  supporters: Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Consul General of Ireland- Fionnuala Quinlan, State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, State Representative Daniel J. Hunt, and to Culture Ireland, Commissioner Christopher Cook &  Boston Parks and Recreation, Commissioner William Christopher & Boston Inspectional Service Department,Chief Julie Burros & the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture, the Boston Art Commission,  Captain Don Cuddahy & the Boston Fire Department/BFD Marine Unit, the Boston Police Department, the Boston Transportation Department, President David Leonard & the Boston Public Librarythe Boston Redevelopment Authority,  the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the National Park Service,  the Paraclete Centerthe Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, Paul Adamson & Mark Cummins of Bromfield Development LCC, the Feeney Brothers Excavation LCCAbacus Builders & General Contractors, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy,  the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 35the New England Regional Council of Carpenters(NERCC),  Union of Operating Engineers Local 4UNITEHERE Local 26, Zoo New England/Franklin Park Zoo, Agoos D-zine, Royal Hospitality Services, the Lenox Hotel- Back Bay, the Boston Rowing Center/ Hull Lifesaving Museum,  the Irish Village, 555 Gallery, Doug Brown/DB Cove Studio,Tavo Contreras/Gamma Fisheries, William Higgins Insurance, Costas Provisions,  Stuart Mullally, John Lydon, Charles McCarthy & Patrick McDevitt, David Murphy, and many other organizations and and individual supporters. (Full list of supporters)

Very special thank you for their additional help with South of Hy-Brasil: Boston Parks Commissioner Christopher Cook & his team-Paul McCaffrey, Jim Sheehan, Anthony Hennessy, Greg Mosman, Joey Dinsmore, Daniel Ross, Paul Keane, Ryan Woods, Lt. Reginald Sampson & the Boston Park Rangers; Boston ISD Commissioner William Christopher & his team- Kim Thai, Jill Cox, Tom O’Donell & Harry McGonagle, Chief of Arts & Culture Julie Burros & her team- Karin Goodfellow, Christian Guerra & Tom Johnston; BFD Captain Don Cuddahy & BFD dive team members- DFC Joseph Casper, FF Robert Doyle, and FF John Cooney, BPD Sgt Gino Provenzano, Kelly Brilliant & Arreen Andrew of the Fenway Alliance,  Mark Little & Catrina Supple of Abacus Builders & General Contractors, Peter Agoos of Agoos D-zine, Harry Liggett- Franklin Park Zoo, Doug Brown/DB Cove Studio, and Tavo Contreras/Gamma Fisheries.

 

To read the full article CLICK HERE

Abacus Builders & the South Boston Collaborative Center Fundraiser

Founded in 1997, the South Boston Collaborative Center provides information, referral and treatment services to the residents of South Boston and its surrounding neighborhoods. The Collaborative serves adults and adolescents, as well as provides services to youth at the South Boston Educational Complex. They provide each individual an opportunity to focus on their goals and assist in the efforts to remove barriers to positive change in a safe and confidential environment. The Collaborative extends its efforts for change through prevention programming.

Their annual fundraiser takes place this friday and Abacus Builders & General Contractors is a proud sponsor.

Please show you support by attending or donating on line by visiting their website

sbcc-comedy-poster-16

4 Unit Development coming to Southie’s Eastside

This project at 654 East 7th St, is a four family building in South Boston’s East Side, just a short walk to the L Street Beach.

All four units will have off street parking.

The building will have rear decks and a large roof deck.

The units themselves are large, two 3 bed, and two 2 bed, with high end finish throughout.

Breaking ground next month….

827 East 2nd St

We are breaking ground in the next month on this new 3 unit condo building. All units will have off street parking, high end interiors,  on the East side of South Boston facing M St Park

St Peter Academy & Abacus Builders

Located in the heart of South Boston, the St. Peter Academy is an independent private Early Childhood through Grade 8 school dedicated to providing a high quality education to children of all faiths and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. St Peter Academy strives to foster individual responsibility as well as focus on nurturing the physical, spiritual, intellectual, social and emotional development of every student.

As part of our own mission to be a community minded company we were more than happy to donate and install a new kitchen and appliances, here are some photos so far, we will post the finished pictures in the next few weeks.