Southampton Estate Section – In Process

By Melissa Delihas on July 29th, 2013


Gin Lane is a 3,000-square-foot guest house renovation on a 27-acre property near downtown Southampton. The structure was initially built as a garage in the 1920s, and then transformed into a caretaker’s residence sometime in the 1950’s. The MGH design team had to work closely with the Building and Zoning departments to permit a modernization and update to the aging and thermally inefficient home. By adhering to the existing footprint and roof line, MGH was given permission to improve the existing shell, and bring it up to present day structural and energy use standards.

The guest house has a large and open kitchen / dining / living area downstairs with a secondary living / media room. Upstairs, there are three independent suites, each with their own bathroom and high ceilings.

As with most remodels, the selective demolition process revealed some unexpected conditions such as poor foundations and elements of the wooden structure exposed to below grade moisture. The construction management team replaced and retrofitted these areas to meet current standards for frost depth, waterproofing and soil bearing.

The completed structure will exceed energy efficiency standards, utilizing 1” of continuous insulation on the exterior, in addition to 2” of closed cell spray foam throughout the ceiling and walls. A geo-thermal system will heat and cool the building throughout the four seasons, transferring energy from below grade into all areas of the house through hydronic tubes cast in concrete.

Interior finishes include polished concrete, white stained oak flooring, and dark bronze window frames. A simple modern kitchen with bar seating will be furnished by Bakes and Company, and all bathrooms are being refitted with modern fixtures.

The home will be ready to receive guests in late September.

Here are some in-process photos:

IMG_0179The existing guest house stripped back to the gable ends and first floor walls. This was the extent of the demolition.

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Interior of what will be the new kitchen and living room. In some cases, remodeling an existing house can be useful in maintaining existing setbacks to property lines, and is sometimes a renovation can be more cost effective than  new construction.

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The staircase to the second floor, before being removed. The new stair will be reversed. Most of the steel beams will remain in the new structure.

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The existing structure had been in use in some fashion since it was first built to be a garage in the 1920s. Many elements of old infrastructure  surrounded the building.  Here, a heating oil tank from the 1970s or 1980s is removed to allow room for a new septic system.

IMG_0167The guest house had to be carefully deconstructed by hand, saving key exterior walls. At this stage, the roof has been dismantled, the second floor sheathing removed, and all interior walls demolished.

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A new water line running from an existing main to the guest house awaits inspection.

IMG_0349New foundations are poured within the existing footprint in certain areas to replace insufficient foundations discovered during demolition.

IMG_0227Framers carefully placing the new ridge board. New exterior walls are built with 2×6 lumber to increase strength and insulation values.

IMG_0217Beginning to reframe the second floor ridge. The ocean will be visible from the master bedroom.

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Excavation of a small portion of the old foundation. The MGH team uncovered areas of the existing house that were not built to contemporary standards. Here, a slab foundation- probably part of an old patio that had been enclosed- is removed and dirt is excavated to allow a deeper and more robust foundation.

IMG_0241Framing for new insulated windows on the second floor.


A new kitchen and dining room floor is being framed on top of the new foundation. New construction is carefully integrated to match existing

IMG_0488Welders temporarily shore an existing structural steel beam on the left, and weld in a new column on the right.

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Areas of the old block foundation are reinforced to accept an interior bearing wall. The old foundation spanned 90 years of construction technology, and was assembled out of brick, block and concrete.

IMG_0370Roof framing being completed. The MGH team uses a waterproofed roofing plywood that will keep the house dry temporarily until the roofing is applied. It also serves as a secondary barrier against potential future problems.

200GinLn3Radiant tubing is being laid out on the floor. The tubing is made of heat resistant plastic. It will transport water for the geo-thermal heating and cooling system. The water will heat and cool the concrete topping slab, and radiate into the living areas of the house.

200GinLn2The interior of the kitchen and dining room. The floor assembly is now ready for a concrete topping slab. Wood joists and plywood sheathing have been installed and then covered with tar paper, sleepers, and radiant tubing.

200GinLn7The second floor of the guest house, ready for the concrete topping slab. A 1/2” engineered wood floor will be glued and nailed to the topping slab when the house is ready for interior finishes.

200GinLn4In this portion of the guest house, preparations are being made to pour a new decorative concrete slab on top of an old garage slab. Radiant tubing and conduit for electrical floor outlets are in place.

Southwest ExteriorSouthwest exterior of the guest house with insulated sheathing over most of the exterior frame. The sheathing provides one inch of rigid polyiso insulation continuous over the entire structure. This will reduce heating and cooling needs in all seasons.



2408 Montauk Highway #2A
Bridgehampton, NY 11932