The Big Reveal: Model ReModel East

The Model ReModel projects are all but complete 

November 29, 2019
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The 2019 Model ReModel is complete except for a few punchlist items. Both projects—East and West—are perfect examples of the types of homes remodelers work on every day, which is why we selected them for this program. 

The East home is located three blocks from the water in Rehoboth Beach, Del. It received a full interior-exterior remodel, plus a rear addition that nearly doubled its size. Although the project went smoothly overall, the job was not without challenges. 

The lot is very narrow, with a front yard only 25 feet wide, and 25 feet deep from the street to the entry. This created access and storage problems. The backyard had more room, but all material stored there had to be carried by hand to the rear of the house.

Also, the plan was to retain the original block foundation, but once demolition got underway, it became clear that none of the CMUs were set on a footing. Instead, the blocks were placed directly against the sand, presumably for better bearing. The system held up fairly well over the years, most likely because the sand drains well, and the original structure was small and relatively light. Boardwalk Builders’ owner, Patty McDaniel, calls it “the rule of small structures: You can do almost anything, and it won't fall down."

Today, of course, code would not permit block to be laid directly on sand, so the foundation had to be entirely redone.

It was all worth it in the end though. The home has been updated from foundation to roof, and the new structure features a clean, transitional design and array of innovative products. See how it was done here. 


Metal roofing has a reputation for durability under a heavy snow load. But with modern coatings, metal roofing also has advantages for hot, wet coastal climates. In this case, the roof panels have a proprietary substrate coated with Fluropon, from Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings (formerly Valspar).

The lightweight aluminum coil stock resists rust and makes installation easier—most of this roofing was installed by one person—and the snap-together seaming system virtually eliminates the need for a panel seamer on the roof. The coating protects the metal from ultraviolet light, heat, and humidity. And the Charcoal Gray color, one among many available, is a perfect match for the exterior color scheme.


The cheerful sun porch is virtually maintenance free, thanks to the Versatex PVC trim. The ceiling is finished with “Stealth Beadboard,” the company’s term for the 1/2x6-inch (actual) PVC boards with an extra-wide shiplap tongue that makes it easy to hide the fasteners. The home's back wall is finished in nominal 1x6 “WP4/Nickel Gap” reversible tongue-and-groove boards. Both materials come in 18-foot lengths, and both profiles are available with an exterior-grade laminate in five colors.


Kitchen design and cabinets are from CliqStudios, an online design service and cabinet supplier. Boardwalk Builders  emailed plans to the designer with initial ideas, and she sent back two iterations, which they showed the client. CliqStudios also mailed samples of door styles that the client selected from among the dozen options available. Digital renderings were tweaked in Zoom video conferences. The plan was ready within three days, and a finalized version three days after that.


The fully-assembled cabinets were delivered six weeks after ordering. After checking the cabinet delivery against the plan and confirming dimensions, wall cabinets were prepped for crown molding by fastening extensions to the top of the frames. Although it’s tempting to install base cabinets first, experienced carpenters prefer to start with the wall cabinets which saves their lower backs by making it easier to support and fasten the uppers without having to reach over the lowers.


Insulated fiberglass doors from Therma-Tru were chosen for their beauty, durability, and low-maintenance. These doors look like wood—and not just from across the street, but while standing right next to them—but they won’t warp or rot like wood, and they provide excellent insulating value. Oh, and they never require painting.


The living room has a splayed ceiling, which creates an off-angle joint that adds to the job of taping. Long, off-angle ceiling joints also have a way of wandering, making it difficult to get a straight corner. Plus, when the roof framing shrinks or moves, splayed ceilings joints have a tendency to crack.

The solution here was the “Magic Corner Expansion Bead” from Trim-Tex, which has a flexible insert at the corner that can handle movement of up to 3/8-inch. The bead is set not in mud, but with “847 Spray Adhesive,” a proprietary, pressure-sensitive spray adhesive designed specifically for use with the company’s vinyl beads.


The siding is Tando’s Beach House Shake, a panelized polymer that's impervious to moisture and won’t rot or crack. The owners selected Atlantica, a new gray that mimics the look of weathered cedar—not just the grain, but also the saw cuts, even on the butts.

The panels are easy to install. Each one has coverage of almost 5 square feet, so there is less handling. On top of that, only seven nails are required, so installation is faster. Nailing tabs with slotted perforations and pre-drilled centering holes, are molded to prevent over-driving. 

About the Author


About the Author


Sal Alfano is executive editor for Professional Remodelersalfano@sgcmail.com, 202.365.9070

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