With the demolition and foundation work out of the way on the Kuppersmith Project, we’re finally ready to start renovating our 1926 Tudor-style house to turn it into a practical home any family would love.

Addition Framing

First came the framing for the master bedroom addition which wraps around the back and side of the existing house. To make a seamless transition between the two, it’s important that both the old house and new addition are even and level.

Once the floor joists were in place, plywood subflooring was glued and nailed down to form a sturdy floor. Two by four sole plates were cut to length and secured to the subfloor to form the base for the walls.

The walls were assembled on the floor, then raised and attached to the plates. Temporary diagonal braces kept the walls plumb and square until plywood sheathing and ceiling joists were added.

The rafters for the steeply pitched roof were next, followed by plywood decking and roof underlayment to keep out the rain until the roofing was installed.

Eaves and Windows

One of my goals for the Kuppersmith Project was to make the house as low maintenance as possible, so I used composite fascia boards from MiraTEC and urethane foam crown molding from Fypon on the eaves of the house.

Installation of urethane crown molding and composite eave board on gable of house

To improve energy efficiency, the drafty old windows on the house were replaced with insulated glass wood windows from JELD-WEN Windows & Doors. The outside of the window frames came clad in vinyl coated aluminum for low maintenance. To seal out any drafts, a special tape was applied around each window.

Kitchen Expansion

Big changes were taking place inside the original Kuppersmith Project house as well, including a major expansion of the kitchen. Merillat will be designing all the cabinets for our new kitchen, while Better Homes & Gardens magazine will be in charge of the overall décor for the house.

While the footprint of the house upstairs remained unchanged, some of the walls were modified to add closets and doorways. To see all the changes we made, check out our before and after plans for the house.

Exterior Siding

We replaced the deteriorating wood shake siding on the house with cypress wood shakes from the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association. While synthetic siding shakes are available in composite, fiber cement, and vinyl; the look of natural wood is hard to beat on such a prominent feature.

Each shake was cut around any obstacles, then nailed up with a Paslode staple gun. This attention to detail makes installation of wood shakes time consuming, but the result was well worth it.

The gables on the house which weren’t covered with wood shakes were given a stucco finish. A layer of cement backer board was installed first, and the seams covered by fiberglass tape. Next a base coat of stucco was troweled on, followed by a finish coat.


One unexpected change I decided to make was to increase the pitch of the breezeway roof that connects the house and garage to enhance the curb appeal of the house. Since a lower-pitched roof had already been constructed, we had to tear off the brand-new decking and rafters and start over from scratch.

We then upgraded the roof with architectural asphalt shingles, which are thicker and more durable than standard three-tab asphalt shingles.

As a final touch, Velux skylights were installed to brighten up the back porch.

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Editorial Contributors
avatar for Thomas Boni

Thomas Boni

Thomas Boni is Today’s Homeowner Media's Digital Content Director. He is an award-winning multimedia journalist, having served as editor-in-chief of various Alabama and Florida newspapers from 2006-2018. Thomas earned more than 30 regional, state and national journalism awards and accolades during his news career. He has a passion for engaging, fact-based content and a keen eye for detail. He joined Today's Homeowner Media in 2018 and received recognition on the Marquis Who's Who list in 2023. He earned his Bachelor of Arts at Spring Hill College in 2005.

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