Monthly Archives: November 2014

Construction Notes


Cabinet Delivery Day

Progress on the Calvary Church project continues to move along at a great pace.  Coordinating all of the subcontractors and city inspectors requires careful planning and great patience since certain tasks can’t be started until others are completed.  To date, demolition is complete, electrical and plumbing work has begun and the cabinets have arrived.


What’s particularly exciting about this job is that our custom cabinets have been designed with a celtic cross detail carved into the doors that matches exactly to a detail found on many pews in the church.  Preserving the integrity of the church’s beautiful architectural features and overall design aesthetic is an integral part of my job, and this detail is just one example of how we are achieving that goal.


Construction is often a tedious process which requires a tremendous attention to detail.  Throughout the duration of a project many decisions have to be made, and sometimes it’s tough to know the right answer.  What’s important to know is that often times there are multiple ways to solve a problem.  For example, if a subcontractor tells you that what you have requested can’t be done, and you don’t like the solution that’s been offered, it’s always a good idea to ask for an alternative.  You’d be surprised to learn that many times there are multiple solutions — you simply have to ask, and sometimes you even have to stand your ground until a better solution can be considered.  In this particular situation, wiring for the electrical fixtures was extremely complicated since the walls of the church are almost two feet thick and made of stone and plaster.  As a result, most of the wiring can’t be located behind the walls, so many  fixtures in the church are surface-mounted.  One of the greatest challenges was in trying to install the switches for the light fixtures in an accessible location.  Luckily, with the help of a skilled electrician we were able to layout the fixtures and their switches in a way that not only would satisfy the occupants of the room but also wouldn’t make it necessary to cut into my cabinets in order to do so!

We have a tight timeline that we’re following so that this space is ready for use within the next several weeks.  Follow along as progress continues (and the pictures get better!).


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Before & After

 A good Before & After story is always a great way to demonstrate how a space can be transformed with a little hard work and imagination coupled with a tremendous support network of craftsmen.  I thought it would be fun to document the progress of a project that has been in the planning stages for several months.  This truly is a labor of love for me, as this project is taking place in the church where I grew up, got married, and had my children baptized.

I have had the good fortune to have been hired to replace the cabinetry in the Sacristy of Calvary Church in Summit, NJ.  This space is of tremendous importance as it is where so many preparations for Sunday services take place.  Not only is this area used by the Minister, but it is also occupied by the Altar Guild.  The challenge was two-fold.  First, how do you design a space that requires storage for items used to prepare for the service as well as two sinks to assist in those preparations, without making that space look and feel like a kitchen?  And secondly, how to you design the cabinetry so that it is in keeping with the style of a church that was built more than 100 years ago?

Over the next several weeks I will show photographs of the work in progress so that together we can see this sacred space transformed into a room that is more seamlessly integrated with the style of the rest of the church.  Today was Demo Day, so here’s the before…

Sacristy Before
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