The construction of this New Orleans Finch Street house was a challenging, yet extremely rewarding project. The house was 9,000 square feet under beam, which included everything under the roof as well as the garage, porches, and balconies. The client was a long time customer who happened to be a very prominent structural engineer, so he was very meticulous with what he wanted and how he wanted it done. We worked extremely close with him to make sure that we were building the dream home he envisioned. The architect hired was one we had worked with many times before, so having an established relationship with him already guaranteed a smoother, faster, and more consistent building process.
The first floor of the house was constructed to be completely flood proof. CMU reinforced concrete blocks were used for the walls, stained and sealed concrete for the flooring and fiberglass doors and frames. In case of another flood, the downstairs could just be hosed out, and no serious damage would come from it. The house was built and reinforced to be weather resistant against hurricanes, floods, and the like. The downstairs kitchen was primarily made from reclaimed Cypress, which is wood known specifically for its antique quality.
Some of the obstacles encountered during this project were new to our experience. Some changes made to the house during construction were conceived on the spot, and we worked long and hard to make sure our client approved of them and that they could be achieved in a timely manner. The delicate chandeliers were flown in from Italy and assembled by hand from many pieces. These obstacles could have slowed us down, but we used it as motivation to work harder in order to achieve our goals on time.
An observatory was erected in the back of the house so that our astronomer client could observe the sky and what lies beyond. It was constructed specifically to be extremely stable so that even minute vibrations from adjacent roadway traffic would not disturb viewing sessions that houses a 14 inch telescope. We have never attempted this type of construction before and were extremely pleased with the outcome, as was our client.
Major theme of this house were durability and redundancy. Everything was reinforced to ensure durability and longevity for years to come. If a wall needed one stud in a certain spot, a second one was placed there as well to ensure redundancy. After the homeowners experienced the peril and destruction of Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, they wanted to make sure that their new home could withstand that type of catastrophe if it were to ever happen again.
JJ Costa Co. considers this project to be one of their finest residential projects. The client was extremely satisfied with the final result, and we were able to add new construction features to our portfolio. It was a win-win for everyone involved and we look forward to working with the client again in the future.