Mr. Michael Calafati, AIA
Historic Building Architects, LLC

South Boundbrook, New Jersey

The Staats house is an historic farmhouse with many additions. The earliest of the structures dates to the 18th century with a total of seven building campaigns documented through construction techniques and stylistic variations.


The client retained us as a consulting firm to provide an assessment of the physical condition of the load bearing elements of the house along with how those elements allude to the sequence of construction.  The assessment was to be utilized by the project architect as the future plans for the restoration and reuse of the house.

  • Investigation of the house to confirm the sequence of construction and the history of that sequence.
  • The building had undergone several additions and modifications, and part of our involvement was for the purpose of confirming or denying those additions.
  • Assessing the load bearing capabilities of the separate additions of the house. 
  • The oldest and possibly the original block of construction was found to be at the center of the current building.
  • The original blocking was identified as phase One of a Seven phase construction sequence of additions.  This was deduced from investigating the variation in construction styles, details, and framing. 
  • The load bearing elements and the elements attendant to them are in as varied condition as the rest of the building.  In general, the elements of Phases Five, Six, and Seven are in good condition and can operate at or near their design capacity.
  • The older portions of the building are more problematic.  The theoretic capacity of the ground floor is governed primarily by the plank flooring and is theoretically capable of supporting 46 pounds per square foot; however, due to deterioration of the flooring and indeterminate character of that condition even an allowable live load of 20 pounds per square foot is not too conservative.
  • If the desire is to achieve assembly loads of 100 per square foot, the entire structure and the older portions in particular will have to undergo much more detailed engineering analysis which will most likely result in some significant replacements of members and elements because shoring and jacks alone cannot compensate safely for locally deteriorated conditions.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.