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Traditional Home Blog

As I explained last week, the exterior of the house is almost complete, but we are engaged in a serious waiting game as the winter weather has pulled the plug on almost all productivity.  This has provided me with time for reflection on how far we’ve come as well as the idea of expectation versus reality. What I mean by that is—there have been a lot of surprises! Architectural plans... More
This week we have good news and we have bad news. The good news is that the exterior of the house is almost finished—so close that a sense of completion is nearly palpable. The bad news is that we have to abandon any additional work on the exterior until spring because of inclement weather and wind chill. That means the shingling, detail painting, and completion of the porch floor and stairs will... More
When we made the decision to lift our house nine feet in the air, we were faced with a new conundrum:  how were we going to get inside a house that is basically floating in the sky? The answer was very simple – stairs – and two sets of them! We decided to have one set of stairs going up to the front door and a second set ascending to the back porch. The design and implementation of... More
It has been two years and counting since we began our beach cottage renovation project. Two years! A couple of months into the process we learned that we had to lift the house and, thus, began a series of changes that now total 67(!), which gives you an idea of how arduous a task renovating a home can be. The kicker is that after two years and 67 changes we are only 65% finished with the project... More
This week’s takeaway: Never underestimate the power of a cement floor! I didn’t know that I could be so excited about cement being poured, but that is exactly what has happened this week. Everything about this renovation project feels somehow more complete now that our garage and first level have a real floor.  Let me back up a bit. Because of our proximity to the ocean, the lower... More
If you’ve been keeping score at home, you might remember that it was the authentic pair of antique carriage doors that I found in Maine that inspired the design of our house. You might also remember that when I went to purchase said doors only one pair remained—leaving us with the conundrum of finding replacement doors to match our already-in-progress design. Awaiting the real carriage... More
When it came time to construct railings for the porch, we ran into some difficulties, as is wont to happen in these renovation endeavors. This time the issue had to do with finding the proper method to install the railings without creating a permanent obstruction of our beloved ocean view in the process.   The first option we considered was Greek columns with shingle bases to keep the... More
I will start this week off by admitting that practicality is not always my first area of concern in a renovation project. And in the specific case of renovating bathrooms, this has proved especially problematic. We found many beautiful fixtures, sinks and commodes from Kohler, but the hard part was finding the proper placement for each component. My a-ha moment of clarity came after a... More
This week’s post is about the multiple changes and adaptations that must be made during a renovation project. Unfortunately, some of these happen way past the point of comfort. Even with great plans on paper, once on site, some of your plans might not work out according to the initial design. These types of revisions are generally costly and usually disappointing to some degree. However, we made... More
One of the most challenging aspects of undergoing a renovation project is dealing with the restrictions and rigors of adhering to town code. For the uninitiated: every town has its own individual set of rules for how one can build or renovate an existing structure, so it’s very important to get familiar with the town code (and hopefully the town council) from the onset of any local project.... More