As the inspector said, the house has good bones. And as others have confirmed, the place feels good.
If I were living here solo, it would be too big for my needs. The second-floor could be reserved essentially for guests in season.
For two of us, both working from home, that second-floor would definitely come into play, and adding a daughter and son-in-law to the mix, even as frequent visitors, makes for yet one more set of calculations.
So here’s what we’re looking at on the horizon:
- Raise the roof into extended dormers across the second floor, plus an addition over the mudroom.
- Get heat for the second floor.
- Grade and better define the parking area.
- Install a wood stove or fireplace in the main parlor.
- Redo the old bathroom, moving doorway to the hallway rather than the dining room.
- Add an upstairs bathroom.
- Add small butler pantry between kitchen and dining room and move washer-dryer to second floor.
- Remove the ramp to the back door and move back entrance in the mudroom.
- Add a deck – we do miss the Smoking Garden – and implement a garden design – one that’s smaller but deer-proof.
- Enlarge the front porch.
It sounds like a lot, but we’re finding it exciting. We did just as much in Dover, only piecemeal.
The Cape we bought was listed as circa 1865, but from some of the detailing, we’re guessing it was more likely around 1835. A bird’s-eye view map from the 1835 shows a house on this site, though maybe not this one.
Many potential buyers passed on the place, for whatever reasons. It is definitely a fixer-upper, but it feels good, and we like its in-town, close-to-the-ocean location.
One chimney was in peril of collapse, and it’s already been removed. The fuel-oil tank had to be replaced. Also done.
We’re looking at the work ahead in two stages.
The first, of course, is more essential. The second, renovating the place more for our dreams.
Not that I especially wanted another This Old House kind of series, but this time we think we can tackle the project more comprehensively, rather than piecemeal.
Here’s what’s on our plate as soon as possible:
- Insulate exterior walls.
- Repair foundation and cellar. Work from the bottom up.
- Level the flooring.
- Rewire, to accommodate more electronics and appliances, especially, and add grounded outlets.
- Replace windows.
- Straighten and fix gutters.
- Touch up and repaint exterior trim.
- Add a garden shed. We really miss our barn and need more storage space.
- Remove the old fireplace iron insert (now sitting in the middle of a room) and the big wood cookstove.
- Remodel and update kitchen.