Saturday, September 10, 2016

Our Farmhouse Renovation- Part 1

An Opportunity and a Project

We bought a six acre property, two miles from our home farm in 2009 and started growing vegetables there in 2010. The land slopes gently to the southeast and the soil is good for vegetable growing. There was also an old house on the property that  had some charming features, and also some that needed repair or updating.  
We cleaned it up and painted after buying the property, but decided not to do any renovation work. 


Our friends, Keriann and Jeroen rented the house for 5 years and made it into a cozy home.  

Then in 2015 when Keriann and Jeroen moved their Ecotulips business to Rhode Island, we decided the time had come for a ‘minor’ renovation.   We interviewed several contractors and hired Chris Gilley of Castlewood Construction to be our general contractor.  
Our initial program was pretty simple:
1. Raise the ceiling of the master bedroom downstairs; it was sagging and anyone over 6 feet would have to stoop to walk in the middle of the room 
2. Do some minor renovations in the kitchen.  

Once Chris began investigating, he quickly found out why the ceiling was sagging-  there was very little holding it up!  The joists holding up the floor in the storage area above were just propped on the ends of the siding boards; no beams for support! 

Our minor renovation project soon became a major one.  We decided to see obstacles as opportunities and developed our requirements for the project:
Keep the character of the original 1830s house
Reuse as much of the original wood as possible
Install central heat and air
Install modern windows
Insulate the walls, crawlspace and attic
Lengthen the ridge to enlarge the second floor footprint
This added an extra Rec room and bathroom
Reduce the steepness of the stairway
Add an upper deck at the back of the house
What we envisioned was an old farmhouse with many of the energy saving features and conveniences of a 21st century house.  These posts will trace the progress of our renovation; stay tuned for Part 2!

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