As much as we wanted to honor the old spirit of the house, we also knew we needed more space, especially in the kitchen. So we bumped it out 4 feet and added a porch downstairs. Upstairs, we created a master suite, added a second bath, converted one bedroom into an office, and put on a sleeping porch. We were careful to make the new exterior blend with the original house, reusing as much of the redwood siding as possible. But for the new boards, and for the 30 percent of the old ones that had rotted and had to be replaced, I didn’t use redwood. It costs $4 a foot and would’ve had to come from California. Cypress, at $1.10 a foot, worked just fine. We added a garage in the back, too. That became my workshop.
The final step was the landscape. Judy wanted a native Florida garden, which requires little water, so we consulted a local horticulturist and started planting magnolias and palms.
It’s been a lot of work, but we wouldn’t trade the experience. It’s not every day in Florida that you get to live in a house with history.