But as with any old-house renovation, this one posed several challenges. For one, the Lyons wanted to raise the roof's peak to add headroom and fit in a dormer so gracefully that you would hardly guess it was new. Before they could add to the top, they would have to strengthen down below, since the cottage is set on piers and has only a crawl space under the ground floor. Plus, they would need to add real stairs up to the new bedroom and bath, as well as wiring, plumbing, and ductwork.
Walls would have to be opened up, and to pour nine concrete footings without disturbing the home's lovely oak floors, workers would have to get into the crawl space to dig. In short order, Molly's quest for private space turned into a fine-tuning of the house, culminating in a new front door and 15 new energy-efficient windows.