We were doing most of the work ourselves to save money and make sure that quality work was going into our home. There isn't a contractor we know of—except TOH TV's Tom Silva—who would fuss over making sure every tile was even and that the cabinetry was perfectly square the way we do. If we didn't know how to fix something, we paid someone to come in for an hour or two to show us how to do it. That's how we learned to connect wires and hook up radiators.
Pictured: Now heated by a salvaged radiator, the porch is a favorite lounge space all year round.