Springsteel upgraded the exterior in more visible ways. "Lots of Mystic houses of the Greek Revival era are plain; they are more representative of simple Yankee craftsmanship," he says. "We dressed up the exterior by building out a flush gable at the back to match the projecting gable on the front, and by adding dentil molding. We also widened some trim boards and enlarged the corner boards."
Today, one addition and 247 panels later, Renee says she appreciates the effect of all that painstaking attention to detail. She's even willing to admit that it was worth living with a man so obsessed that he figures he poured 4,000 hours into their home—10 hours every Saturday, 6 or more on Sundays, and 1 hour a night Mondays through Thursdays—for five years.
For his part, Michael says he's happy with the result and still loves Greek Revival detail. But he readily admits it's time for a new project. "I'm done with raised panels," he says. At least for now.
Pictured: The ceiling in the family room was made with a gridwork of poplar 1x6s trimmed with built-up crown molding.