Meanwhile, the front of the house had been bugging us ever since we saw those 1940 blueprints. To restore its good bones, we envisioned a roof that extended 6 inches over a wide fascia board and boxed gutter that would stand out against rich brown cedar-shingle siding. With all the structural work to be done, we knew we'd need professional help, so three years after moving in we bit the bullet and brought in a general contractor, Doug Davis.
To save money, we insisted that Doug let us finish the addition and the siding on the back of the house ourselves. My dad showed up over Thanksgiving that year with a nail gun instead of a pie. Some of John's co-workers helped hang drywall on the inside.