As we approached our four-year anniversary as the farm's owners, Kelly and I moved into the carriage house. Then we picked up our sledgehammers and dove into the demo on the main house.
Like the carriage house, it needed a new roof; the framing was good, so the contractors tore off the tattered asphalt and replaced the rotted cedar shakes underneath with new ones. New plumbing, electric, and AC were needed in this house, too. Here we found that high-velocity central air, with its CD-size ducts, was fairly easy to install and worth the expense. We were happy with the floor plan but didn't like the tight galley kitchen and wanted more space upstairs. I started looking at addition options that would allow us the large, open-plan kitchen we dreamed of, as well as a second-floor master suite.
Shown: Tulip cutouts in the stair surround in the master bedroom are the homeowner's design. A small woodstove warms the room in winter; it vents into a dedicated flue in the kitchen-fireplace chimney stack, as does the oil-burning furnace in the basement.