Upstairs, the plan was to remove the worn rafters, raise the roof, and drop in a dormer, yielding a more livable second floor. But not so fast. The preservation-minded building inspector objected to demolition of the roof and an exterior wall where Paul had found dozens of painted boards holding the shingle siding in place. "That's how they built in those days; they threw up whatever they had and shingled over it," he says. Eventually a deal was struck that allowed him to put up plywood walls and beefier rafters while giving the historic flotsam more visibility inside.
Ceilings tumbled, along with a crumbling chimney and a brick flue that had vented the old gas furnace. A replacement chimney went up to serve the dining room fireplace and a new one in the kitchen. Walls were stuffed with insulation and ductwork and covered with wood over drywall. "That meant thicker windowsills and jambs, which give the house a strong old-world feel," says Paul.
Shown: A rustic table, made with a salvaged bar top, keeps the connection between kitchen and sitting room open and airy.