Fixing Up a Fire-Damaged Cottage: After

Who: Brian and Julie W.
Where: Oxford, MD.

We worked on it for two years; our aim was to make the exterior historically accurate and to reuse original materials wherever possible. Brian is handy and has taught us all DIY skills, but this house involved many projects none of us had ever tackled. We replaced clapboards where needed and freshened up the original yellow color. We found a secondhand double-tombstone front door for only $75, which Brian cut to size. He also fixed the original window boxes, filling in damaged wood with new profiles he routed. Together we built soffits and fascia, replaced corrugated metal gutters with half-round ones, and erected a brick chimney.

Who did the work: I did most of the work myself.
Cost: More than $100,000
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