Half a Renovation Postponed 15 Years

An articulate woman whose passions run toward literature and gardening, Jane had managed to put off the renovation for 15 years, despite a flooded basement, a yard mired in more mud than marigolds, a kitchen she says was "dark and scary and had no stove," and an adjacent bath that was so dysfunctional, she used it for storage. During happier times, she had renovated half of the two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house, which sits close to the road in tiny Norwich, Vermont. As for the rest, she simply stepped around it.

Shown: The stitched-together house, shown in an undated photo, had gained a chimney and a fireplace before the current owner got to work.
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