exterior of cottage after remodel, before and after cape cod style lake cottage
Photo: Nathan Kirkman

Welcoming, Refreshed Cottage: After

The morning we woke up to winged carpenter ants—hundreds of them, swarming over our bed— could have been the end of it. We had only been in our fixer-upper for a few weeks. And already we'd barely survived a night when the furnace's broken heat exchanger released enough carbon monoxide to have nearly killed us.

But Ann, my soon-to-be wife, hung in there.

Shown: Adding a deep porch with cedar railings and wide steps, cedar window awnings, fresh siding, and 50-year roof shingles gave the 1,400-square- foot home a welcoming new look.
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