Cambridge | Worst-Case Scenario

A week of rain from a springtime nor'easter hasn't stopped work on the house, nor on the lot. Landscape contractor Roger Cook shows host Kevin O'Connor the progress—the trees are cleared, the access road is in, excavation for the new foundation is complete, and the form work is underway. General contractor Tom Silva discovers extensive rot and termite damage on the eastern elevation, and what he thinks is a failed footing in the basement. Master carpenter Norm Abram finds that the problem is not the footing, but rather under-structured framing from two previous renovations. Homeowner George Mabry shows Norm the exterior materials he's thinking of using; stucco and stone with accents of wood siding. In nearby Lincoln, Mass., Kevin meets educational director Peter Gittleman to see the Modern house Walter Gropius designed and built for his family in 1938. Gropius' modest house was revolutionary in its impact at the time, and is today a museum and monument to the Modern movement.


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