Essex | A Cottage in the Woods

The second project of the season finds Norm and Kevin back on Cape Ann, this time in the scenic riverside town of Essex, Massachusetts. Not far from the antique shops and clam shacks downtown is a 1935 English-style cottage in the woods that homeowners John and Julie Corcoran hope to turn into an accessible in-law residence for Julie's aging parents. Norm finds lots of deferred maintenance, rot, a failing roof and windows, and some strange architectural choices, like the giant shed dormer that is out of sync with the rest of the cottage. Inside, Julie shows Kevin what she loves about the house and how she plans to make it comfortable and accessible for her parents, with all the necessary amenities on the first floor. Outside, Richard shows Norm the oil tank that's in the way of the new kitchen and why he might like to abandon oil altogether to pursue geothermal heating and cooling instead. In the basement, they will have to contend with ledge, well water treatment, and the unknown status of the current septic system. John shows Roger the large yard and how they'd like to keep the many trees, shrubs and perennials, while getting rid of the ratty vegetable garden and runaway forsythia. Architect Sally DeGan reviews the renovation plan with Tom and Kevin with the help of a highly detailed 3D model. Roger gets to work clearing small junk trees and the forsythia, while a specialist is brought in to properly remove the oil tank so Tom can begin work on the addition


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