Reconstruction, part 1: The beginnings of a new life
As the house is a historical structure in the eyes of the county, we have been able to save most of the building’s skeleton. If this was new construction, we’d likely have to build a contemporary concrete foundation. Instead, we can work with the original stone piers (there are nine of them) that hold up the house. Mike is rebuilding them, mostly using the original stones and other rocks gathered from the property. On the left is the original, and on the right is the rebuilt pier.
The existing metal roof had a lovely aged patina, but was unfortunately insufficient to do the job a roof must do. We found an Amish company in Pennsylvania who made a modern standing-seam roof, in a color very near to the original. They and installed the roof just after the ‘Snowzilla’ blizzard in February 2016.
One of the major changes in the house is the expansion of window area. The original house had small windows facing only east and west, which made for a dark and viewless interior. In the new design, several of those windows are being expanded by twice or thrice their width, and additional windows are being added on the north and south sides. The first window to be opened up was the one over the kitchen counter. This beautiful view to the west towards Sleepy Creek mountain becomes even more magical by being framed by this wide panorama. (The windows will be traditional single-hung with muntins.)
Because most of the interior walls of the house have been removed, structural compensation must be added to hold the house together and support the walls and roof. This large post-and-beam structure divides the downstairs area. The horizontal beam will be fully exposed, but the vertical posts will be partially hidden behind the wall plaster.