The Maine Adventure

The Property
The Site...  Landscaping... Outside Design... The Natural Environment...
Gentle Demolition...  Moving the Barn...  Moving the Cape...  Reconnecting the Cape...  The Cape Renovation... Becoming a B&B...
The Farmhouse
Prepping for the Farmhouse...Modular Farmhouse & Stick-built Garage...Farmhouse Interior...
The Homer Jones Barn
The original Homer Jones Barn...The new HJ Barn...Homer Barn Interior...Owner's Quarters

The Heroes-My Working Partners...  The Gallery... The Retreats... The Destination Weddings


Project 6: Gentle Demolition of the Backhouse     Project 7: Clearing out under the Barn   

Project 6: Gentle Demolition of the Backhouse

The 'backhouse' as the Maine natives call it, or the "L" addition which connected the Maine cape farmhouse with the barn, has a wonderful history.  The local story is that the backhouse was pulled down Back River road by oxen over a hundred years ago. Earlier owners of the property were cousins of a neighbor whose house was the original site of the backhouse. Why they decided to share part of their house, I don't know.
It was a handsome building, as you can see from this picture, and it worked just fine as a three season addition for the former owners, who were both about five feet tall. However, when I stood in the backhouse, which was unfinished and un-insulated, the roofing nails combed my hair. If I had stood straight, they would have caused punctures. (!)

So after discussing next steps with four different builders, it became clear that the backhouse had to come down, to make way for something that would fit my lifestyle (and 5'11" height!). I found a man who specializes in what I call 'gentle demolition', Harold Dawson, and hired him and his crew to take this building down, saving every scrap of wood that might be used in a new addition, and honoring the old building in the process. He did such great work, and we hit it off so well, that he and his crew are 'regulars' around the site.


The three-seater in the outhouse was definitely something to be saved!

And below are the foundation stones that will be saved and used for all kinds of purposes: as entry stones for both the Cape and farmhouse; to build benches for meditation and viewing around the property; and to surround the new gas fireplace in the new farmhouse and become part of the hearth there.

The foundation stones in summer.

More beautiful foundation stones below:

The blue 'bandaid' that the men placed over the opening, to protect the main house, stayed in place until the warmth of spring, when we planned the next steps with the lovely old Cape house.

Project 7: Clearing out under the Barn

Since there was no real foundation under the barn, this area became an accumulation site for all kinds of old wood pieces. We saved what was useful and trekked the rest to the dump.

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