This was a slightly distressed property when we found it. 40 year old heating system. Insane energy demands. Rotting decks. Incredible charm... We loved it. We bought it in 2012. Man it's taken a lot of love to modernize it. Soooo worth it... 



Heating system replaced with Wood stove. $5K. Paid for itself in 1.5 years with savings on fuel oil. Added beauty and value to the house. Took about 5 -7 cords of wood per year. Ooof! Excellent back up system for heating, cooking, and hot water when a winter storm wipes out the power for a day or two. Yep, it happens.

Added 93.5% efficient propane boiler/hot water heater. $12K. Will pay for itself in 7.5 years with savings over fuel oil. House will never freeze, yay! Plays nicely with the wood stove thanks to four separate heating zones and programable thermostats. 

Rotten wood deck replaced with rough cut white oak.  Local, sustainably harvested, crazy cheap, and utterly amazing material. Lasts up to 30 years with no finish. Used stainless steel cable rail system, to open up the view. $10K. NO Maintenance, like, for 30 years! And no toxic gick required to make it that way.

One tiny bathroom got a major face lift. The full bath became a super-modern space capsule.

Next Steps... Solar power!



Location – Tivoli, NY
Square Feet – 1400
Budget – $50,000
Heat Delivery – Radiant
Heat Source – 93.5% efficient propane boiler
Hot Water – On demand
Electricity – Grid tied, green energy provider


Me - design and general contracting
Bruna De Araujo - styling
Gary Personette - carpentry
Mark Bennet - woodworking
Terry O'Keafe - woodworking
Joe Scheibelhoffer - weatherization
Stan - heating system
Lupe - drywall and painting