Midcoast Maine – January 2014
(re)making your home beautiful
My current project is a real sweetheart: a small shingle-style Victorian cottage in a seaside village in Maine. We have an island camp that we dearly love, but since it’s only accessible by small boat, it made sense to find a shore base for the winter when the weather turns foul.
I’ve done many renovations in my career, both on television and off, and here are a few of the valuable lessons I’ve learned:
Location. Ideally you want the worst house in the best location. That way you can put some money into it without exceeding home values in the neighborhood.
Good bones. Fixes to structure, foundation, rotten sills and walls, and major site problems are expensive, and you probably won’t see a return on those investments. A good survey before you buy is essential. You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck by renovating the kitchen and baths and doing cosmetic upgrades.