How did we end up in Downeast Maine? I never thought moving further north would be a good idea (I'm pretty sure Susan always wanted to go as far north as possible) but maybe it's the advancing age thing or finally realizing what you want, but here we are.

This relatively remote part of Maine offers great boating, inspiring views, pleasant folks (love that accent!) and a simpler pace of life. (Not a traffic light for many miles.) The house is one half mile from "downtown" which makes it easy to get to the library, grocery, hardware store and the local brew pub. The location with a view, maple trees, boat barn, workshop, a great road for running, and we have found a place to call our home.

(You can mouse over most images for more pictures.)

We found this property last summer (2015) when visiting the area for the Small Reach Regatta, a sailing/camping venture that takes place at the end of the Blue Hill peninsula. Driving through Blue Hill on the last day of the event we took a new route, Parker Point Road. Ah, the views, the "runnability"! We found a WiFi hotspot to do some real estate searching, only to discover that Parker Point had been discovered. There was an old (1900) farm house listed, and when we called our realtor to ask about it, she told us we wouldn't be interested. To the surprise of all of us, we were, and it's now ours.

Spring 2016

We were elated when the house "passed" the buyer's house inspection. Only after it was ours did we find that it needed more than superficial update, not a surprise when buying a house that was built in 1900.

So, even though it took many months to get a rough plan and an estimate, once we got one they wanted to get started, the next day! So here they are, ripping the old place apart.

They really enjoy this part of the job.

1st trailer load has good part of our 1st floor going bye-bye

Looking back over a century of wall papering? The floor was so warped that a marble would scoot from one end to the other.
While all this fun is going on over at the real house, we're working on making the small studio apartment livable. The original kitchen area was a rather eclectic collection of cabinets, all asking to be replaced.
The old cabinets and counter top are gone. The new counter top is made out of Paperstone. The old blue carpet and linoleum has been replaced with cork flooring.
2nd floor, not much left. 1st shot is looking from the master bedroom through to what was and will be the master bath. 2nd photo is looking towards the closet.
Meanwhile, down in the basement, all the ducting has been removed as has 116 years of wiring. Would you feel comfortable knowing this is what is supporting your floors?
Stairs are a bit more airy, and the kitchen is bare.
While the engineer, architect and contractor were busy figuring out loads, beam sizes and other structural issues, Susan and I decided to upgrade the garden fence. A recent issue of This Old House magazine showed how to build one, a weekend project for one man. Right! Obviously he was a superman and his plot had no rocks. Well ours has plenty. We rented a self propelled auger which managed do dig some of the holes, but most required manual digging. We got most of the 24 posts in OK, but found a granite ledge under where we wanted the main gate. Fun. Hammer drilled post supports into the rock and 80# of concrete and we're hoping that will do it.
The start of our apple orchard, gifts from Susan's Dad and his wife. So we now have Ken (Winter Gravenstein) and Connie (Starky) planted and growing in our backyard. It will be apple picking time before you know it!
In Susan's office the original ceiling had fairing strips. Too much insulation was put on poorly fastened ceiling tiles. So that all had to come off. Now the ceiling has a vapor barrier and 20" of cellulose insulation.

Summer 2016

...stairway to nowhere. Hard to believe not long ago I was concerned about getting wallpaper glue off the walls! Only part of the first floor left so new parts should be going in sometime soon.

Even though we're on the water, with the boat ramp less than a mile away, for some reason it got to be mid July before Rivus got wet this year. It was a gray day, but a nice breeze and had the ramp to myself. This part of the bay can only be sailed when the tide is in. If you look through the woods you can see 117 Parker Point looking out.
Back at the house, they're working full time and the new beams, joists and subfloors are going in.
More stuff is finally going in then coming out, entryway and roof redone, doors and windows replaced. Cabinets, appliances and flooring have been ordered. We're going to need new siding soon!
One room in the house is getting close. Susan's office has new paint, light fixtures, door and the big shelf is back in place.
Outside a trench was dug to get the power lines underground. Delivery trucks had been running into the low hanging lines. While upstairs we are getting our first interior walls roughed in. Looking from the master bedroom to the master bath and closet.
Outside, the old aluminum and vinyl siding has been removed, new doors and most of the new windows installed. The old green shingles are off, and once we saw what was under them we will be much happier living under the new roof! Lots of stuff going on inside, not all photogenic, like the plumbing and electrical, and now insulation.
Susan has been busy in her office and that can now be called livable, and lovely too! With a little elbow grease and paint, the old vanity has new life, and will be even nicer when the new faucet is installed.

Walls are insulated, dense packed cellulose in most areas, sprayed foam on the unvented sloped areas. Sheetrock delivered and installation started on Labor Day weekend.

Will we make it in before the first snow?
Lots of sheetrock. House is getting smaller, more like a cozy cottage. Meanwhile the old green roof is getting reshingled and new trim is showing off the new roof lines.
You can see how popular we've been since moving here, our driveway is almost always full. Most of our new friends drive pick-em-up trucks. Meanwhile up in our studio apartment, the pace is pretty subdued.

We have symmetry! The last windows are now in. On the far right you can see one of the old bedroom windows that replaced the old, and somewhat scary, large picture window.

Inside, the downstairs are primed. A lot is happening fast, as the flooring and cabinets are in, (soffits and siding, too) and once the painting is done, installation will begin!

The kitchen is here! That's a lot of boxes. Will they all fit?

Base cabinets and granite installed. Without lights you can't tell but we think it looks pretty good. Uppers to go.

Upstairs the bath cabinets and granite are in. The top cabinet has to be reordered as they sent a 42" instead of a 24" one.

Outside, the new cedar entry porch is changing the look of the place, cleaning up the old roof lines. The cedar came from a mill upstate, it looks and smells real nice.

While down in the basement the old 1900 foundation walls got sprayed with foam and painted. We will find out this winter how well insulated we are.

Sue's 94 y/o dad and his wife drove up from Florida for a visit and he helped with the cedar porch. Not sure if we'll add the railing. We like this look so far.

While inside the ash flooring is getting installed. We really like it and it should be hard enough to handle big dog traffic. .

Susan's dad, Ken and his "twin." That would be David Wyman, a boating friend of mine, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Ken. (And they're both from Cape Cod, hmmmm...)

Click over to see the dog entry made of scrap cedar from the porch project. Don't tell Bags, she thinks I special ordered the wood just for her.

More progress in the kitchen.

The fitting of the stove top and oven was tight. Took the carpenters a whole day to recut and fit the oven cabinet. They did a good job.

 
Chris, Blue Ledge Carpentry, contractor

Wayne, our foreman
It's about time we introduced the hardworking crew making this happen.


Ryan, lead carpenter


Darren, Blue Hill Plumbing

 
Scott and crew from Blue Hill Painting, checking some weirdness in the ceiling paint

View of Blue Hill from the golf course on a frosty November morning.

The master bath is almost done. Mirrors, glass and lots of cleaning to go! And the shower plumbing, toilet, fixtures, and more painting...so more almost, then done, done.

Getting the shower pan was an ordeal. The first one that arrived was the wrong size. Amazon said to keep it and they'd send a new one. The second one arrived with a broken curb and no epoxy. Amazon said, once again, to keep it and they'd send another. The 3rd one arrived, with a broken curb again! This time Amazon refunded the purchase I repaired the curb. The local Habitat for Humanity Restore got 2 slightly damaged pans and we got ours for free, but a lot wasted time and frustration.

It is now November and it seems that this project has been going on forever. Sometimes we need to take a step back from all the dust, tools, lumber and remember why we decided to do this, like our morning dog walks along Blue Hill Bay and the beautiful view from what will be our master bedroom.

Getting down to the final items, but without doubt they will still take lots more time and money. I pushed my luck and stained the deck on what would probably be the last day this year warm enough to do it. (50). I had a lot of help building this, Ken, Susan's dad helped on the deck, and David, my favorite B-in-law, helped on the ceiling. All told, 221 years were involved with no injuries or trips to the hospital!

A bit of siding was installed, just enough to give us the idea of what it will look like. Maybe 2 out of 3 houses are gray on this street so we get no points for originality but it should look like it belongs.

The stairs are in and the guys are out! The staircase was the last major indoor project for our carpentry team so now their focus will shift outdoors.
We have furniture! It is now feeling like a home, our home. While its a snug cottage inside, outside the work continues. It can't be fun putting siding on in December. Maybe they'll be done this year?
A check in the box as the master bath is one room we can call done. We're very pleased how it came out. It has radiant floor heating, and is just the right size for us. Roll over to see what it had been.

Done! Well, mostly. It's a house and of course it will never be done. The crew has packed up after many, many months of remodeling. We still have lots of painting, baseboards, and details to finish. But now it is our home, and very livable.

We will post more photos in the spring when it is even more "done."

February 2017: We managed to survive our first blizzard, lost power, and then the generator (we have no heat without it) but our electrician came out, during the worst of the storm, and got it working!

Next day the sun comes out and life is good, providing you like shoveling!