201203hsp_026 Energy conservation measures are still in development. “The owners charged us with making this as energy efficient as we possibly could,” Paine says. She created an “incredibly tight envelope” with closed cell foam insulation and wired the house for electric heat. The radiators have gel liquid centers, which are excellent for retaining heat. (There is a backup gas stove on the second floor.) Photovoltaic panels on the roof supply much of the energy, proven by $12 electric bills. Hot water is supplied on demand by two tankless Rinnai brand water heaters. Paine and her crew also pre-wired the house for a vertical-access wind turbine that they hope to install. The house has artistic flourishes throughout, many reflecting the owners’ creativity and mutual affection. Sutter surprised Cozzi, a retired pediatric dentist, with a dog ramp for their treasured pet, an elderly teacup poodle. As Paine says, “there’s a lot of heartfelt stuff in this house.”


The logistics of working on the house, landlocked and almost unreachable, were stunning. With what Paine calls “a little piece of Yankee ingenuity” and help from the community, she and her crew built a staging area in the West End parking lot and ran a gangway to the site, over the beachfront of very generous neighbors. “You know the saying, ‘it takes a village?’” Paine says. “Well, we put a village together.”  

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Mary Grauerholz

Mary Grauerholz is the communications manager of the Cape Cod Foundation and a freelance writer.

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