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Chatham Charmer

Tim Smith, owner of Minglewood Homes, puts a fresh face on a timeworn 1930s Cape cottage.

Photo by Dan Cutrona

Smith set to work, to design a house that would fit the setting as well as offer amenities for contemporary lifestyle. Due to the age of the existing structure, Minglewood Homes worked closely with the Historic Commission, Planning Board, and the Zoning Board of Appeals to realize the firm’s vision. “We wanted the scale and proportions of the home, as well as the materials, to be in keeping with the original house and other vernacular cottages in the area,” says Smith. Ubiquitous weathered shingles and white trim abound in the historical town and Smith honored these precedents.

The original center massing of the home was structurally sound, but two later additions needed to be removed. The interior was gutted to the studs, except for the main staircase, which was in good condition. Next, the house was lifted off its foundation (supported by steel beams) and turned 180 degrees, relocating the original shell to a newly poured foundation to take better advantage of the views. Minglewood’s crew salvaged the original granite foundation stones to be repurposed for a new walkway in the landscape. Once the structure was in place, two new wings were added—one a garage with a master suite on the second floor, and the other a great room with a cathedral ceiling. Existing shed dormers were reconfigured, creating three gable dormers. An eyebrow window was added into the great room wing to emit additional natural light into the space.

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