The actual 2016 restorations accomplishments alligned themselves with the goals we had set for ourselves at the beginning of the year.
1) We were able to "side" the original home (two sides) with new cedar clapboard siding taking care to paint it, its original color "... at the top of the hill set a little grey clapboard sided house ... "
2) In the process of demolishing the mid 19th century front porch addition and 1960's vinyl siding we discovered a transom window above the front door. We temporarily glazed it with safety glass, but will replace with a period window in 2017.
3) We replaced the metal roofing placed over the original home. Several layers of asphalt shingles as well as the roofing deck were replaced with 1/2" sheets of treated plywood, then shingled with a composition 30 year simulated shake shingle.
4) The front porch was replaced with 5'X6' Pennsylvania Bluestone stoope with a single front step ----- looks fantastic, authentic and original.
5) What we did not anticipate was a repair that was categorized as maintenance. When we returned in September of 2016, the front door was wedged shut due to sagging in the S.E. corner of the house. Caused, we suspect, by water leaching behind the original foundation wall and causing excessive hydrostatic pressure to bulge the interior of the original hand laid basement wall bulging it inward about 8 inches --------- very scary! With help from one of the docent brothers, Larry Clark from the Lakeshore ward in Tempe, AZ, we installed a 6"X6"X8' beam supported by 3 pole jacks under corresponding floor joists/logs and cranked them up until the floor was level. Immediately cured the wedged door issue. The next step was the securing of the bulging wall. We layed a 18"X 10"X8' concrete footer with two courses of 1/2" rebar, then laid 7 courses of concrete block with verticle rebar every other void and two courses of horizontal 1/2" rebar securing the top course to the floor joists/logs. The whole thing was backfilled with concrete thus assuring that neither the new wall nor the original wall would be going anywhere. In short; 62 blocks, 150' of rebar, 55, 80# sacks of concrete mix (hand mixed in a wheel barrow) and 7, 80# sacks of mortar mix later, the problem was solved.
6) Considerable time and energy was also spent on "critter proofing" the Stowell home, our home away from home. Built and installed a "no sag" period looking carriage shed door to 3/16" specs around its perimeter (9'X8'), her-to-fore the open front door to "critter hotel". Installed interior of room with treated 1/2" plywood --- rodants won't knaw through the chemical composition of the treated wood. Covered the ceiling in a back hallway with roofing tin, and, in effect, closed the here-to-fore rodant winter sanctuary for a long, long time ------ we hope.