Building
Show and sell: Weed & Duryea sets the stage for one-stop home shopping

Show and sell: Weed & Duryea sets the stage for one-stop home shopping

When New Canaan native Francis Weed returned home after serving in the Civil War and opened a coal, lumber, feed and timber retail business, the 23-year-old probably never imagined that the company would one day evolve into a one-stop home shopping resource for area homeowners and builders. Francis, in need a job after the war,...
Open house

Open house

Without change, things stagnate. That includes homes. Change keeps the rooms in a house revitalized. For instance, formal dining and living spaces are taking on whole new purposes as well as great new looks. The kitchen is no longer just a utility space where food gets cooked and pots, pans, and dishes get cleaned. Formal...
Build green, be happy! Part III

Build green, be happy! Part III

Happiness. This is what some may call the touchy-feely reason to build green. I get it. I have friends who need a lot of convincing; they just want to know the bottom line and only want to talk about the facts. How can I even bring something as ephemeral and vague as happiness into to...
Build green, stay healthy

Build green, stay healthy

In my last column, we talked about building to be energy efficient; this month we’ll discuss building to be healthy. Keep It All Out: The Awesome Building Envelope Here is a big plus. The more you adhere to the tenants of Green Building (like building a well-insulated, well-sealed, envelope) the less allergens and illness you...
Divine design: Architects Brooks and Falotico reinvent the dream home

Divine design: Architects Brooks and Falotico reinvent the dream home

In 1996, my husband and I decided to buy a house. We looked at many, but kept coming back to a circa 1962 outdated split level that needed a lot of cosmetic work. We kept hearing the phrase, from the realtor, our family and well-intentioned friends, “but it has such good bones!” With its orange...
Redding reno results in year-round retreat

Redding reno results in year-round retreat

In real estate, it is said that for every house there is a buyer. In some cases, however, it takes a while for the buyer to appear, especially when the house is custom built with some unusual features and the seller is not particularly motivated. So it was with an inverted U-shaped ranch-plus-partial-second-story home in...
What kind of house do you drive?

What kind of house do you drive?

Is your house a Yugo or a Mercedes? Would you rather your house was a Prius? How about a Tesla? Before we talk about houses, let’s talk about cars. With cars it’s generally considered obvious: you get what you pay for. There are quality levels associated with cars brands and price tags. But what does...
Mark your calendars!

Mark your calendars!

Ballard Greenhouse Plant Sale Scheduled for Mother’s Day Weekend Heralding the spring gardening season, the annual Plant Sale at Ballard Greenhouse, run by members of the Caudatowa and Ridgefield garden clubs, will take place May 9 – 10 (Fri. and Sat.), 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Ballard Greenhouse (rain or shine). Among the plant...

The Energy Efficient Foundation, Part 3

In my second column of three on foundations, I wrote about how to insulate a basement that is always dry. In this column, I’m going to write about what to do if your basement is always or sometimes damp or wet. The first thing is to see if there’s a cost-effective way to make your...
The Green House Effect

The Green House Effect

Leslie and Bob Lawrence had lived in their “sweet 1954 Cape” for about a decade when the arrival of two children and the demands of modern life led them to decide, in 2007, to update and expand their Rowayton home. “There was no consideration for moving,” said Leslie, “as we love where we are. It’s...
The energy-efficient foundation, Part 2

The energy-efficient foundation, Part 2

Last month, I wrote that an unfinished basement represents a golden opportunity to improve the thermal envelope (TE) of your home at a low cost with a rapid payback by way of reduced energy bills.  The fact is that most basements have little insulation, and there is no clear boundary between conditioned and unconditioned space,...
The Last Resort: A builder's well-appointed home serves as his family's permanent vacation destination.

The Last Resort: A builder’s well-appointed home serves as his family’s permanent vacation destination.

Describing themselves as homebodies who love to entertain, Sharon and Rich Rosano thought carefully about everything they wanted when building their New Canaan home six years ago. Flow, amenities and proportion were important, as was technology. “I love that I can pretty much run the house from my iPhone,” admits Rich, an Rochester Institute of...