“I knew exactly how I wanted it to look,” says Irvin-Ware. “Very
simple, lots of white. There were no monumental decisions — we were
on the same page from the beginning.”
To get started, Gourd hired Mike Wraga and his crew at Equinox
Custom Builders of Rutland, Vermont. They widened door openings,
gutted the kitchen and upstairs bath, opened the ceiling of the one-
story kitchen wing to gain height, replaced every door and window,
and added a small deck off the kitchen. “Basically, we took a three-
bedroom house and turned it into a one-bedroom house,” says Gourd.
At this early stage, Gourd and Wraga also focused on improving
energy efficiency. “With old homes, you never know what you’re going
to find,” says Gourd. “The kitchen had freeze-up issues, for example.
We had to figure out a creative way to insulate it, which involved a crew
member squeezing into the crawl space below the floor and sunporch.”
They also patched every hole and sealed the building envelope with
spray foam and rigid insulation.