I purchased the house from Ingeborg Hansen on November 18, 1977. I am only the third owner. From its erection in 1800 until the 1960s it was in the Cutter family. (The house next door to the east and the two houses across the street were Cutter houses as well.) The pond, owned by the Beans (#345) to the east, was built to provide water for the tanning operation run by the Cutters. Remnants of the operation can still be seen to the south of the pond.
I started renovating the house about a year after I purchased it and after I had put quite a bit of thought into what I wanted it to become. I did detailed drawings of the existing conditions (see original floor plan). I started on the second floor and went room-by-room, spending several years doing so. The layout of spaces was entirely new. Originally, the attic haad been made into living space and was heated. I changed that back to unheated storage, in large part to accommodate a foot of insulation in the attic floor.
Once the second floor was finished I started on the first floor, finishing up with the Morning Room and Dining Room. This included, as on the second floor, insulating both the exterior and interior walls and the floor and ceiling. True three-coat plaster was used throughout. The southernmost of two chimneys had been removed in the past. This was rebuilt to accommodate a pellet stove insert.
In 1991 I demolished the kitchen, porch and garage that had probably been built in the early 1900s. There was no foundation and a fair amount of deterioration. I replaced this with the addition which is tied into the main house at the basement level and the first and second floors. I designed the addition with help from two recently graduated MIT architecture students (see the links below). The general contractor for the addition was Andy Webber. The excavation and foundations were undertaken by George Peck of Rindge; the stress-skin roof panels were fabricated in Westmoreland; the frame was made in Peterborough by David Stephenson; the electrical work was done by Dick Smith of Rindge and the plumbing and heating by Jeff Wilder, then of Hancock.
How would I characterize the property for a potential purchaser? The lot is only about a third of an acre while the neighbors on either side have larger lot sizes. I consider this an advantage as those lots aren't subdividable and pay higher taxes. I enjoy my view of their land. The pond was possibly what caught my eye when I first viewed the property in 1977. It's a very attractive landscape feature. The size and configuration of the back yard offers lots of gardening opportunities. In recent years I haven't kept up with the garden as much as I should have but it is manageable in size and is enhanced by the pond.
For years I did my own mowing and could do the whole lawn in about an hour. I now contract that out. Because the house is sited high up water drains away and the cellar never gets flooded. Because of the height and the way the house is sited (dormer end to the street), there is very little traffic noise from Rt. 124.
In renovating the house and designing the addition I did things that pleased me and thought less about re-sale value and more about including features that appealed to my taste and needs. There are a lot of built-in bookcases; it would be a great house for a bibliophile. It might have appeal for artists, particularly with the Great Room and the Loft. There are several different levels throughout the house so it would not work for someone infirmed or disabled. It probably wouldn't work well for a large family with teenagers but might be attractive to a young couple with one or two infants.
2019 Assessment: Improvements: $241,700. Land: $27,000. Total: $268,700.
2019 Replacement Cost (from Town property records): $339,227
2019 Taxes: $8,851
Living Area (from Town property records): 2,520 square feet. My calculations below result in a much higher figure although they include areas perhaps not generally included in square footage calculations (attic, cellar, garage, etc.)
Lot size: .34 of an acre
Town water and town sewer
Electrical: 200 amp service
Town tax map.
Town assessment information.
Annual Expenses 2015-2019.
Deed for 347 Main Street.
Original floor plan of Main House at time of purchase.
Proposed floor plans of Main House. Largely as it is today:
Cellar (Doesn't show the connection to the Addition or the new chimney.)
First Floor (The Morning Room is open to the passageway to the Living Room; the stairs down to the Cellar are located off the passageway rather than from the Morning Room; the new pellet stove fireplace in the Mornhing Room not shown; the Storage area is entered from the passageway.)
Second Floor (Not shown is the wall and door delineating the Upper Hall and the Guest Room in the upper right corner. Also now shown is the connection to the Addition off of the Master Bedroom.)
Attic (Not shown is the second chimney. The Dormer was removed while re-roofing in 2009.)
Plans for the Addition. Largely as it is today:
Sheet 2 (Access to the Pantry was changed to be beside the counter on the west wall.)
MAIN HOUSE (1800). Two-story post & beam "Colonial," clapboard, twin chimneys serving a fireplace and a pellet stove insert. Red cedar roof shingles. Electric glass panel heating. All wood trim and flooring is pine and was either reconditioned from existing material or cut and milled in Jaffrey.
First FloorADDITION (Commenced 1991) Post & beam frame, stress-skin panel roof, asphalt shingles, wood clapboards and white cedar shingle exterior. In-floor heating, oil-fired boiler. Split air conditioning system.
Living Room. At the street side of the house running the entire width, with windows on three sides. Open lined fireplace. Electric glass panel heat. Insulated on all exterior walls, floor and ceiling. Plaster ceiling and walls with wainscoting. The flooring is combination of pine and wide-pine. Square footage: 235 Morning Room. Southeast corner of the Main House. There is a pellet insert and lined chimney. Paneling and wainscoting. The flooring is painted wide-pine. Square footage: 89
Dining Room. There is a small dining room on the west side with the Main House with two china closets. The flooring is wide-pine. Square footage: 79
Glassware Cupboard. Shelving for glassware, wine and spirits. Square footage: 7
China Cupboard. Shelving and drawers for china, silverware. Square footage: 15
Utility Room. Contains electrical and plumbing utilities. Square footage: 5
Hallway. Runs from the Addition to the Living Room and has a utility closet at one end and stairs down to the Cellar. The flooring is wide-pine. Square footage: 60
Hakluyt Room. Used presently to store Hakluyt Society publications. Square footage: 13
Master Bedroom. Spans the south side of the second floor. There is a door in the northeast corner that leads to stairs to the Attic and to a second bedroom. There is also a door to the Catwalk and a door to the Bathroom. There are built-in book shelves on the common wall with the Bathroom and along the top of the south wall. The flooring is painted wide-pine. Square footage: 244
Guest Room. Situated in the northwest corner of the second floor. Windows to the west and north. The flooring is wide-pine. Square footage: 122
Closet. Walk-in closet with built-in shelving, hanging pegs. Square footage: 36
Third Bedroom. In the northeast corner and accessed from the Master Bedroom. This could be a nursery. In the past it was used as an office and for book storage. The flooring is wide-pine. Square footage: 118
Linen Closet. An open linen closet is off of the upper hall. There is one window and a narrow door into the Bathroom. The flooring is wide-pine. Square footage: 24
Bathroom. The bathroom is long and narrow to conform with the extension of the house to the west. The sliding pocket door opens to the Master Bedroom. There is also a narrow door to the linen closet. There is a toilet, vanity and a large deep cast iron Italian tub. There are two windows. The flooring is vinyl tile (artificial slate). Square footage: 64
The attic is open and used for storage. There is a window at either gable end. Square footage: 608
Cellar. The cellar has a concrete floor and fieldstone walls and is connected to the cellar of the Addition which has a concrete floor and walls. Square footage: 608
CellarNet Square Footage Summary
Lower Hall. Recessed entry from outside. Shelving at top of north wall. Peg coatrack along north wall. Built-in shelving. Bluestone paver floor. Square footage: 59
Boiler Room. Buderus oil-fired boiler serving in-floor radiant heating in Great Room, Office, Upper Hall, Bathroom and Kitchen. On north wall is an electrical sub-panel. Adjacent to the Furnace Room is a hall off of which is a door to the Lower Hall and a door to the Workshop and a door to storage under the staircase to the upper floor and a door into the garage. Square footage: 43
Workshop. Work bench along west wall; shelving along east wall. Concrete floor. Fluorescent lighting above. Square footage: 261
Garage. Concrete floor and walls. Storage racks for lumber, etc., above. Firewood storage along south wall. Door in the southwest corner to back patio. Single-bay (second bay is framed and could be opened). Sliding barn door with transom above. Square footage: 483
Upper Hall. There are doors to the west for the Closet and Bathroom and to the north to the Kitchen; and openings to the stairway down and up two stairs to the Great Room. Southern yellow pine floor over in-floor heating. Square footage: 83
Closet. This functions as a coat closet. There is access to shower plumbing from the closet. Southern yellow pine floor over in-floor heating. Square footage: 4
Bathroom. There is a white fibreglass shower stall, Toto white high toilet, white Corian sink, shelving, cupboard above adjacent closet, ceiling fan, stainless steel grab bars. Three towel racks, one window, quarry floor tile over in-floor heating. Square footage: 32
Kitchen. Windows on east and west. Butcher block counters. Quarry tile floor over in-floor heating. Open shelving. Stainless steel sink. Original electric stove. Original refrigerator. Replacement Bosch dishwasher. Replacement disposal (December 2019). Built-in cookbook shelving. Door to outdoor patio on east side.Square footage: 221
Pantry. Off of kitchen. Built-in shelving on three sides. Counters on two sides one with marble surface. Sliding pocket door. Southern yellow pine. Square footage: 32
Laundry Room. Located at transition between Main House and Addition. Washer-dryer. Shelving for cleaning supplies. Southern yellow pine floor. Square footage: 16
Hall. Small space transitioning to Laundry, Kitchen and the Main House. Square footage:39
Great Room. Cathedral ceiling with exposed timber framing. Three large windows to the south; barn windows on the east and on the west. Fireplace in the northwest corner. Loft forms gallery overlooking the Great Room. Counter with drawers and cupboards under running the length of the east wall. Opening at the northeast corner accessing the stairs to the Loft and the Office. Southern yellow pine floor over in-floor heating. Split air conditioning unit on south wall. Square footage: 516
Office. Built in desk and drawers on the west side and shelving along the east side. Two interior windows overlooking the Upper Hall. Southern yellow pine floor over in-floor heating. Square footage: 67
Luggage Room. Under stairs to the Loft. Southern yellow pine floor over in-floor heating. Square footage: 4
Loft. Above the hall closet, bathroom and office. Accessed by stairs beside office and Great Room and by a catwalk that goes over the kitchen and ties into the Master Bedroom. Southern yellow pine floor. In the past this was used as an office, library and summer bedroom. Square footage:294
Catwalk. Ties the Loft to the Master Bedroom. Railing overlooks the Kitchen. Has enclosed storage on both sides. Southern yellow pine floor. Square footage: 51
Living Room 235
Morning Room 89
Dining Room 79
Glassware Cupboard 7
China Cupboard 15
Utility Room 5
Hakluyt Room 13
Subtotal 503 sq ft
Master Bedroom 244
Guest Room 122
Second Bedroom 118
Upper Hall 32
Subtotal 638 sq ft
Cellar 608 sq ft
Attic 608 sq ft
CellarTOTAL NET SQUARE FOOTAGE
Boiler Room 43
Lower Hall 59
Subtotal 874 sq ft
Upper Hall 76
Great Room 516
Luggage Room 4
Subtotal 1,007 sq ft
Subtotal 345 sq ft
HOUSE TIMELINE (Incomplete. Some improvements not listed.)
November 18, 1977. Purchased property from Ingeborg Hansen.
1979. Installed new red cedar roof. Insulated attic. 200 amp electrical service installed by Dick Smith.
1979 - ca. 2010. Room-by-room renovation/rehabilitation of Old House.
1980. Installed tub on second floor. Continued renovations of second floor.
1990-94 Demolition of old kitchen, shed, garage and construction of new Addition. Contractor: Andy Webber. Excavation and foundations: George Peck. Timber frame: David Stephenson. Plumbing and heating: Jeff Wilder. Electrical: Dick Smith. All else: Rob Stephenson.
Costs of building Addition by category:
Permits $131 (0.14%)
Architecture $2,070 (2.15%)
Excavation $2,000 (2.08%)
Foundations $1,875 (1.95%)
Cellar floor $350 (0.36%)
Concrete $3,493 (3.63%)
Timber frame $12,600 (13.08%)
Lumber $12,642 (13.12%)
Labor $21,352 (22.16%)
Building Supplies $4,351 (4.52%)
Doors $1,736 (1.80%)
Windows $3,401 (3.53%)
Roof $8,096 (8.40%)
Plumbing $3,655 (3.79%)
Electrical $4,1987 (4.36%)
Masonry $4,3227 (4.49%)
Heating $5,237 (5.44%)
Painting $687 (0.71%)
Insulation $1,021 (1.06%)
Driveway $1,548 (1.61%)
Appliances $1,446 (1.50%)
Miscellaneous $199 (0.21%)
TOTAL $96,337.23 100.08%
Cost per Gross Square Foot: $68.81
2000 New water heater installed. Jeff Wilder $381.97
2004 Air conditioning system installed. Jeff Wilder $4,620.96
2009 Re-roof Main house, red cedar shingles. Addy Webber $7,003.87
2009 Re-built Main house chimneys. Dennis Jewell $3,000
2011 Paint Kitchen wing & related. Gregg Fletcher $1,300
2013 Paint east facade. Gregg Fletcher. $1,900
2013 New Addition roof. Time Foley $9,609.84
2014 Paint north facade. Gregg Fletcher $950
2016 New Bosch dishwasher. Korvin $850. Installation Andy Webber $35
2017 Pergola replaced. Tim Foley $5,037.70
2018 New water heater & installation. Devlin pliumbing $795
2019 New Disposal. $99. Installation: Devlin pliumbing $210. Shea electrical $85