House-Dreams

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Algonquin Books, Jun 1, 2001 - House & Home - 336 pages
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Imagine a house built and tailored to your every need and personal taste. Hugh Howard dreamed of such a house, and when he and his wife, Betsy, learn that they're expecting their second child, he seizes the opportunity to build a home for their growing family.

Fifteen months later and just in time for the winter holidays, Howard, exhausted and wildly over his budget, completes their home-a fine 2,500-square-foot Federal-style house. And each piece has a story, from the cut nails that come from Howard's old elementary school janitor to the staircase that comes from a parsonage built just after the Civil War.

Howard discovers that all his planning and hard work earn him a house, yes, but he also gains a community of new friends-the people who help him along the way. There's Charlie, whose ancestors helped establish the upstate New York hamlet where they build the house; Ralph, a third-generation mason, who constructs a remarkable Russian heater; and Robbie, an eccentric Irish landscaper who has his own peculiar way of designing a garden.

HOUSE-DREAMS is for readers who spend weekends improving their houses, hardware store die-hards, and the millions who regularly tune in to the Home Garden Network and PBS's This Old House.

 

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HOUSE-DREAMS: How an Amateur Builder and Two Rookie Apprentices Turned an Overgrown Blackberry Patch, Ten Truckloads of Lumber, a Keg of Cut Nails, and an Antique Staricase into a Real Home

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An absorbing account of amateur builder Howard's construction of his family home.A latter-day embodiment of that quintessential American, the homesteader, Howard (The Preservationist's Progress, 1991 ... Read full review

HOUSE DREAMS

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In another lifetime, this reviewer resided in western Massachusetts and needed to pass through East Chatham, NY, to find any major southern route. I always wondered what it might be like to live in ... Read full review

Contents

The Mayflower
1
The Footprint
5
Building the Box
30
The Secondary Imagination
45
The Matrix Materializes
68
Of Hearth and Home
92
The Negative Moment
127
A Winters Work
145
An Imagined Arcadia
195
Of Columns and Completion
218
The Race to the Finish
244
The First Christmas
274
The World As We Would Have It
286
FLOOR AND FRAMING PLANS
299
NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
301
Copyright

The Common Hours
172

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About the author (2001)

Hugh Howard is the author of eleven books in the fields of history and architecture, most recently, Mr. and Mrs. Madison’s War: American’s First Couple and the Second War of Independence. His next book with photographer Roger Straus III, Houses of the Presidents, will be published in October 2012 by Little Brown. He lives in East Chatham, New York, with his wife and two daughters.

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