Going UP!

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October 7, 2013 by kittynh

While not a skeptic post, I thought it would be fun to share a bit of New England lake front building magic.

Many lakefront homes in New England are “grandfathered” in. The term refers to when your home doesn’t have to follow the same regulations as a new home, as it was built before the new regulations were in place.  However, that does not mean there aren’t some problems with owning an older home on a lake.

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My small cabin has had many changes made since I bought it.  The original “camp’ was up on stilts, and the pipes were exposed.  The home was not “winterized” meaning it was only available for use as long as the nights did not get below freezing.  Since a New England summer is so short, my family wished to extend the use of the camp further into the Fall.

Also the original camp was nothing more than a hunting and fishing spot.  It was in rather bad shape until the next owner gutted the inside and made it all one room with a sleep loft. We had a very strict budget, as in we couldn’t even get real estate agents to talk to us when they asked our budget.  But we dreamed of a cabin on a lake, and were determined to find something.  What we found was our own heaven on Earth, small as it was.

However as we aged, the sleep loft was not so comfortable.  The ladder to the loft was also shakier than our acquired age arthritis liked!

The obvious solution would be an addition of some sort, and also putting in a foundation.  The problem is the cabin was built too close to the water (for today’s regulations) and the rule is you can’t change the “footprint”.  The solution is a wonderful team that will come and raise your cabin up in the air, pour a foundation and give you a whole new floor of space while keeping to the letter of the law.

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This process is so smooth, you don’t even remove pictures from the wall.  In fact after the cabin had been lowered, I found only one small statue of a wolf that had fallen down, and it was unbroken.  Four jacks working in tandem put the cabin up, then a Jenga style wood support is put in while the foundation is poured.  The cabin settled onto the new first floor with a small popping sound, and has been a perfect fit every since.

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When I am out in the boat around Lake Franklin Pierce, I can count over 15 cabins that have gone up, and come down with much more space.  I noticed one home being done late in the season and took some photographs.

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I really enjoy having not only a real bedroom, with a huge window overlooking the lake, but also have another spare room that my husband has turned into his office and we put extra guests in there alsoImage.

Gone are the days when I had guests in sleeping bags lined up along the floor like logs.  The sleeping loft is still very popular, it’s rather like indoor camping, but the downstairs rooms are more civilized.  Plus we can now enjoy our cabin far later into the year and even hope to spend Thanksgiving there (if the snow holds off!)

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A cabin I photographed going UP this month in New Hampshire.

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