Creative Ideas for our little stone house

mtnrdredux_gwJuly 25, 2012

We have a little stone house on our property --- probably used to be a summer kitchen, IDK. It does have a working fireplace.

The exterior is 11 1/2' by 20'. The interior is 8 1/2' by 17 1/2' (unfinished --- stone walls). The height is 6' at its low point and 8 1/2' at its high point.

We probably cannot change the footprint at all, because it is so close to our pond (considered wetlands). But it is darn cute, and it is nestled in a very pretty area of trees and gardens, and I would like to make it usable as a studio or guest cottage (they would need to walk to our poolhouse to access a full bath). I could also see a bar set up in there for parties, since it is so close to the pond. I would like at least one of the stone walls exposed, and I would use radiant floor heat and maybe an insert in the fpl? I might make a loft bed.

Of course, we have to raise the roof before we can do anything. I am thinking maybe just a band of windows all the way around, to raise the roof? Does that make any sense?

All ideas welcome!

Here are a few shots of it:

A cute little path through the gardens next to the pool


partial view of the front

one of the views from the stone house

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Ohhhh! I want a little stone house! That is about the cutest thing I've ever seen. You will never be able to get your guests to leave.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 6:47PM
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Well, nini, they will have to leave if they need to pee. Or, say, if they want to stand up, LOL.

But thanks, I love it too.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 6:50PM
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It is absolutely adorable!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:00PM
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What a wonderful structure. I could see it used as a guest house, a children's playhouse, a writer's retreat, or an artist's studio. You could add some solar panels for electricity and maybe a skylight for additional sunlight. If you put a bed or desk on the side where the ceiling is lower, you probably wouldn't even have to change the roof.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:39PM
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No bathroom? Chamber pots?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:48PM
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Thanks, Porkandham.

Fun - getting electricity to it is not a problem --. tHe PO has lights in many of the trees, and speakers all around the property, so we have electricity all over the darn place. We also have hose bibs nearby, but I know we can't get zoning permission for a bathroom.

The space is on the small side, I just think a lot more light and height will greatly enhance it. And if we could go high enough, with a loft, then we get more usable floor space, too...

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:49PM
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I would leave it like it is. You and your husband could have romantic dates there and pretend you are poor lol. Really though, it is so charming I would not want to change it much except to make sure it is structurally sound.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:00PM
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You have Bilbo Baggins'' cottage in your back yard! I adore it!

You may want to do a kind of generic reno until you a real need for the space presents itself. You my have a child who needs it as an art studio, or a recently divorced or bereaved friend who needs a haven for a month.

Would definitely raise the roof with a band of square windows all the way around the house under the eaves, and would go with a kind of spare Hugh Newell Jacobsen aesthetic inside (egg crate shelving, etc).

Def install CCTV cameras now, to get the kids used to them before they are teenagers. Do not ask me why I recommend this.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:18PM
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My son would love to have it as a music studio. I would probably give it a dual purpose unless you have frequent guests. Something like studio/guest room. Looks like a teen who might have giggly girl sleepovers or loud music parties you could isolate (as long as you are comfortable with the group under minimal supervision). My boys tend not to be as loud, but the mixed groups and the girls next door when they are out on the trampoline or in the pool can get really loud.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:21PM
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I LOVE IT !! It made me smile when I saw it----went back to good ole days.
A friend up in the hills where I grew up, they had a stone house at the entrance gate, just a dust collector, but in past probably the gate keeper's house/quarters. (It was nice to have wealthy friends !!)

B U T............listen to far is that from main house???
You don't even WANT to know what went on in that tiny place. (I was a GOOD girl tho, NOT me!) and the stuff kids do now--O M G. Monitor it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:27PM
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The band of windows is a great idea. Raising the roof may require that you also raise the height of your chimney, for fire safety reasons. But I wouldn't do anything else. It's wonderful!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:11PM
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So pretty! If I were a guest I would love it and I would not care about a hike to the bathroom, and to be totally honest, I'm a nature girl and would probably just pee in the yard if it were night tme! What a great place for kids to feel that they are far away but really not. I am also in support of cameras if you can swing them. We have them and they make me feel more secure.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:05PM
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That is just the prettiest yard/view/stone house I have ever seen. You are so blessed to live there!!!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:48PM
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I don't know if a band all around the entire house would look right. Can/could you make the openings for the existing windows wider? Perhaps, with the shorter side, put the needed windows across the back there. Use the rocks that you'll have left over to raise the roof on that side up to the 8.5 feet? I'm not sure how easily it will be to find that particular river rock. I'd like to keep the focus on the stone rather than the windows. That may just be me, though. But, it seems to me that the 'good' height side faces the view. (of course!) So, maybe you can add a window there too. It would be the stone that draws me in, not the windows.

You could do the bunk house thing along the back where the wall of raised windows would be. Maybe built so that the windows are in each bunk. I don't know how to post the pictures, but within this link is a bunk bed with a small sectional sofa in it. That may work within your space. If you were to do a whole wall of bunks, I'd put a hole in the wall between the bunks to bring in the light. Exposed stone sometimes feels a little closed in.

Great eye candy for bunk beds in the link. :)
Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: bunk beds

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:34AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

No suggestions for uses, but it is a lovely little place. We actually have a garden shed that was converted to a guest room one summer...just a bed, a small dresser and a chair. Fritz used a kerosene lantern for lighting at night and just a few feet away was the outhouse...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 8:05AM
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Kimiko, it's a real stone house - which means that widening existing windows is a drastic undertaking, and would likely spoil it if it were possible.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 8:56AM
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You know, that looks like it might have been a sauna at one point, considering that it's close to your pond, and also has a fireplace(heatsource?). If it were mine, I'd look into restoring it as one. Google Finnish Sauna, and you'll see what I mean. We had one growing up, and they're nice!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Ooooo, ooooo a swing bed would be so cool! Could be used as either seating or a bed. I would probably use some simple furniture that could be used a number of different ways--a long table to either be a dinner table or bar, a couple of comfortable fluffy chairs and ottoman, maybe some shaker-style chairs (of even some cool-looking folding chairs) hung on pegs on the wall. I like the raised roof with the row of windows above, but awning windows so that they crank open. Skylights? I wouldn't change it much... It's adorable. :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 9:08AM
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Sandy, I was going to say the same thing. Where I'm from, the land of Ya, you betcha, we have those all over the place.

If you do want to use it for another purpose, please don't change the roof line. It's so quaint and cute the way it is!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 9:54AM
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If I want to just admire it from afar, I don't need to raise the roof. But, honestly, to use it, it really has to go up. The tricky part is I doubt I can find stone to match. So I am thinking we should not even try, but go with a totally different material. The problem is the angle of the roof . If you look at the shot with the door, you will KWIM. I envisioned sort of lifting the roof off, adding a row of windows all around, and then putting a roof back on. But, given the angle, you'd have to stair step the windows on the side elevation. Should I go with clapboard instead? In a grey that would echo the stone colors?

Geo, Sandy - I kinda doubt it. We are in CT and we have lots of ice houses and root cellars, but not saunas. Plus one of the bathrooms has a sauna in it (PO).

Vivian - I think definitely some skylights, whatever we end up doing.I love chairs on pegs! But 8.5x17.5 isnt terribly big. Im thinking a double bed centered on the wall when you walk in, wall mounted swing arm lamps and little shelves on either side. Maybe a comfy chair to the left when you enter ... and that's it! The only other idea I had was something like this photo below (but I dont think the geometry works, with such a narrow room. If you put the mattress 8' off the floor, what kind of pitch would you need to give you head room up there?)

Annie, That's how I am seeing it. Although luckily we will have electricity.

Kimiko - great bunk bed links, but I am thinking of this as for adults primarily. A lot of guest have asked about sleeping there! I agree with you it is hard to solve the aesthetics. You may be on to something, raising the rear roof line and not the front, and then putting on a roof with a totally different pitch. The positive there is that the front facade is unchanged! Thanks!

Thanks, Music. Our property feels like a park to me and I enjoy it every day.

Note to self: Do not invite Jenny-from-the-block for sleepover. : )

Bronwwyn'sMom, Yes, we would def have to raise the chimney. I think we might be able to find enough rock to do that ...

Cottage - That sounds cool! There are so many little stone structures around, I was surprised I cannot find another example of someone trying to do this! My google search was pretty fruitless. Most people are adding second floors when they raise a roof, and doing it on a frame house where you just paint to match!
As to distance, in the fourth photo you see a white building to the right. That is the pool structure, and the site of the pool bath. The stonehouse is not visible from anywhere in the house, though.

Lascatx - My girls want to use it a yoga studio, but viola practice is a good idea too. Id let the kids do a sleepover, that"d be fun. I just want to finish the inside (stone walls and a gravel floor right now!) and raise the roof and then I will have a better sense of what is possible in there.

KSWL - LOL! totally agree on the cameras. (holding ears and humming, though). Do you see my question about how to do a band of windows when the structure is so much lower in the back? What would I do on the side elevations!

Jterri -- My DH has to duck to enter. And he has already forgotten that more than once, Chevy Chase style. Not so romantic with a concussion.

Has anyone done anything like this with a structure? I can't find nay guidance on the internet. I don't know how to handle the side elevations .... ideas???

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:35AM
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You're going to need a pretty steep pitch for that kind of loft space headroom. Ours is 12:12 (very steep) and we have those kind of attic bedrooms upstairs in all 3 gables. Not even close to being able to have an 8' loft. Could be fun to have that row of windows right at loft height, though... And skylights. Kind of treehousey.

I think that you might get some good use out of a long, narrow table--maybe a refectory table-type thing. Could be bar, could be table, could be buffet.

Kinda reminds me of those dinner cottages everyone was so hot about not too long ago...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:51AM
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Mtnredux-- I was thinking that vertical wood siding (maybe board and.batten with wider battens than normal?) would be a good material for that purpose. I also love the idea of awning windows that can be propped open with a pole thingy. Having the windows all the way round the top would create a unifying element for the space as well as give you room for a loft bed AND create enough cross ventilation to keep a lofted bed cool in the summer.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:57AM
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What is the ceiling height inside? I'm thinking you have a couple options.

1) Dig down a bit in the interior to provide a bit more height and a taller entrance (if you take off the existing door and redo the door jambs/trim).

2) Take the roof off, but slant it up in the opposite direction, away from the fireplace wall. That gives you more height on the side where the entry is. The seating area can stay near the fireplace. Fill in the new upper "space" with frameless glass. It will be a modern take, but won't detract from the original stone.

These examples are a bit modern, but just imagine the idea with the original fabric of your little house. You still may need to heighten the chimney, though.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:11AM
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I live in eastern CT, :-D , and the towns around here are filled with old Finn families, and saunas, lol ! Check out Brooklyn, Canterbury, Voluntown, and you'll see the Finnish population is thriving here. My Finnish grandparents had a cottage on Beach Pond in Voluntown with a sauna, we had one growing up until it got torn down ( I miss it), so just don't discount the fact that you might just have a real old-fashioned finnish sauna there ! Good luck with whatever you choose to do with it !

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:19AM
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KSWL, given that the space will be relatively short, not sure if id use board and batten verticallly, or cedar shake horizontally, like on our main house. I will have to try to photoshop or draw some ideas.

Your images are very much what I was thinking of, but could not find! I think it may be possible to go a little modern if it is kept simple. I know I have seen examples of "ruins" that are incorporated into modern structures with glass, and that is the kind of thing I was wondering about.

1) I don't think we should dig down because the pond is only 15-20 yards away.

2) I like that idea. I wonder though if the roof sloping down toward the chimney can work ... even w lots of flashing?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:32AM
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I love the stone house and do think the roof could be raised with windows and siding. I can't help but think ahead to your children getting into their teens! You take it from there. :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:42AM
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It seems to me that you can lift off the roof, frame up 3 or 4 more feet with chunky frame members at the same pitch, and add double glazing cut in rectangles for the straight sides, and parallelograms that repeat that angle for the pitched sides.

Let the chunky framing replace the need for cladding, the way post-and-beam construction does, paint it a deep color from your stone, and you have something that stands up to the muscular effect of that lovely stone.

And you get to say "parallelogram!' How often does that happen...?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:58PM
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Can you show me a visual of a "chunky frame member" (no jokes please)

thanks so much!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 1:11PM
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Did not realize you had cedar shake on your main hOuse--- that would be the ideal material, then!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 1:15PM
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I the idea of adding a row of window glass at that top edge. You could do a modern ruin/glass thing -- I know exactly what you're talking about -- or maybe you could do a mission-esque kind of thing?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:12PM
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Mclarke has done it for me. Her example shows nice chunky post and beam framing, and the effect I had in mind, except that for your little shed, plain rather than divided light windows might be more pleasing. And less costly.

Because I KNOW you would NEVER consider fake muntins on your authentic stone shed, now WOULD you...???

See? I never even mentioned any rude jokes, tempting though it may have been....

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:22PM
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Thank you, Bronswynsmom, you made my day!

In my post above, I tried to write: "I love the idea of adding a row of window glass at that top edge." ... but my coding failed me, lol.

I have been looking for examples of raising the roof of a stone house with glass, or a row of glass transom windows -- but I can't find any examples!

Looking, still looking...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 3:49PM
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Oh, and you might find some inspiration from the Small House Society. Lots of ideas there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Small Houses

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 3:56PM
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I love the idea of raising the roof and adding some clerestory windows! What a lovely building and location.

I couldn't find a great picture either, but here are a few interesting buildings with clerestory windows. I love the butterfly roof in the modern building. Making the roof a green plant roof would be awesome in your spot as well.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 4:07PM
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Oh please don't mess with that stone. I'm not sure if this was mentioned already but why not do a little detached pod with some amenities and a roofed walkway.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 4:09PM
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Our town is very very strict about zoning, preservation, wetlands, etc. I am pretty certain we cannot add to the footprint. Otherwise, we would at least make a half BA! Believe me, I adore the stone and don't want to hurt a hair on its pretty little head.

I love that barn. I have to look for it, but I recently came across new build with a similar roofline. Your second photo and last photo are very similar to some of the ideas I had. Don't you feel like you have seen this done somewhere, but just cant find it?

MCClarke , ohhh, now i get it! Like timbers, or log cabins. I think the mass is good vs the stone, but wonder how it would look w my house... Thank you for the great link!

Bronwyn, Didnt Marvin recently stop making true divided light? Something about the number of seals in a true vs simulate, and failure rate? Id love to buy old windows ...

A few developments/preliminary conclusions:

1. We have called a local GC with whom we have had good results (he put in our greenhouse add), unlike the not local-GC who unfortunately did the whole rest of the house and over whom we are now chewing up legal fees (alas). He will come by next week to discuss; he has a solid grasp of what will be allowed, which is key in our town.

2. I was open to a fairly modern solution, but I have walked around the property today and taken in a full panorama from this tiny "house" to our main home, and I think we need to keep it very low key and not dissimilar to our main house, which has a lot of stone terraces and walls, even a stone chimney that is very similar. Our house is white stained cedar shake, and it already rambles along with a lot of odd shapes and quirks. Silos, cupolas, octagonal rooms (2!). If we had a simple white farmhouse, I think you could throw in a modern twist. But not here.

3. A few comments here made me realize I really only need to raise the roof in the back, not the front. Very helpful since i was locked into the idea of raising it all up in one parallel shift.

4. DH says he thinks we may have some stone lying around from old stone walls etc that we can use ... fingers crossed. He also points out that it looks like the fpl is diff stone than the body of the building anyway, so that it is such a hodgepodge who can tell

5. We could train ivy on the new stone to hide it, or climbing roses

4. My current leaning is ...
a. take off the roof,
b. raise the height of the backwall with framing and cedar shake, and a row of clerestory windows
c. Put on a gable roof with skylights
d. finish the gables ends in cedar shake (maybe with one window). masking the old sloped roofline by covering some of the stone on the gable ends, so that the demarcation between stone and siding is a straight line
e, paint all the shake in a grey from the stone
f. commence to have lotsa fun decorating the inside!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 4:44PM
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That sounds lovely!!!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 4:52PM
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I like it! What is your timetable? I can already see a Halloween party there with a haunted trail thru your woods.... Or the cottage as a haunted witch's kitchen!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 5:01PM
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My timetable? Yesterday. The contractor's? LOL

Plus I am describing everything I want like I can wave a wand --- who knows how feasible it is. I am holding my breath for when they say, "to do x.y. z, first you will have to bring the building up to code". That'd kill the whole damn thing!

Cool party idea, though!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 5:13PM
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Hey I was wondering if the house has a cellar. Or, if it could have a cellar with a bathroom! I realize with the small foot print the bathroom would most likely have to be entered through an exterior cellar door but it would still be kind of cool especially with a stone toilet and sink.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 5:18PM
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Going against the flow a bit here, but I think your little stone house is adorable just as it is. Please don't raise the roof. Do you really have a pressing need for an extra guest room? Easy access to a bathroom seems a necessity to me for a guest room -- but you say putting in a bath isn't possible.

The only changes I'd make would be to put in a skylight and use it as a studio. But, then, I'm 5'2" and would love a studio just like that to paint in. :-)

I'd strongly recommend leaving the outside just as it is. As an entertaining area it would also do well. Put in a radiant floor and a skylight. Put a bar along the 6' high ceiling end and add a few chairs. If you need an extra guest room, buy a hammock and install some hooks in the higher end of the ceiling to hang it as needed.

Sorry, but I had a gut response against raising the roof on this little stone gem.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 5:21PM
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I like the idea of just raising one side. Will you end up with a traditional gable roof?

Eclectic Garage And Shed design by San Francisco General Contractor BMF CONSTRUCTION

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Oh sorry I just reread the post and saw that you could not get zoning for a bathroom. Plus, having a cellar bathroom could be a problem with going under the house so close to the pond.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 5:35PM
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Yes, at least when i draw it! It would be a traditional gabled roof. BTW how DID you find that image? That is so close to what I had envisioned.

Noooo, we have a gravel floor right now. I think I need to take some interior shots to disabuse you guys of this image you have!

Cheen, I appreciate your taking the time to voice a contrary view! Trust me, we gutted our house and added 2000 square feet and it still looks pretty much the same (hmm, was that as dumb as it now sounds?).. .so we are all about preserving charm, I promise. The main difference will be the gabled roofline, which I don't think does violence to the vernacular...

No, we don't have a pressing need for another guest room or more space. But I love this little building and I would like to use it. Inside, one wall is 6 feet, and we will lose some of that when we put in a floor (which one must do at a minimum).

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 5:38PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Or you could do logs...

One question though...I'm in CT too...can I come visit when it's done?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 6:09PM
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Annie --- that second photo is what I thought I would find more of! Someone with the same problem I have.! If I were them, I would have continued the siding over top of some of the stone, so at to create a straight line for the demarcation between stone and wood on the gable end. I also would have taken a photo of the stone (variegation and all) and asked BM what color matched, and used that on the siding.

Sure, just don't pee in the yard like Jenny. : )

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 6:24PM
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You wrote: "BTW how DID you find that image?"

Hahahaha, I have no idea. I think I was searching for "tiny house" and "shed roof" and maybe "transom windows" because I couldn't think of the word "celestory". (Thanks, Sochi!)

I wonder what your little house was used for. I would say it was a pump house, but why would it have a fireplace? Or an icehouse, which would make sense near a pond... but again, why a fireplace?

I'm also in eastern CT. When your little house is done, we'll have a CT party!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:37PM
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I'm actually way down in southwestern CT ... but always up for a party.

You may have invented a word, "celestory". For windows you can see the stars through! Did you mean to type "clerestory"?

I used to think it was pronounced "cluh-rest-ory", because that sounds vaguely ecclesiastical and originally they were used in churches, I think. But "clerestory" is pronounced like "clear story". fwiw.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 8:29PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

...and it's in CT!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 8:33PM
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Mclarke, Originally it might have been a slaves dwelling since it has a fireplace. Or, it could have been the wash house that held the big pots for boiling laundry.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 9:11PM
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Well, if you are determined to raise the roof and not go modern, I'm not sure I'd like such a small structure with lots of different elements like skylights and a new roof shape plus maybe windows plus whatever.

Why not just do a conservatory roof and take care of all the issues at once? Plenty of light, higher space and not flammable near the chimney. You can easily choose a style that's traditional without being fussy, and supposedly the new glass offers lots more temperature and light protection, plus it's under trees anyway.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:21PM
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I want to order a nice pot of Mariage Freres and grab le journal and have a seat in that third photo. Oh so lovely.

... a few thoughts.

1. We have a conservatory, to the right of this little stonehouse. We call it a greenhouse because we chose a simple design and wanted a greenhouse feel, but it is a conservatory imported from England and assembled on site. Right now the wee stone house it is clearly an outbuilding. Tart it up to much and I dont know how it relates to the whole. It isn't hidden or out of the way. To me the stone house is more of a bookend for our house, which rambles horizontally.

2. Do they sell just conservatory "tops", like muffin tops? : ) I would imagine the structural issues are more complex.

3. One interior wall is 6' high ... no matter what we need to make that wall higher and we dont have enough stone.

I see your point about the dangers of bastardizing the whole thing with too many elements. But I don't see where the roof line change is a big desgin risk -- to me , many stone cottages, even tiny ones like this, have gable roofs. And i've noticed the gable is often clad.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:07PM
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You wrote: "For windows you can see the stars through! Did you mean to type "clerestory"?"

Not the first time I've made that error. I think I typed the word the way I would prefer to see it spelled. For windows that deserve celebration, in a house designed by someone named Celeste!

Oh fine, I'll never remember it now, lol...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 6:36AM
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Another theory as to what the building was for...if the pond is 'original', and has been there as long at the stone house, could it have been built for ice skaters to get warm in the winter?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 6:47AM
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"...could it have been built for ice skaters to get warm in the winter?"

Oh, that's brilliant. I bet that's the answer!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 7:55AM
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Look at the little house in the background:

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 8:07AM
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Or is it an icehouse, into which you lay slabs of ice, cut from the pond in winter, between layers of straw or salt marsh hay, to preserve food through the summer; and a smokehouse in the autumn during hog killing season?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 9:22AM
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What an interesting turn this thread has taken! Bronswynsmom, I found an 1860 account of "How To Build a Smokehouse" -- and after reading it, I don't think her little cottage is a smokehouse. It wouldn't have windows, or a wooden roof -- and it wouldn't have a fireplace with a chimney -- they built smokehouses to keep the smoke inside, not vent it outside.

Here is a link that might be useful: How To Build a Smokehouse

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 10:19AM
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What a great little house, and I adore your property. It looks just like a resort. I'd be glad to come test out the guest house when you get it finished. ;)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 10:23AM
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I'd still seriously think about the conservatory roof. If anything, the fact that you have a real conservatory would only serve to tie it in with the rest of your property. And I think the effect of such a roof in a much smaller space with stone walls would be striking.

Yes, you have to figure out the roofline issue, but you have to do that anyway. At least with a conservatory roof you could do a more seamless expanse of glass and frame rather than a separate strip of clerestory windows.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:15AM
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If it's a slave's house there could be remains of other collapsed slave homes not far underneath the surface and very near to this one (lots of stone). Maybe this one was for a favored slave or the slaves in charge of bringing in the daily water from the pond or the laundress, again because it's close to the pond. The regular small slave houses often had two front doors and two fireplaces with a divider inside so several could live there.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:31AM
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Of course! Not a smokehouse.
I'm in ham country, and should know better...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 12:14PM
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Mtn, I think we are not far from each other, I'm in the NW corner, Woodbury. I love the little stone house and wanted to direct you to Woodstock Soapstone Company who's having a sale on lovely soapstone woodstoves, currently. One of their small ones would probably make that space toasty (though you'd probably want to burn for 24 hours + before guests arrived in winter, to take the chill out of the walls). With walls that thick honestly I don't think you'd need more heat, if the windows are tight and the bedding is cozy.

I, uh, third the need to supervise teenagers in the space and also claim the 5th on how I know. :P

I assume you worked with an architect on some of the work you did on the rest of your property - perhaps s/he could give you a couple of suggestions for what to do with the roof to keep the flavor of the building and to blend with your home?

I will come visit when it's done. :)


    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Was it used as a boathouse?
Here's Ralph Lauren's decor of a 14 foot Airstream trailer.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 1:21PM
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Old Stone House in Georgetown. Note the brown shingles on the dormers.

Was your stone house used originally as a playhouse?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 4:31PM
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Hi guys,

The local GC guy actually came by today. He has no idea what the building was for, btw.

Anyway, a few take-aways.

1. We probably could make it bigger, if we built in the direction away from the pond. However such an extensive project would probably mean the whole thing would the need to be rebuilt to code- which would essentially require tearing it down! Even then we would probably not get permission to add a BA in any event, so its not really worth it to enlarge the footprint, as I'd assumed.

2. He isn't worried about matching the stone --- if we power wash the whole thing, the new and old stone will just age together and should blend pretty well. That gives us a lot more flexibility.

3. We can do a gable roof, much like the pitch of the gables we have elsewhere.

4. He would leave the stone exposed inside (hooray) and do a dramatic post and beam roof.

He is doing some msmts. now to see how far above the water table it is, so he knows how much he has to raise the floor.

Of course, he would rather tear it down and start over, facing it with stone. I'm sure he's right. Even though our house was hardly a tear down, in fact was in many ways pristine, with all we did to it it would have been far cheaper to start from scratch. I still can't do things that way.

I have done some sketches and have looked around at other parts of our house. I think gable and clerestory would fit well.

PS There are a lot of us in CT - we should think about doing a CT get together in the fall!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 4:40PM
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LOL, I think you are all imagining quite a grand history for my stone house.

I really do have to post some close ups and interior shots to disabuse you of these ideas!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 4:47PM
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Mtn, how old is the oldest structure on your property?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 5:00PM
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Please don't plan a CT get together the last week of Sept. I will be away and I really want to join in.
mtnrdredux. watching the few pictures you have posted and what you have done it is without doubt what ever you do decide on the little stone house it will be adorable.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 6:05PM
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JTerrilynn, the main house is 1904 I think.

Eandhl --- maybe the first week of Oct?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 7:58PM
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"I really do have to post some close ups and interior shots to disabuse you of these ideas!"

Yes, please, please, please post some photos of the interior!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 9:54PM
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First weekend of October is clear. The 13th is booked with a harvest festival in Woodbury! :) It would be fun to have a CT get together!

I'd love to see pics of the inside, and would be curious as to how old it is (whether it pre-dates the main house?).

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 12:34PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Oh include me too...I'd love a get together with all the Connecticutters here! (Connecticutians?)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 3:19PM
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This might answer your question Annie....I've always thought we were called Nutmeggers, lol !

Here is a link that might be useful: CT people

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 6:46PM
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Didn't have a chance to read all of the posts. Great space - what fun!

Growing up we had a Summer Kitchen that was first my dad's archtecture space and then became my first art studio. It had a tiny dusty loft w/ 1 small window that I threw an old mattress into. Could sit up and that was about it. I'd hole myself up in the Summer Kitchen and at some point every afternoon would climb up to the loft and just daydream about what my ideal life would hold for me.

I dream of a refuge like that again.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 8:46PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Yes, nutmeggers isn't a very nice term. A fellow from Canada told me we were Connecticuts....pronounced con-NECK-ti-cuts.

Connecticutonians has a ring...

Some suggest connecticut resident

Others suggest a commuter!

But my preference is Connecticutian.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 9:29PM
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Marcolo's roof suggestion reminded me of this interesting material, called kalwall. I learned about it at the home of an architect I visited on a local garden tour (in NYS, right on the CT border.) He used it on the roof of a potting shed, which turned it into a greenhouse.

However, my inclination would be to go with clerestory windows and a shingle roof. And not try to match the stone, but go with clapboard, which is appropriate to NE structures. It goes very nicely with stone. (It would take a sensitive eye to continue the stone pattern, anyway.)

Here is a link that might be useful: kalwall.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 2:03AM
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Except for the 3rd of Oct the entire week including weekend are free.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 8:12AM
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Connecticutians is very nice.
For the starry-eyed optimists, Connecticutopians?
For the geeks and nerds, perhaps Connecticoids?
For the Southern transplants, Connecticolds?
For the expat Mainers, Connecticay-yahs?
For the children, Connecticutiepies?

Someone stop me.....

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 12:19PM
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LOL @ bronwynsmom ! I agree, Connecticut is a hard word to work with, although as my mother would say, we live in the state of Confusion!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 2:45PM
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Hahahahahaha, Bronwynsmom, yer killin' me...

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Hey guys, just following up.

Thanks everyone for your input. TheFoxesPad, i very much imagine a similar use .. for me or my kids!

A few general obeservations:
1. I am thinking more about tying it to our house, and to my surprise that means white trim
2. There is a part of our house, a small room off the living room, with very similar dimensions. It is stone about 6.5 ft up then clerestory. It has a gable roof.
3. Before our reno, the house has a very lovely little solarium at the side entrance. We had to demo it to make a mudroom and craftroom (believe me I hated doing it). My DH save the Marvin french doors and oversized windows. We'd love to use them, although whatever facade gets them will really change in character, so still mulling it
4. I want to emphasize its garden setting and path as much as the pond
5. The contractor says if we use too much glass it will be very hot in a stone house ...
6. Decided against post and beam, too much visual weight for the space. Probably shiplap ceiling, painted. Floor should be tile --- maybe antiqued saltillo
7. Our house has a cedar shake roof. Thinking we should copy it although I like tin or even copper too.
8. I think we will put in a sofa bed for those adult guests who want to stay there, and a small loft with a window for the kids as a reading nook.

When we have narrowed done more decisions I will post again for input. In the meantime, thanks!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 7:55PM
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re people from CT:
Commuters, LOL!

For those of French descent, Connecticoise
For the social set, the Connected
For the business elite, the Connecticutthroats
For the hipsters, Connecticats

After 16 years here, it feels like home. Perhaps we're Nuts from the Nutmeg state.

mtnredux, what a beautiful property! Hope you find a good use for that fabulous stone cottage.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:54AM
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