(612) 377-0123

The Urban Cottage

A little mold can change everything!  When this family smelled mold in their home, they asked us to come take a look.  We opened up the walls and had one of those “Holy ****!” moments when we discovered that the frame of the house had largely disintegrated due to water damage.  The entire exterior needed removal and re-framing, so the family decided to re-imagine the look of their home of 30 years.

Their new home includes:

  • Newly framed exterior walls
  • Stone & HardieShingle siding
  • New Marvin windows
  • Custom trim details
  • An expanded entryway 

Framing Problems and Solutions

There were clearly a lot of water issues with this house, and the framing had deteriorated due to age, the lack of roof overhangs, and improper flashing.

We determined that the whole house would need some level of repair to the framing structure. It was important for the clients to keep their interior intact, so we decided to repair and reframe the house from the exterior. We approached the project surgically, peeling back small sections of the house and repairing as we went along to maintain the integrity of the remaining house.

Most of the old framing was in good enough condition to save the home from total demolition, so we replaced sill plates, rim joists and sistered new framing throughout the wall interiors where needed to build solid wall assemblies.

We finished the repairs, re-sheathed, applied drainable house wrap and installed proper flashing details throughout. Once we finished replacing the old windows with new windows from Marvin, we were ready for its new exterior finishes. 

Each stud cavity then received a foil-backed half-inch polystyrene sheet that was sealed against the interior wall finish and acted as a backup vapor barrier. We added rock wool to make up the rest of the insulation layer.


With the old stucco exterior gone, the home needed new siding. The house is set back from the street a good distance, and the homeowners wanted to build upon its original cottage charm. We installed HardieShingle siding and added additional trim details to help break up the larger spaces and add visual definition between floors.

To help keep this fresh update rooted in the rich history of the cottage style home, an old world stone look was used. The homeowners picked out natural Doggett Mountain stone from North Carolina–a nod to their Southern heritage–to envelop the chimney and replace the original brick around the foundation of the house. 


We wanted to create a more welcoming and substantial entryway for this family’s home, both to add some depth and interest to the house’s facade as well as to offer shelter from the elements. The original front door would remain as a cherished memory to its former self.

A new rainwater catchment system, with copper rain chains, adds charm and helps to artfully channel water away from the front of the house.

As a bonus, a small patio to the right of the portico has become a favorite new spot for the family to sit and enjoy summer evenings. 

“We’re ecstatic about this transformation–it feels so beautiful and solid. People come by all the time and tell us it’s their favorite house in the neighborhood.”

– Homeowners 

Pin It on Pinterest