antique schoenhofen beer bottles were discovered in the attic of our historic Howard Van Doren Shaw home

Support Walls, Beams, and Beer Bottles

Building a new structure is pretty straight forward. Building a new structure that ties in  to an old one seamlessly is full of complications. First, if you like your existing house, you have to create temporary support for it so it won’t collapse when you tear down the existing walls transitioning into the new space.  In addition, the weight of the new construction, and the … Continue reading Support Walls, Beams, and Beer Bottles


I love old houses, but sometimes they can be a little creepy. Especially Victorians. All that lace and doilies. They can feel dusty and repressive to me. So once again, I have to find that balance between historic and frumpy. The first thing we did was get rid of all  the lace window treatments. That was easy. Adding more light and updating the light fixtures helped a lot … Continue reading Defrumpify

Decisions Decisions Decisions

The wait is over. Erik Johnson has the plans. The preliminary sketches actually, but that’s the only part I really care about. Erik nailed it. We were happy to see the addition blending seamlessly with the existing house. Dave’s goal is always to create an addition where you can’t tell where the old stops and the new begins, and that starts with a well thought … Continue reading Decisions Decisions Decisions