When we first heard about a historic two-family located in downtown Amesbury, it checked off all the boxes on paper: multi-family, needing rehab, downtown location, fireplaces, historic structure.
Changing hands many times over throughout its life, this structure had seen more than its fair share of stress. Built around 1860, with rumors of being a barn at its start, it endured an invasion of powder-post beetles, housed a rowdy group of Hells Angels and undergone several bouts of shoddy renovations that crippled its core structure and left it condemned.
Purchased with nearly half the siding falling off, moss (not mold) growing in the bathrooms and a partial renovation started in one of the units, the rehabilitation involved extensive structural and cosmetic work both inside and out.
Once the structure was stabilized, a total overhaul got underway. Windows were restored and reglazed, original mantels stripped of paint,
brick hearths repointed, hardwood floors were patched and refinished. Walls were taken down, some rebuilt, the stairs treads replaced.
All exterior trim was replaced, period appropriate door surrounds were constructed on both sides of the building and new Hardiplank Siding was installed.
Years of repaving left the small yard and driveway below street level, causing flooding in the basement with every rain. The entire site was regraded to draw water away from the foundation and to a "rain garden" installed just beyond the side patio.
By far, the most important part of this project was restoring the building's inclusion in the neighborhood. What once was a blight to the surroundings, is now a loved home to two cheerful owners who have been as warmly welcomed to the neighborhood as their home.