After some preliminary research, we purchased and moved 5 of the Phil-Moor Cottages to commercial property we already owned on Route 16 at the eastern edge of Ellendale. Our plan was to create a Village on Main Street filled with artists and artisans that could rent a cottage for a very reasonable amount and use it as a studio/retail space to sell their work. Everything was looking good until DelDOT got involved and started talking about studies and improvements. To make a long story short, the project was no longer financially feasible for us. Now what? We certainly weren’t going to throw the cottages into a landfill!
One day driving through Ellendale I spotted a small building lot for sale. It was on a nice quiet street and had a very large old tree on the property. I thought, I can take several of these cottages, put them together and create a bungalow style house. I pictured how it could look finished, with rocking chairs on a front porch just like the good ol’ days on Rehoboth Avenue, and the more I thought about it, the more perfect a plan it was. So, Kathy and I purchased the lot, I produced the site and floor plans, began the renovation and the cottage house is now complete.
What’s this have to do with green, you ask? Remember the 3 Rs:
REDUCE – We kept 38,000 pounds of building materials out of the landfill. (I know because the crane had a scale).
REUSE – We reused almost everything, preserved all of the trim, original doors, hardware, windows and even the hardwood floors.
RECYCLE – We recycled everything we could, all the old wiring, all the aluminum and metal trim, everything recyclable.
With an extremely efficient floor plan designed for today’s lifestyle, we turned 3 very small cottages into the largest 800 square foot home you’ll ever see. And finally, we utilized some of today’s technology to make the home more energy efficient, including closed cell spray foam and blown in insulation, as well as a 13-SEER energy efficient Carrier heat pump.
Was it worth all this time and effort? Wouldn’t it have been cheaper and quicker to build a new house? Perhaps, but I challenge you to find a better built and more enduring home than this for it’s listing price of $159,900! So remember, whether it’s a sophisticated solar array or simply not tearing something down, there really are many shades of green.
If you have more details about the history of the Phil-Moor cottages, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to know more, and to keep this story alive.