HGTV's Dream Home 2004 has wonderfully relaxing exterior spaces, beginning with the long, shady front porch and its graceful staircase. \"I call that my family reunion staircase,\" says architect Barry Coyle. \"I envision the families having their reunion photographs.\"
The view of the house front makes one appreciate the fine craftsmanship involved with the construction, a task taken on by two friends: Bill Gross and Terry Stover.
As is common along the coast, the house sits on stilts that raise it above flood level. But these are not ordinary pillars; they are reinforced with steel and finished with 100-year-old brick from North Carolina. Tie-down steel cables run between the studs from floor to ceiling. \"The main thing we are trying to accomplish with the tie-down system is to create an anchor system from the foundation through the walls and to the roof,\" notes Bill.
All 60 windows are durable as well as stylish. \"The windows are made of an aluminum exterior, with wood on the inside,\" Bill says. \"The aluminum on the outside is for low maintenance.\"
The porch decking is custom-milled tongue-and-groove yellow pine. These boards were designed to meet the demands of coastal weather.
The vintage-looking porch columns are state-of-the-art fiberglass, with threaded rods inside for wind protection. The roof is also weather-friendly. The tower and cupola are roofed in metal, while the main roof is clad in an asphalt shingle with Victorian flair. And the cement-based siding is impervious to sun and rain. Even the exterior paint has an additive to make it mildew-resistant.
Innovative breakaway walls give the house a grounded, finished look. The walls literally break away, allowing water to flow underneath without sacrificing the integrity of the main structure.