A playhouse destined for the dumpster gets transformed with salvaged materials.
In 2009, Paul Fontana spotted a 20-sq.-ft. playhouse destined for the Dumpster and thought that with a little work, the house would be the perfect play space for his growing 1-year-old twins. He rescued the tiny house, but saving the original structure was just the beginning of a three-year remodeling project. Fortunately for him and his twins, Fontana owns Cum Laude Group, a construction firm specializing in high-end remodeling and home building.
Fontana and his firm have remodeled many homes over the past decade, including stately antique Tudor, manor, brick Georgian, and classic colonial homes. With each remodel, the firm attempts to salvage as many original materials as possible. Some of these items found new life on the little house.
The playhouse now sports steel casement windows (the original leaded glass of the windows replaced with brass caming) and roof slate that were removed from a 90-year-old Tudor. Leftover walnut paneling covers the playhouse interior. The custom Dutch door, built in the Cum Laude Group’s woodshop, is also made of the walnut paneling. The playhouse’s original T-111 siding is covered with stucco. The stone foundation, the brick chimney, and the bluestone patio were built from materials obtained while cleaning up job sites. Fontana speculates that what began as a labor of love for his children has evolved, on a square-foot basis, into what is probably the most expensive house in their Westchester County neighborhood—maybe even the country.
For more photos on this remodeled playhouse, click the View PDF button below.