Saturday January 6 1:00 PM / 12:00c
Share

Book Excerpt from "Concrete Evidence: A Fixer Upper Mystery"

A small balcony off the master bedroom on the second floor cried out for a new railing. The copper gutters circling the third-floor tower would have to be replaced. I could see the gaping holes from where I was standing.
I hadn’t seen the basement yet, but according to the blueprints, it ran the entire length and width of the house. You didn’t see that feature in many Victorian homes, and if Mac wanted to, he could probably create the biggest man cave in town. But chances were good that some load-bearing posts and a beam or two would have to be replaced before any other work could occur. Wind and water damage was the price a homeowner paid to have a house this close to the shoreline.
I took a quick walk down the steps and around to the south side of the house, where a jewel-box-sized solarium had been built to connect with the first-floor parlor, or living room. It was a true rarity, made of strong white galvanized wrought iron and tempered-glass panels. I stared through one of the windows and saw the worn brick floor in a room just large enough to contain a few dozen plants and some potted trees, along with a small conversation area made up of a settee and a chair or two. It would be the perfect sunny place to read a book or take a nap.
The presence of a solarium might’ve seemed frivolous at first glance, but I’d read that the navy had built it specifically to grow citrus trees in pots, in order to provide juice for the sailors who were once stationed here. No scurvy for those boys.
Past the solarium was the root cellar with its thick wooden door, detached, deteriorating, and leaning against the side of the house. As I’d noted on my last visit, there were shutters hanging off their frames and several bricks missing from the chimney at the back of the house. The paint on most of the exterior walls was peeling badly, but there was plenty of other work to be done before we could start scraping, sanding, and painting.