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Other stories by Jon Vara

  • Sliding Pole

    When taking the stairs is too pedestrian, use a firepole.

  • Spite Houses

    Modern building codes and zoning have mostly eliminated the practice of retributive home building, though vindictive paint jobs are apparently still on the street.

  • Carpenter Gothic

    The carpentry that inspired an iconic American painting.

  • Floating Islands

    With a thick, three-dimensional plastic mesh made from recycled plastic water bottles as their structural base, these artificial islands can be up to an acre in size.

  • For the Birds

    Unlike their more modern cousins, dovecotes in medieval Europe weren't simply decorative.

  • Stilts Beyond Drywall

    Stilts have been—and continue to be—used for a wide range of purposes beyond hanging and finishing drywall.

  • To the Lighthouse

    It's not your typical summer-home renovation, but you can't beat the view.

  • Roll Out the Barrel House

    A former summer camp whose design came straight from the funny pages gets a new life as a museum.

  • Little House on the Sidewalk

    Taking portable toilets to a whole new level.

  • House Move: Saving a Luxury Home From Beach Erosion

    When a compromised island setting requires moving not one, but four, massive structures, the logistical challenges are daunting and the process is nothing short of impressive.