A work in progress

Dream Home

The Dickovers have spent 16 years building their manse, and they're still not done

Real Estate

December 08, 2006|By Marie Gullard | Marie Gullard,Special to The Sun

Paul Dickover sits in the country kitchen of the Glen Arm home he has been building for his wife and daughter since 1990. As owner of his own contracting company, PTD Custom Builders, Inc., he often put his dream home on hold to meet the deadlines of his clients. In the meantime, he and his family have lived in unfinished rooms with little complaint since 1997.

"I married the right woman," he said, of his wife's patience and support.

"My patience is cracking," Chris Dickover replied with a laugh.

Twenty years ago when the couple married, Chris Dickover's father, George Weiss, gave them almost 2 acres adjacent to his house as a wedding present. Ground was broken in October 1990, and Weiss, then 70, used 110 tons of Butler stone to build a raised foundation, three-car garage and great-room fireplace. The rest of the exterior is red cedar shake.

For the interior, the couple decided on post-and-beam construction. Weiss, retired chief engineer for the city's housing authority, constructed a three-dimension, full-scale cardboard model.

"I carried that model to several post-and-beam companies in Vermont before deciding on the right one," said Paul Dickover, as he pointed to the home's huge beams of old-growth Douglas fir with white oak pegs.

The enormity of the project is most evident in the home's 35-foot by 44-foot central portion, which includes a foyer, great room and country kitchen.

In the great room, the stone fireplace built by Weiss soars 16 feet. The opening is curved into an arch and a seat has been fashioned into the raised hearth.

The great room's ceiling rises to 28 feet, with curved beams forming large, gothiclike arches against the walls. A loft is visible, its guardrails extending along two second-story walls. Two large, red leather easy chairs are side by side in front of a Palladian window.

A floral print, micro-fiber sofa rounds out the grouping. All are placed for viewing the television in a large entertainment center on the room's west wall.

The Colonial kitchen showcases another fireplace, this one in brick, with an arched opening nearly 6 feet high and 5 feet wide.

"There is a flue in there big enough for Santa," Paul Dickover quipped.

In front of the fireplace is a maple trundle table with matching carved maple chairs. French doors eventually will open onto a deck. The ceiling over the north side of the kitchen is the red birch flooring of the second-level bedroom suite. Sixteen-inch square, tumbled stone tiles give the floor a rustic look. The south side of the kitchen features a vaulted ceiling of lodgepole pine. There are as yet no cabinets on the walls, but a large pantry provides storage.

The north wing houses a bath and two bedrooms. Daughter Taylor, 15, occupies one room, and her parents - for the time being - the other.

Paul Dickover leads the way up the staircase and beyond the loft to the rear of the second level and a 1,500-square-foot master suite that is under construction. Beams and walls in place mark the bedroom, bathroom and twin dressing rooms. He plans to be in the suite by late winter, even if some finishing touches remain to be done.

The couple estimates that to date they've put $425,000 into their rustic, 5,200-square-foot home. This sum does not take the labor of Paul Dickover and his father-in-law into consideration.

For Chris Dickover, patience is the price for a house she "would be happy never to leave."

Have you found your dream home? Tell us about it. Write to Dream Home, Real Estate Editor, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or e-mail us at real.estate@baltsun.com.

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