Wow! It’s great to see the Gund home in the current issue of Nantucket Today. We built this home more than twenty years ago, and our photos of the house when it was new are almost identical to the photos taken recently by Terry Pommett.
It’s no surprise that the building has aged so well. Graham Gund Architects—now Gund Partners—were very receptive to my suggestions on material choices and waterproofing details.
The house is located on a very exposed location behind the dunes on Nantucket Sound. Nor’easters with wind speeds up to 80 miles per hour are a common event on the island, and the wind drives rain up and in to every opening, so the challenge is to be sure there are no openings to let the water in.
From many years of experience in building watertight homes on the island, I knew exactly how to build for the waterfront conditions the Gund family was going to experience. I recommended Alaskan white cedar roof shingles that are a full 1 ½” thick that should last for many decades. Next, I installed red cedar trim and porch ceilings that will never need paint and will last forever. The increased cost of using these materials was more than offset by the savings earned by not painting or replacing the lumber over time. I recommended copper window and door pans to keep out any wind-driven rain.
The Gunds were fantastic to work with and have remained family friends.
One night I went to check on the Gund house during a severe storm. The wind was screaming in at 80 knots and it was raining sideways. I was fighting the wind as I walked through the courtyard in the pitch dark and I chanced to look up. In a break in the clouds I saw Haley’s Comet crossing the sky. What a night. What a house!