Victoria ~ Story of The Red House Final Chapter


Her makeover complete, our girl is ready for her debut.

Paint technique at the dining room walls and tray ceiling is dramatic for a formal event or an elegant brunch. The kitchen bears beholding! There is an easy flow through the commercial-grade applianced gourmet space. Counter seating begs a sampling of the chef’s wares, while on the way into the large family area.

Breezes waft from earthy surroundings, carrying out on to the spacious lawn and patio area. The veranda waits, poised for the perfect rocker or swing. Family events and barbecues of future days, lay waiting – their explosions of laughter and new memories in the making.


A Note From Rick:

Sensing a downturn in the construction industry, it was my priority to retain our skilled talent. Rescuing the property from demolition seemed like the perfect opportunity to have them hone their techniques and produce some truly unique details. This project will always have a special place in my memory. It allowed me to strengthen our group when so many companies were struggling, at the same time, revive a familiar landmark.

We held an open house once I was sure that all the details were exactly how I had hoped. It was gratifying to share the day with so many of our Customers For Life, as well as locals who were eager to see what we had produced. Some came with stories of past residents or “the time I spent here when I was young”. It was really the perfect full circle.

Victoria ~ Story of The Red House Chapter III


Our girl has received some well deserved attention in the past months, blending her traditional Victorian charm with today’s conveniences, efficiency and style.  Exterior trim, the remainder of interior framing and plaster are complete. We now turn our attention inward, toward the details which make a house a home.  She will soon project a subdued, classic and relaxed interior atmosphere, allowing for the creative and individual decorative style of her new family.

 The then-1-1/2 bath structure now has a statement-making master bath, full guest bath and main-level powder room.  Master bath is luxurious in its exquisite marble flooring and unique basket-weave inspired wall tile.  The guest bath’s geometric limestone tile floor warms under natural sunlight spilling in through a 10” sun tunnel.  Character echoes throughout the main level all the way up to the unique ceiling trim. Custom-made thresholds complete the area on the second level. These traditional thresholds have been crafted from salvaged flooring from the original third level flooring.  A new powder room is now conveniently located at the heart of the main traffic area, off the kitchen, where the original basement staircase once was.

The master suite’s closet commands the attention that traditional linen closets once garnered. Most Victorian homes were originally built with large linen closets used to showcase fine bed and table linens of the period. The Master walk-in will feature built-in features for a dressing-room feel. Multi-level closet poles, dressing bureau/drawers, countertop and lighting at the mirrored wall make every day dressing a ready-for-anything experience.  

Our girl gets her share of attention from passersby with her new railing and traditional ginger-bread cutouts at the veranda.  A custom-made mahogany front door fresh from our in-house cabinet shop makes a beautiful statement, welcoming in the natural light while maintaining security and privacy.

Decking will draw one outward to enjoy and appreciate the details of diverse landscapes of surrounding farmlands and preserved forest.  A bluestone patio is planned for the rear of the property, along with an outdoor shower and red-cedar private area for a little more secluded tranquility.

The basement has been updated with reinforced the beams and posts to meet today’s codes and standards.
The hydro-air 2-zone heating and cooling system is gas-fired for super efficiency, cleanliness and whisper-quiet comfort. 

Check back later this spring for the finishing touches and details that are testament to the Messier Construction level of craftsmanship. These will include:  The kitchen – certainly worth showcasing upon completion. Graceful, efficient and utility-minded gourmet commercial grade appliances, quiet-close cabinetry, granite countertops and unique details throughout.  Entertaining, prepping or lounging by the airy windows, this space can easily become a cozy hub of the household, with counter seating and breakfast nook space. Slate floored mudroom – with attention to organization and roomy closet at rear entryway.  Interior staircase – a classic centerpiece.  Finished coats – at the exterior as well as interior detailing will polish our girl to a dazzling shine…..ready for her debut as a thoroughly modern, inviting and friendly red head on the hill.


Victoria ~ Story of The Red House Chapter II


Our lovely lady has been identified in archived records as the Isaac Brown House. “A highly picturesque, 2-½ story….house with a 3-bay façade and a large turned-post and jig-saw trim veranda.”  She will maintain her picturesque stature on the hill chosen by the Brown Family as her grand pedestal, but will receive a new outlook from within.  Our goal is to maintain her outer appearance, while using today’s modern technologies to make her energy efficient.

She is now more prepared for the extremes of New England weather with a blanket of closed cell spray foam insulation.  Her new life-time warranted “Slate Blend” asphalt roof gives our girl a slight redhead attitude.  We have power-washed the basement ceiling and existing floor system and treated them with E.P.A. approved after-shock, which blocks the growth of mold.   A new hydro-air heating system is being installed. It will offer two zones of heating and cooling, and one zone for domestic hot water.  A new 4-bedroom septic system has been installed to meet current code.  The rough stages of plumbing and electrical work have been completed.  



She will see her sprawling surroundings with new “eyes”. Her old 2/2 vertical windows have been updated to energy-efficient, yet similar in appearance, versions.  Custom made mahogany doors, fabricated in our in-house cabinet shop, will add warmth to the welcome of all who cross her natural oak threshold.   Efficient access to the basement has been added with a modern-type bulkhead door with old-time style. These are the beginnings of her new outer glow. 



The veranda has been completely reframed and decked, ready for lazy summer porch swing afternoons.  The decking on the porch is 1X4 IPE, better known in the industry as “iron wood” because of its durability.  Exterior trim will be replaced with PVC trim and painted.  Details in the decking and posts will retain her historic charm.



Victoria boasts a sweeping formal staircase and secondary staircase off the kitchen.  The secondary staircase, not wide enough to meet current codes, we found could be made into a better use of space.  Removing the staircase allowed for addition of a powder room on the first floor.  The space created on the second floor will become a part of a more contemporary-minded master closet space.  The section of the staircase leading to the basement was relocated to an entirely different place within the center of the first floor. 


Restoration of the grand staircase as well as the uniquely patterned maple floor in the formal living room will be some of her next steps of progress. A fresh layer of plaster will set the base for dressing her up for her updated debut. 


Our main challenge now, is how to dress her exterior.  She is, after all, the redhead on the hill. The search is on for the perfect color compliment for our old-fashioned, updated girl.

[Note from the Contractor: suggestions/photos of traditional exterior Victorian color schemes can be submitted via email to the address listed at the bottom of webpage.]

Victoria ~ Story of The Red House Chapter I


The house on 3152 Main Road,Tiverton, RI is a Victorian style home which, according to Town records, was built in 1875.  Since the purchase, we have affectionately named the house “Victoria”.


With just over 2,600sf of living area on a half-acre lot, she will undergo subtle modernization which will enhance her classic flair.  The basic layout of (9) rooms originally held 1.5baths and (6) closets. They will transform into more efficient 2.5baths and (10) closets. Finely appointed built-ins will grace her new-found shape, affording additional space, aesthetics and character.



At the time we purchased Victoria, she had been abandoned for approximately 3-5 years. The house had water damage and still held much of the original contents. A large barn inhabited a space toward the rear of the property.

It was obvious to us that the barn would need to be torn down, but we were unsure as to the fate of the house. Victoria’s ridge and fascia lines were very straight. What we could see of the basement framing was also encouraging. After spending some time with the building structure, we determined that she was indeed salvageable.  We proceeded to empty the contents and strip the walls down to the studs.  It was at this time that a structural flaw was revealed.

Years ago, a second story addition was built over the flat-roof kitchen extension.  The beam at the junction of the kitchen extension had, at the time, already carried the second floor ell at the East and ultimately, the roof above.  The added weight of the addition caused the beam to fail, causing a sag of at least 3” in the middle.



We have returned that section to her younger silhouette by removing the second story ell, installing a new beam and restoring the flat roof.  Current building code does not allow for the wider spans used years ago, so supporting beams were installed in the base thereby shortening the spans.  The existing second floor joist system was doubled to add rigidity. 







She was shaping up nicely!

EPA Lead law

Effective April 22, 2010, contractors working on homes built prior to 1978 must meet the EPA guidelines for any project that disturbs paint. Which means just about any kind of remodel, window replacement etc.

Contractors are required to to be certified by the State of RI Department of Health, and can be fined heavily for any infractions.

At Messier Construction RRM, Inc., we have trained and certified six people on our staff.

If you are planning to renovate your pre-1978 built home, be sure to ask your contractor if he or she has people who are trained and certified, and ask to see a copy of their training certificate. By law a contractor must also provide you with a brochure called  “Renovate Right”, which was published by the EPA and contains valuable information about the lead safe working practices. You can also get more information at the EPA web site:

Any remodel you can dream of, we can create: a new kitchen or bath, a new addition, a whole home renovation, even tear-downs when needed. We can transform your home to maximize space, achieve better traffic flow and realize your goals.  Connecting the new to the old is always a concern, and we work to ensure your addition blends with your current home and looks like it belongs. And we'll bring in an architect and designer if you don't have one.