The house tucked into a family lot in Belle looks as though it came straight from Colonial New England.
Inside, furnishings are well worn and remind of a time when a family made do with what it had.
The older looking, the better, as far as owner Mike Spangler is concerned.
And while he certainly has some true antiques in his saltbox-style home, Spangler actually created much of the furniture and made it look lovingly weathered.
The house, built using plans from a Country Living magazine Spangler had for years, was completed in 2012 and was built, with the exception of the concrete pad and the roof, by Spangler and his dad, also named Mike, who is a
"When he was building houses, I worked with him in the summers through middle school, high school and college," he said.
Spangler loves all things old and the house is a showcase for his efforts at recreating that. He and his dad scavenged supplies for the house with an eye toward Spangler's budget, which was strictly pay-as-you-go.
"That's why it took two and a half years," Spangler said.
The result is a home that is completely paid for as it stands.
"Being almost 50 years old, I didn't want to spend the rest of my life paying on this house," he said.
Spangler first became enamored by the style of home about 30 years ago when he first saw the buildings at Bridge and Loudon Heights roads in Charleston, which include a similar style of house.
"I just went nuts over it," Spangler said, "though technically, that is a Federal-style, not a saltbox."
A true saltbox is a square structure with a flat front and a deeply sloping, "cat slide" roofline that ends in one story on the rear of the house. It has a center staircase and a center firebox that provides fireplaces to rooms on both the first and second floors.
Spangler and his dad modified his plans for a 30-foot by 30-foot house to make it 34 feet.
"It's amazing what a difference 4 feet can make," he said.
"We wanted to do it in the old way as much as possible," Spangler said. Determined to track down 12-over-12 paned windows — sash windows with 12 panes of glass on the top half and 12 on the bottom — Spangler located a New England company that made reproductions, but balked at the $1,500-per-window price tag.
Instead, he found a Vermont salvage company that had the same windows from a home built in 1750.
"They were $50 each," he said. "I drove 14 hours to get them."
Some concessions were made for modern conveniences and practicality.
The house has two and a half baths. The fireplaces have gas inserts because the insurance adjustor said creating four or more wood-burning fireplaces through a center firebox would have caused the insurance to be exorbitant.
There are staircases both in the front and rear of the house because the narrow turns on the front staircase didn't allow much space to move large furniture upstairs.
A true saltbox would have had a wooden shingle roof, but for budget reasons Spangler opted for a metal roof.