Monday, June 24, 2019

New House Next to the Mountains - Final Photos

West Elevation View
The New House Next to the Mountains is located on a rural site with a spectacular view of the Catskill Mountains. This is an efficient new building, but was designed to look a bit like an historic farmhouse that had been across the street and in the family for generations. This house was constructed a few years ago, but I got out there today to take some final photographs. You can read some other posts on this project by clicking on these links:
cwb-architect.blogspot.com/2016//framing-another-new-house-next-door
cwb-architect.blogspot.com/2016//nhnd-in-mountains-update
cwb-architect.blogspot.com/2016/nhnd-to-mountains-interior-finishes

Front View of New House Next to the Mountains
Entry Side View of NHN2theMtns

BEFORE-Family Homestead that couldn't be renovated was demolished
 When the clients first hired me, the intention was to renovate the family homestead, but exploration of the neglected structure showed that it would be too costly, so that building was demolished. It was decided to build at a more advantageous spot on the site, but recall much of the former home's layout- with a lot of modern updates and efficiencies. See this link about the former house: (photo above)
cwb-architect.blogspot.com/2015/when-is-building-too-far-gone-to-renovate

Open Loft Space at the top of the stairs overlooks Living Room

Loft View -Nantucket Dormer
Living Room with custom wood whole-wall entertainment center

The many roof lines and porches and dormers create the idea of it being added to over time and create cozy nooks for desks and beds upstairs. The new location meant we could face the house toward the south and have lots of windows toward the sun and view. While the exterior is clean-line traditional with it's white clapboard siding and pitched gable roofs, the interior is very open and airy and feels decidedly updated and modern, even though we used some classic moulding profiles. I used a "Nantucket" dormer along the front to create more space for a larger second floor and a playful open space that looks down into the living room.

Living Room Fireplace

Vanity Cabinet
Elements from the demolished building were saved, like the heavy hand hand-hewn beams. This wood was reused creatively by the cabinet maker to create a unique kitchen island, master bath vanity, and living room entertainment center. Stones were gathered from the site to use around the wood burning fireplace.

Farmhouse Kitchen with so many windows
Dining Room View toward Kitchen
The kitchen exudes farmhouse charm with it's cheerful green painted wood cabinets, glass door fronts, bin pull style hardware, and open shelving either side of the farmhouse sink. Windows abound to and fill the spaces with natural light, bringing the outdoors in. The house was built to act as a weekend home during skiing and hunting seasons, to replace the family home that generations of the family had visited across the dirt road. But now that the owners have retired to live here full time, and they enjoy the feeling that this new clean house is reminiscent of other house, but with fresh air/light/life breathed into it.

Living Room with transom windows toward the back
Foyer- View toward Front Door & Living Room

Homeowners enjoying the view

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Chapter 4: Adirondack Lake Cottage - Siding, Trim, & Insulation

Beautiful Day at the Adirondack Cottage on the Lake
At the beautiful lake-side property for the "Adirondack Cottage" project, spring has sprung. The lake is no longer frozen, the winter winds have gone away till next year, and the trees have budded out their leaves- including the maple tree we saved with our site planning (see Chapter 1 link below). We protected it's roots from heavy machinery by marking around it off limits to vehicles, and so far so good- it looks healthy!

Sheetrock being delivered in the front door (and leafed out tree in front yard!)
While it may look complex, the roof is a basic gable for the main part of the house, with dormers popping out of the roof (2 front, 1 back) to create space for the second floor bedrooms and windows up high in the entry foyer. The garage has it's own rotated roof, as does the great room bump out with the soaring feature window. The main roof slopes down in front to cover the front porch roof - with a gable detail over the entry- and slopes down over the back master bedroom glass doors, supported by some brackets to add a special detail at the location of the private patio.

Master Bedroom end of the house roof extension over glass door

View from inside the Master Bedroom, which will have it's own private patio
Inside the electricians and plumbers have installed their rough wiring, piping and duct-work and the fixtures and compressors and some cabinetry is on site. The cavities have all been insulated with mineral wool batts in the walls, and closed cell spray foam in the roofs. The attached garage has been thermally isolated and fire separated from the house. In addition to the cavity being insulated, the walls also have taped continuous insulated sheathing to help create a tight envelope that allows very little air infiltration. (We will find out how little on blower door test day!) This continuous insulation is so important when you see places, like near doors as in the photo above, that have multiple wood studs (meaning no cavity for insulation).

Cathedral-like view as one enters the front door

Front Bedroom- looks toward saved tree
In keeping with the traditional "cottage" style, most of the windows used here are traditional double hung style units. We elected for what they call "cottage style" divided lite patterns, which means the top sash only got divided into 6 smaller "lites"- all the better for seeing the view out the clear, bottom sash. Of course there are exceptions: the windows in the front bedroom could not meet the egress requirement as double hung units and so I specified casements there (see it open in the photo above?) with a simulated check rail and divided lite pattern similar to the double hung units used throughout the rest of the house, so they blend in. The windows that create the feature in the high gable wall in the Great Room have no divided lites, so the view is less obscured.

Back Bedroom windows look toward water
Great Room with lots of height and windows accentuating the lake view
Outside the exterior trim and shingle-style siding was being installed. These are some of the important details that lend the home the moniker "Adirondack Cottage". The shingle style siding in a warm green color (Certainteed brand "Spruce" Cedar Shake Style Siding) and helps lend an air of authentic, highly detailed natural cedar shake, while being "maintenance free" vinyl. This "shingle" infills around the windows and doors on most of the exterior walls, abutting the white edge trim. I detailed places with special trim and brackets, to call attention to the architecture at important places like the front porch, roof gables, and glass doors leading toward the lake. Especially note the traditional gable "crows foot" detail. These special touches, along with the one-and-a-half story building massing and the stone base details soon to come were all selected to reinforce the Adirondack feeling the clients wanted.

Glass Doors with Transom window above from Great Room
Pair of Glass Doors from Dining Room to Deck

Siding and Trim and Details, oh my!

Wait until the interior trim work is installed and stained and you see how cozy that makes the inside spaces! Until next time...

To read the previous post on this project click on the links below:

cwb-architect.blogspot.com/chapter3-adirondackcottageonlake
cwb-architect.blogspot.com/chapter2-adirondackcottageonlake
cwb-architect.blogspot.com/chapter1-adirondackcottageonlake

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Final Photos of Modern Farmhouse After a Fire

New Front of House

Front- BEFORE
Back- BEFORE
Move in day has come to the family whose house burned down! It's been rebuilt in a new bigger, better way with modern air sealing and HVAC systems, upscale finishes, and reorganized spaces with a focus on open rooms that connect to the outdoors, while also offering private spaces to each resident of the extended family living here. This 'Modern Farmhouse' used to be a Cape Cod style home with a cramped kitchen, awkward dated sunken family room, and small dark bedrooms, without much connection to the beautiful mountain views and sunlight available on the site.
New Back of House
When the home burnt, the foundation was the only piece we could re-use and the grading around the house- with it's back basement walk-out door- remained as is for our new design. Staying atop that footprint (while adding a mud room and garage to the side of it) set the design constraints, but when thinking about rebuilding, we made bold changes to the building massing, roof shape, floor plan, windows, and feel/style of the home to better fit the dynamic family who lives there. We omitted the back sun room and wrap around porch, increased the size of the back deck, and added a traditional front porch entry.

Living Room - Wet Bar near Glass Doors to Deck
Living Room - toward front and Foyer, Hall to Bedrooms
The new home is light-filled and spacious with a chef's kitchen connected through a brick archway to a great room with a fireplace, wet bar, and enormous deck. All those windows and glass doors made the interior so bright and open that the old "sun porch" room you see in the "BEFORE" photo didn't need to be recreated in our new design. All the public spaces have glazing toward the south/back/mountain view and the deck. The new bedrooms have full-height or vaulted ceilings with glass doors to individual balconies and their own custom bathrooms. The building envelope is super tight and well insulated and the new HVAC system is super high efficiency. The materials are classy inside and out - and the site work, when complete, will boast a circular drop-off driveway at the front porch and two-story foyer front entry, and a patio with a hot tub off the back. (The spa tub was existing, and remained untouched by the fire and the water damage after the fire.)

Kitchen - toward front

Kitchen - toward Dining/Back & connection to Deck and Living Room

Mud Room - Cubbies by Garage Entry
Dutch Door from Kitchen to Mud Room
and a Pet Door too



Walk-in Pantry in Kitchen


Darker colors used in Upstairs Study
Laundry Room
Interesting and unique custom details abound here to make you smile. We have built-in cushioned benches in the eating nook and the mud room entry. We have cubicles for organizing in the mudroom, dressing room, and pantry. There is ship lap wainscoting in the bathroom and the mud room and custom live-edge wood used as a sink base and as the fireplace mantel shelf. Barn wood creates a cozy plank ceiling in the master bedroom. Fun flooring appears in the Dressing Room and the Laundry Room. And high transom windows let in lots of light. The tile floors have warming mats to prevent cold feet, and while most of the interior door and window trim is painted white, the Study received a stained wood finish instead. Some of the smaller, private rooms have special wall colors, but the main public spaces remain neutral with their wall color. The interior doors and door/window trim is modeled after a traditional Craftsman design and has oil rubbed bronze hardware. While each room has its own unique features, theseconsistent details like doors, trim, and wood flooring bring continuity to the house as a whole.

Two Story Foyer Entry

Custom Hall Bathroom


Restaurant-style Dramatic Powder Room
Happy Dressing Room

Shoe Cubbies in Dressing Room

Master Bedroom w/ Barn Wood on Vaulted Ceiling & Lots of Light


Pet Doors allow the cat to leave the bedroom
This project was a joy to work on. I am often helping people improve their housing by making it work better for them and be more beautiful and efficient, but in this case, it was more than that. These client's took lemons and made lemonade, to use an inadequate phrase for the circumstances. The house they had moved into only months before was gone, along with all their belongings, and they always had smiles when I met with them. They  deliberately choose awesome interior finishes everywhere- from the lighting, to the fireplace design, to the plumbing fixtures and tile, to the kitchen appliances. They had a great contractor who could implement the ideas shown from a photo. And now they have a house that is truly personal to them and they are so happy to be living in it together.

Click here to read the previous posts about this project:

http://cwb-architect.blogspot.com/2018/12/modern-farmhouse-after-fire-finishes.html

https://cwb-architect.blogspot.com/2018/10/modern-farmhouse-mechanicals-roofing.html

https://cwb-architect.blogspot.com/2018/08/new-house-after-fire-framing.html

https://cwb-architect.blogspot.com/2018/07/rebuilding-modern-farmhouse-after-fire.html

Friday, March 29, 2019

Chapter 3: Adirondack Cottage on the Lake Framing, Porches, Roofing

Adirondack Lake Cottage - view from across the lake

Great Room feature window bump out on toward lake
The Adirondack Cottage on the Lake I designed is now enclosed from the weather. The roof is on, the walls have their insulated sheathing and windows installed, and some temporary doors are installed. Porch and deck floors have been framed and one can really see the entire massing of the building and get the feeling for all the rooms - interior and exterior. It looks and feels fantastic!

I am pleased by how connected each room feels to the lake in particular, and the outdoors in general and how the balcony bridge and soaring feature window really make the interior unique the moment you step through the front door. My layout of windows, glass doors, transoms, and outdoor decks/porches, as well as the placement on the site, really maximized this water-front property. The house totally takes advantage of it's location.

View from Great Room back toward Kitchen and Balcony above
  Other than the master bedroom suite tucked to one side of the floor plan behind the fireplace, most of the first floor area is open. The great room is the focus with many, many windows reaching upward toward the roof, and fireplace, and a high ceiling with a balcony looking over into it. The kitchen and dining spaces are in view, and a first floor office/bedroom is also very visible, with glass French doors as it's entry.

Glass doors in Dining Room to the deck
Bridge Balcony 
The second floor rooms and balcony are tucked up into the roof. This helped the massing of the home fit in with its petite neighbors a bit better. Windows pop up in dormers from the roof and the bridge balcony allows one to be high up with views down into the foyer, the great room, and out the many lake side windows toward the water.
Front Porch - dormers above (temporary door)

View from Bridge Balcony down into Entry Foyer

Lake Side Elevation
Front/ Street view with protected existing tree

Glass doors/windows in Master Bedroom have small roof overhang

To read the previous post on this project click on the link below:
cwb-architect.blogspot.com/chapter2-adirondackcottageonlake