Friday, December 8, 2017

Family House on the Lake - Framing of new Bedroom

New First Floor Bedroom Wall offers lovely view of the lake

I got a chance to stop by the construction a the Family House on the Lake this week. Poured concrete foundation walls are complete, the front porch roof is re-built and the framing for the new first floor bedroom addition has begun. Now one can stand in the new room and see how it will feel looking toward the lake view. (so nice! see pic above)
West Wall and Roofline of new Bedroom Addition

Existing LR - window to side of fireplace will become door to new bedroom
This small addition is doing so much all at once! Locating it was strategic- it is located so that an existing window in the Living Room can become the doorway into the new room. It was placed on the site to enjoy views and breezes to and from the lake and be a more private, quiet sleeping space  away from the kitchen and screened porch, which are the main large gathering spaces, and can therefore be noisy.
See new basement access door (on right) under new Bedroom addition
It is located on the site where the grade slopes down toward the water, and this allowed for a full-height basement space to be under the new room. This basement room will house the electric panel for easy power on-off when opening and closing the home for the season. Because of the full height walk-in door from the back yard, it will also provide much-needed storage space for off season lake toys like kayaks or floating dock parts.
Standing in old basement looking through old door, which is now the access to new basement room

In addition, by placing it on the west end of the home, it was within the side yard zoning setback, so no variance was required. And lastly, an area of crumbling stone foundation was covered by placing the new foundation over it, so that the old foundation can be repaired less expensively by using concrete block instead of stone. They even managed to tuck the forms for new walls perfectly under the timber sill plate of the existing house corner! (pic below)

New Conc. Foundation Wall supports timber framing. Old stone wall will need to be infilled

View from street - Brand new front porch roof!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Family House on the Lake- photo update

Demolition and repair work has been going on at the The Family House on the Lake.

Footings have been poured for the west bedroom addition, as well as the east Pantry upgrade. Forms are set for pouring concrete foundation walls. Electrician is coordinating with the power company to relocate electric panel/weather-head where lines come in. And plumber is coordinating pipes from well. Alot is happening! Here are some photos:

Forms for foundation walls for bedroom addition (right)

On left, foundation walls for Pantry Room, which was only on piers before

Old Stone Foundation meets new poured concrete foundation

Second Floor ceiling stripped and ready for next steps
Dusk at the Lake House

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Family House on the Lake: Demolition Begins

Demolition of the Roof and Screened Porch
Demo work uncovers crumbling stone foundations

Work has begun at the Family House on the Lake. First some interior work was taken care of, like permanently installing and raising a steel I beam up flush into the Living Room ceiling. This beam was put in by members of the family a while ago when they were concerned about the under-sized floor joists above their heads flexing too much for comfort when people walked around upstairs. It has been a bit of an eyesore with bright orange strapping holding it up there for years, but now it's up nestled among the joists and ready to be covered with a finished ceiling! They will have to tell future generations that it's even up there, once it gets hidden!

Excavate an old tree stump to make way for the addition
Demolition and excavation work is quickly accomplished with machines. Next the footings for the addition will be poured, and concrete will be added to shore up the old stone foundation, where needed.

See the previous post on this project to view the "before" pictures:

And stay tuned for more progress and, eventually, after/completed pictures!

Steel support beam raised flush in LR ceiling
Joist Hangers and Thru Bolts Installed

Before photo of Steel I beam 
Forms and reinforcing bars ready so footings for new addition can be poured

Friday, November 17, 2017

Blue House Next to the School - Raising the Roof!

The roof over the existing family room has been ripped off so we could add new spaces above in what was only a low, unfinished attic space. Here's some photos showing the progress. (and you can look at the previous posts on this project here: building-up-at-blue-house-next-to-school

Front view - FR roof ripped off

Back view - FR roof ripped off
You can see that the new roof is an un-symetrical pitch. This little trick gives us more head-room under the roof,  while keeping the outside look of the house's massing and roof shape fairly traditional from the front. With the new 7' tall back wall, the master bathroom and dressing area can each have a sunny window and a view out among the treetops.

New Steeper Roof creates living space

Interior of new Master Bedroom

Interior of new Dressing and Master Bathroom

Attic space before raised roof
Family Room - picture window (right) will become glass doors to New Screened Porch
Sometimes good ideas happen in the field, and that happened here. My plans built straight up, meaning the exterior walls for the new master dressing and bathroom were directly above the walls of the existing family room below. After the roof was ripped off, the contractor called to pitch an idea - he could add a little more space to that new dressing room, if we could extend the new floor over outside air for a 4' space between the two additions. I did the math, and we all decided it was a worthwhile change. Now the existing mudroom door has a covered entry. (just to the right of the ladder in pic below).
Dressing Room area connected to Bedroom Addition

Thursday, October 26, 2017

New Project: Family House on the Lake

Here is a new project to follow on the blog! This is an old family homestead; it's been in the same family since 1923! My clients are three siblings who own the home currently, but they've included their extended multi-generational family in the decision-making process. Despite living out of the area, most still come back to their ancestral family home on the lake at least once a year to relax, sail, paddle, swim, cook-out, and enjoy visiting with family and show their kids where great-grandma and great-grandpa used to live.

The history is charming. My clients remember going to the home in their youth, when their grandparents lived there full-time without indoor plumbing or any insulation and only a wood stove for heat. ("hardy folk" says Jim of his grandparents - I'll say!) Now Jim (the toddler in the photo above) and his sisters enjoy using the home for long weekends, summer vacations, and family reunions and celebrations with their spouses, grown children, and grandchildren.

Before- Street Side

Existing Kitchen 

Before- Lake Side
The building and site are also charming, with porches to relax on, open rafters above a tidy kitchen, and towel hooks for hanging your suit after a swim in the lake- but the structure is at the point it could certainly use some updating and repairs/maintenance. So - here we go: The Family House on the Lake...

The site is small, just over half an acre, and the lake closer to the building and the septic system than is allowed by current regulations. Parking area is minimal, and with so many family members arriving from various places, there can be a lot of cars. The porches are in disrepair and the sleeping spaces lack privacy. The rooms are small, making the yard the only place all of the assembled family can meet.

To solve some of these issues this is what the new design proposes:

  • Tear down detached garage, which is in a state of disrepair, to allow for more parking area and new (further from the lake) traffic-bearing septic system
  • Replace the dilapidated, narrow screened porch with a larger one focused on the lake view and connected to the kitchen and a back deck
  • Raise the roof so the second floor sleeping spaces have more space and can have windows facing the lake to let in cooling breezes at night
  • Add a private first floor bedroom
  • Renovate the single large bathroom into and bathroom and a powder room to better accommodate large groups.
  • Upgrade the electrical, add insulation, repair failing plaster walls & ceilings, repair the front porch roof, plus deal with some other deferred maintenance issues and general upgrades like new lighting/appliances and wallpaper/interior paint
Stay tuned for future posts as the construction and demolition get underway this fall!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Building up at the Blue House Next to the School

West (Back) of Family Room (left)
Like many homes the Old Blue House Next to the School has been added to over time. The origonal structure is heavy timbers and stone foundations from the mid 1800s, but the newest section was built in the 70s or 80s. It is a one story space that acts as a family room and has a bathroom and some storage. (all things an older home tends to be lacking, and therefore logical for someone to add on at some point.) It is over a small crawlspace and the space within it's roof was accessible from the second floor of the home as low-height, unfinished attic storage.
Former Attic Storage Space -Roof to be Raised
 and Windows added for new Master Bathroom and Walk-in-Closet
With our kitchen addition on the first floor (see previous post) with the enlarged master bedroom above it, we decided to convert that low-ceiling attic space into the new master bathroom and dressing/closet area. To do this, the contractors removed the ceiling and roof off the family room and are constructing a strong floor in place of the ceiling. Next they will raise the roof height and change the roof pitch for more headroom and larger windows, adding space, light and views in what was the low, dark, attic space.

From the street, the house really won't look much different. (no pictures here, all this is the back) That roof ridge-line will be slightly higher - that's it. From the back yard, which is private and faces west toward the mountains and the sunset, we are adding a (almost) full-height wall above the FR back wall with a window in the shower and a window in the dressing area. In addition, the FR picture window will be replaced with glass doors and a new screened porch will be built there to provide insect-free outdoor living/dining space. Above is some of the drawings showing the west elevation before (small, lower left) and after (center, larger image)

Stay tuned for next steps and progress photos and cross your fingers for no rain when that roof is torn off!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Blue House Next Door to the School - Massing of New Additions

In architecture school one of our first projects was creating an abstract design of "solid and void" cubes and we built the models by gluing together sugar cubes. Imagine a toy Rubik's Cube, but with some of the 27 cubes that make it up (if it were solid cubes all the way through) being pushed in or out in some spaces, so the whole was not a smooth-sided 9 x 9 cube, but was instead deconstructed, added to, or changed in some way. 

The point of this project (I think!) was to learn about what architects call "massing". Massing is the three dimensional shape of things. When I first start to think about how to add to an existing house, the massing of walls and roof shapes and how/where it makes sense to add new enclosed space from the exterior is the first item on my agenda. 

A big part of figuring out what will work is by planning the roof. Here in the northeast (with traditionally-styled residential architecture, anyway) we usually have pitched roofs to allow for drainage, and we often have gutters along the eaves to collect rainwater or snow melt and carry it away from the building. That is the probably the most pragmatic aspect of what I think about when laying out a new addition. 

For the Blue House Next to the School, the kitchen addition has a small footprint and extends an existing reverse gable roof line just six more feet into the back yard. (or "garden" as my clients, who lived in England for years, charmingly refer to it.) 

Click here  to see the before photos in the previous blog post about the addition design for this house.

The other way the massing is going to change on this home is that the roof on the single-story Family Room area (left side in pic above) will be raised and reconfigured with an un-even pitch so that additional spaces (Master Bathroom and Dressing/Closet) can be located up there in what is currently a short, unfinished attic storage space. Adding on by "going up" can be economical since you don't need to put in a foundation. More on that next time...

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Blue House Next to the School Gets Added to

A new construction project to blog about! This is an older village home that I designed a small (tiny really) two story addition off the back to increase the size of the kitchen and enlarge a bedroom. That new larger bedroom will be the master bedroom and we are adding a new master bathroom and dressing room above the existing single floor family room section of the house. I've decided to call this one "Blue House Next to the School". It is located within village limits, but the large lot size and sprawling footprint help it feel like it's out in the town.

Here are some before pictures from the back yard:

Back of the Existing BHND to the School

Back Side - Existing
 So when you look at the back of the home, a newer single-story family room was added to the left side (with the triple/picture window). This is the roof that will be removed and a second floor added above that room to house the new master bathroom and dressing room.

The gable you see to the right of that section is the small kitchen with an unfinished bedroom above. That 13' wide section will be extended 6' toward the back so each of those rooms can grow larger. (that's our tiny addition)

Compare the "existing" and "proposed" floor plans below to see what a better/larger kitchen they will have with the addition of just six feet!

New Kitchen Floorplan w/ 6' addition
Existing too-small Kitchen Floorplan
 The new longer kitchen can have an island, a 'U' shaped counter centered on the new window, and will be opened up to the Office room with a breakfast bar seating area. The additional 200 SF allows much more space for cabinetry and upscale appliances, while maintaining the 3 different passageways leading to other areas of the home.

You can see the actual fixture and appliance locations stay just about the same. The new farmhouse sink will still be facing the backyard window- just 6' back more. With more space, cooking appliances multiplied to include both wall ovens and a six burner range. The large sized refrigerator stays along the shared Dining Room wall and gets cabinetry and pantry aside it.

Reusing Note: The appliances, sink, and cabinets have been sourced from high end kitchen renovations, which requires some flexibility - the layout shown here may not actually match the final product! Stay tuned!

Friday, July 14, 2017

New House ND2thePond - Final Pics

Final Construction Photos of the New House Next Door to the Pond.

The New House Next Door to the Pond
This was an interesting project on a unique site for an environmentally-conscious, active family.  The building is super-well insulated and efficient, organized along a long East-West line to allow in the sun with a screened/sun porch on the west end near the pond and a three car garage on the other end tucked behind. This house is built of quality materials, oriented on the site appropriately for sun, wind, and views, and designed to live large without being over-sized.

Living Room - windows toward pond

Looking toward kitchen and entry door

West wall of LR has glass door to screen/sun porch

Kitchen has glass door to front porch

Sunny Built-in Eating Nook
First Floor Office with Desk viewing pond

Office looking back through pocket doors toward Eating Area

Stairway Connection

Upper Landing with Built-in Bookcase

Mud Room with Bench & Cubbies at Entry from Garage

Master Bedroom has vaulted ceiling and window seat

French Doors to Lower Level Rec Room
Sun/Screen Porch extends living space to the outdoors
Furniture-like cabinets and beautiful fixtures personalize spaces
To see other post about this house click on these links: (Wow! There was a lot!)
new-house-next-door-to-pond Post 
site-analysis-for-new-house-next-to-pond post
progress-on-site-work-and-foundation-at NHNDtoPond post
program-analysis-for-nhnd-to-pond post
framing-at-new-house-next-to-pond post
framing-continues-at-nhnd-to-pond post
nhnd-to-pond-framing-update post
nhnd-to-pond-hiding-garage post
nhnd-to-pond-sheltering-high-tech-roof post
nhnd-to-pond-windows post
siding-and-roofing-at-nhnd-to-pond post
spray-foam-and-rigid-insulation post
new-house-next-door-to-pond-update post
/nhnd-to-pond-interior-finishing post
blower-door-test-at-nhnd-to-pond post

In a year or so, I'll contact these clients about coming out for final portfolio photos. In addition to pictures looking better with furniture and art on the walls, it makes sense to wait a few seasons for the land to recover and the hardscape (walkways, etc.) to be installed and the landscaping (plantings) to get established.