Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Modern Farmhouse after a Fire - finishes

Front View of New Modern Farmhouse with mountain behind
My 'Modern Farmhouse after a Fire' Project is almost finished. I stopped by on a sunny winter day to check it out. The exterior has all the siding and trim and roofing installed and it looks classy in black and white. The porches and decks and balconies are mostly finished - just some railing needed here and there. With the stark blue sky of winter, the sun and the mountain view from the back of the house are striking as you stand inside the new living spaces.

South Elevation -Unique window shapes and asymmetry on the back
Balconies off each bedroom toward the view/sun
Inside the cavity insulation and spray foam and rockwool has all been installed in walls, attic and basement and the sheetrock has been applied and taped and in some cases, painted. The HVAC system is mostly installed, but not yet turned on - and the contractor stated that even on this 15degree morning, the two space heaters they use warm up the house easily. (Can't wait to see how this place performs on the blower door test.)

Kitchen cabinets are delivered (in boxes in the garage) and the contractors wood shop is busy building the stair and interior trim pieces so that once the sheetrock is painted, the trimwork and other interior carpentry can be installed.

Preparing for painting at Trusses over Kitchen
It all looks GREAT and will only get better once the faux brick arch is constructed and the fireplace hearth is in place and the wet bar is built and and and. This is a fun project with mail slots and charging stations by the every-day entry and reclaimed barn wood being used as accents in the powder room. Stay tuned for those awesome interior material photos coming soon!

Click here to read the previous posts about this project:

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Willowbrook Ranch Family Room

New Hygge Family Room
Here is another New Family Room Next Door project. The existing home is standard ranch style with rooms that are fairly small with flat 8 foot tall ceilings. A newer master bedroom addition with soaring ceilings is the exception- but, that space is private. The folks living here wanted a bit more living space that took advantage of the western wooded view and included some cozy creature comforts: an outdoor spa tub, and a stone fireplace- while incorporating some of those high-ceilings they have in their bedroom and adding light and view.

Glass Pocket Doors connect the existing home to the new room

The room was designed to be open to the existing dining room, and just steps from the kitchen through a pair of glass pocket doors. It functions as a family room off the back (more private) side of the house- as opposed to the living room, which, like the layout in many homes, is facing the street and at the entry.

New Addition and New Deck w/ Hot Tub
Before View of Back of House
The new room has lots of windows and a sliding glass french door to a new, more private deck. The deck was placed so that it connected not only to the new family room, but also to the master bedroom, which already had a sliding glass door. The spa tub was located on this deck (some serious structural piers designed to hold that weight!) and so is just steps from both the master bedroom and the new family room. The hot tub is tucked among some trees for a feeling of really being in nature while soaking.

Sliding Glass French Doors to Hot Tub on Deck

Stone Surrounds Rumford 1000 Fireplace

Thoughtful lighting placement and interior plank wood ceiling accentuate the symmetry of the vaulted room and make the focus of the room be the stone around the (real wood burning!) fireplace and the antique timber mantel shelf. The family finds they use both the tub and the fireplace as part of their regular routine- making these new spaces true improvements to their lives that encourage spending time together.

I think of this design as the hygge project because of the health and wellness aspects of using a hot tub and the contentment of sitting by a fire and how these features- and both the interior and exterior new spaces- truly help contribute to an improved quality of  life for the family living here. Sunday evenings sitting by the fire sure sounds cozy!

From Wikipedia: 
Hygge (/ˈhjuːɡə/ HEW-gə or /ˈhɡə/ HOO-gə) is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. As a cultural category with its sets of associated practices hygge has more or less the same meanings in Danish and Norwegian, but the notion is more central in Denmark than Norway.[1] The emphasis on hygge as a part of Danish culture is a recent phenomenon, dating to the late 20th century.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Family Room Addition to a Village Home

View of Addition from the backyard
Here is a glimpse into a small project I designed. Let's call is the New Family Room Next Door. :)

The existing home is a small historic two story village home. Like most village layouts, adding off the back was really the only option for increasing living space. (side yards are small or non-existent in village-type zoning where houses are placed close to each other and close to the street/sidewalk)

The home already had a single story kitchen addition all along the back of the two story structure, and then a covered porch off the back of that.

To keep the project economical, we used the area that once was a covered porch and changed that space into the new family room. We reused (and added more) the pier foundation from the porch for our new room, and kept the low-pitch shed roof in the same configuration as what existed, so second floor windows were unaffected.

The new room will still connect the kitchen to the back yard and back porch (we kept a small section of the existing covered back porch as a driveway-side entry for bringing groceries in to the kitchen). The new room will be able to be a bit more contemporary than the rest of the historic home can be.  The new room can someday become a first floor bedroom if age or illness requires it. And in the meantime, the new room will offer much-needed additional space for entertaining and relaxing with family, right near the kitchen. Since the large back porch was going away, I suggested a new large deck off the back of the new room as an outdoor connection and link to the back yard.

Before Photo - View from Backyard of Existing Covered Porch
Small section of existing covered porch remains as back entry

The new family room and new deck expand 1st floor living area A LOT

Lots of light and glass doors into new room

Higher "cathedral" ceiling in new room & light from 3 sides makes it special

Friday, October 5, 2018

Modern Farmhouse- Mechanicals & Roofing

Metal Roofing, Fascias, and Drip Edge being installed

Work continues at the New House After a Fire. Roof installation is underway along with the white fascia boards and drip edge all around the edge of the roof plane. (see the coils of metal?) The back deck - which is expansively large and accessed by 3 doors in 3 rooms - has been built, along with its railing and stair. The balconies have their decking, but don't yet have their railing. Check out the fantastic mountain view and you can see why we have these outdoor spaces.

Deck with mountain view

Balcony off back bedrooms toward view

Inside, the plumbers and electricians have been busy installing wiring, supply and drain pipes, and duct work for heating and cooling. Not pretty stuff, but we can all agree, super valuable! Some photos of their work before it all gets covered up by wall board:

Supply and Return Air Ducts and Boxes/Wiring

Bathroom Water Piping: Red/hot & Blue/cold Supply and White Drains

Air Sealing (Orange Spray Foam) around all holes

Framing for Fireplace & Hearth with Blocking for TV above

Friday, August 17, 2018

New House After a Fire - Framing

Tilting Up The Back Kitchen Wall
Framing is complete at The New House After a Fire including the front porch and the future room over the garage. Here are some photos of the progression of first floor deck framing and then first floor walls, then second floor deck framing, then second floor walls, and then trusses, roofs and dormer.
First Wall Up in Place at Gable End

Back view with 1st Floor Exterior Walls in Place
You can see the cantilevered balconies jutting out the back of 3 of the bedrooms on the southwest. The windows have been installed and you can see the higher ceiling dining room and kitchen has transoms above the glass door and kitchen sink feature window. They were framing the back deck yesterday - and then it will be time for interior and exterior finishes.

Front View now with Mud Room and Garage begun on left

Beautiful Exposed Trusses ready to be installed in Kitchen

Timber Trusses over Kitchen and Dining
Kitchen Sink Windows
Eating Nook Corner Windows
Two Car Attached Garage
Future Room Over the Garage
Lots of windows toward the back view from the Master Bathroom
View from Second Floor overlooking into Foyer Entry

Back (Southwest) View of House
Back View showing Garage and Mud Room Additions

Front View of House

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Rebuilding a Modern Farmhouse After a Fire

Here is a new project to follow on the New House Next Door blog:

The New House After the Fire

House was a Cape Style before the fire
Burnt home removed, except for part of foundation
This is almost a new home design, except it's not. A house stood on this property - it was a 1.5 story type house, which means the second floor is up within the roof, often with dormers popped out of the roof for additional space and windows. A fire devastated the structure.

(Public Service Message: Use the correct size/ rated extension cord!)

So what started as a bad situation has led to an opportunity. We have designed a new modern farmhouse with more space, a full second floor, an attached mud room and garage, and an expansive custom-truss roofed open chef's kitchen where once was a family room that suffered by being so disconnected from the rest of the home. The new home will serve the family that lives there much better because we took the time to think about what worked in the former home and what did not and we didn't stay attached to placing rooms, like the kitchen, in the same spot on the floor plan just because that's where it was before.

Forms set for pouring the new mudroom & attached garage
The former house had 2 parts - on the right was the 1.5 story Cape-type part with living/kitchen/dining and 2 bedrooms on the first floor and 2 more bedrooms upstairs within the dormers. On the right side was an addition that was built with a lower floor height, so that from the kitchen one could climb down a few steps and be in a large sunken family room. This part had no second floor atop it, and so could have higher ceilings, but I don't recall if it really did. The back of the home had a large deck and a new 3 season room to enjoy the mountain view. The only thing that could be saved was the foundation under the family room area (where is was fairly new, and made of poured concrete) but the "sunken" nature of it was undesirable and created problems, so in the new design we add a special foundation wall extension to bring the height of all the floors even with each other. The older concrete block foundation was deemed insufficient, but the new poured foundation in that area will still be exactly the same size/shape the old one was. We are adding a 3rd part on the left side that is a slab on grade as will be the foundation for the new mudroom and attached garage.
Drawing of the new Front Elevation

Friday, May 25, 2018

New House Next to the Lake is Ready for Summer!

Front view - with "popped up" space across back of second floor
Just in time for the family to come enjoy their vacation home on the lake, it's all finished for Memorial Day weekend. Here are some final pictures with the lattice enclosing underneath the new screened porch, the exterior painting all done, and the interior plumbing and cabinets installed. This family homestead is transformed!

Lake side view with new deck and screened porch

West side view- showing new First Floor Bedroom Addition
From repairing mundane, invisible but appreciated items, like recessing a steel support beam into the living room ceiling and installing a new septic system- to creating usable, beautiful new spaces- like a much larger screened porch and kitchen work area - to creating more sleeping spaces with a bit more privacy and a bit more air/light/view toward the beloved lake - to all new renovated bathrooms, refinished floors, and light fixtures & electrical service.

New Pantry Room view from Kitchen
New Pantry Room view toward Kitchen

New Ceiling in Living Room & Door to Bright New Bedroom

New First Floor Bedroom

Renovated Bathroom #1
Front Porch - repaired roof and connected to new Bedroom
This project combines a mix of keeping the old and traditional, while embracing some new materials and methods as well. Check out the old wood door leading into one of the bathrooms (on right side of pic above). Old site-built plank doors like that one were kept and reused inside- like leading into the new first floor bedroom from the living room. The exterior siding is a very traditional white-painted shingle style, with dark green trim while the railing system for the screened porch and deck is a stainless steel cable type (chosen because it would obscure the lake view the least).