The original home was a small ranch style house. The house had been moved from a previous location and while a very simple layout, had no special affinity for the site. The clients came to us looking for ways to add on, and felt that as a family with young children, the house was simply too cozy for comfort. Of chief concern was a new master bedroom and bath and there was also interest in adding a larger dining room, new deck, office and playroom.
The initial design discussions centered on the idea of adding two new spaces: a master bedroom and bath, and a large dining room area. We were concerned with having the new spaces fit the existing house and we wanted to create an integrated look and avoid having the additions feel out of place. After some brainstorming, we concluded that the best layout would be achieved through two separate additions and that in order to fit them seamlessly, it would be best to replace the existing roof (which was in poor condition).
The master bedroom and bath were the more critical spaces, and we decided to connect them to the original house through the existing front entrance. The existing front door probably fit the pre-move house site, but it made little sense in the house’s current location. It had very limited outside access and did not connect directly to either the driveway or road. It received so little use in fact that large rhododendrons had grown up around it almost completely obscuring it. Despite its limited function as the main entrance, the front door was a natural connection point for the master bedroom addition and allowed the new room to fit easily into the flow of the existing interior space, minimizing changes and expense.
After situating the master bedroom, we decided to place the new dining room as close to the kitchen as possible and to make it an inviting space that would double as the new front entrance. We were also toying around with some different roof configurations and really liked the idea of trying to use attic trusses to substantially increase the square foot area of the home for relatively little cost. Since the dining room was doubling as the front entrance, it became the natural connection point for the second story. We decided to give the new roof a dramatic 12 in 12 pitch. Not only did the steeper pitch give the house a whole new look and feel, it also made the trusses stronger and allowed us to increase the size of the second floor. The final design for the dining room addition maintained a high cathedral ceiling with a large custom window and an open oak staircase that connected to a spacious loft.
The second floor loft almost doubled the square foot area of the home and we incorporated two large dormers into the space to dispel the tunnel like feeling common to attic truss rooms. The large dormers significantly increased the natural light and allowed for cross ventilation while also adding interest to the exterior. And finally, in the master bedroom addition we used a modified truss to create a tray ceiling, adding depth and dimension to the master suite.
The construction was challenging and the biggest challenge rested in working with the original house which was poorly built and out of square. The house was actually a rhombus shape, most likely a consequence of having been moved. In order to align the new loft with the existing house and additions, subtle but important changes had to be made to the overall layout.
The clients were also concerned with making the exterior of the home as simple and as maintenance free as possible. To that end, the exterior of the home was covered in a vinyl siding and white PVC trim was used around the windows, corners and beams. In addition, the large covered deck was built from cellular PVC decking. PVC is a very weather resistant material and it requires no routine refinishing. It does expand and contract quite dramatically with changes in temperature, but if steps are taken to account for this, and temperature swings are minimized (ie a covered deck, light colored material) it can be an effective exterior finish.
In terms of the mechanicals, a new heating and cooling system was installed due to the large increase in square footage and significant portions of the plumbing system were rebuillt in order to accommodate the master bath’s custom shower and large soaking tub. Additionally, a new underground electric service was installed.
CertainTeed Cedar Impressions Vinyl Siding, Ply gem Stone Veneer, Azek Decking and Exterior Trim, Marvin Integrity Windows, Bamboo Flooring, Distressed Alder Flooring, Tongue & Grove Pine Ceiling, Porcelain Tile, Granite Countertops and Surrounds, Oak Stair Treads, Risers and Railings.