Somewhere around the time our kids reach the tween stage of development, to be quickly followed by the teen stage, the family home, once livable, suddenly seems to shrink. The home of our clients, a family of four that included two daughters, a tween (age 11) and a teen, (age 14), cried out for more space.
Brief Explanation of the Scope of Work
Somewhere around the time our kids reach the tween stage of development, to be quickly followed by the teen stage, the family home, once livable, suddenly seems to shrink. The home of our clients, a family of four that included two daughters, a tween (age 11) and a teen, (age 14), cried out for more space. This family had deep roots in their Chevy Chase community. For them, moving away to a more spacious house in another neighborhood was not an option. The family also elected to remain in the house during the remodeling process. Therefore, Landis Construction purposefully minimized the disruption of the existing living spaces during construction.
One design priority was to create a new multifunctional space to serve as a library, a sitting room, and a family room. The area was so spacious, that the design allowed Landis Construction to include an area for one of the daughters to practice her saxophone. The unassuming two story brick colonial, while charming, did not accommodate the multiple interests and activities of the parents and their girls. The original first floor rooms were not designed to be multifunctional. Our clients used the downstairs living room area for many purposes: a computer workstation and office; a library and piano playing; and conversation and socializing.
On the second floor, the conventional master bedroom was dated. There was a small closet and an outmoded bathroom. The parents wanted Landis to create a new master bedroom and bathroom that suited their needs and style our second design/remodeling goal. There were also two small bedrooms for the girls on that floor, and even though these two rooms were not included in the scope of work, it was evident that the proposed design had to include more space for the daughters. For this, the Landis team turned to the possibility of using the lost attic space.
Our clients, like most families, used their attic for storage space. The attic was an unfinished dark place, with exposed ductwork, rafters, electrical wiring and one window AC unit. Landis Construction determined that a finished attic could become the get-away space for the girls to offset their small bedrooms. This was the third design goal.
Finally, there was one more requirement close to the hearts of our client family. They wanted a new front porch. The original entry offered neither shelter, curb appeal, nor did it offer the opportunity to pass the time with neighbors.
Unusual constraints or challenges & Creative Solutions
The Landis team had to make the most of the existing space and remain sensitive to the owners needs and expectations. There were essentially four limitations that the design and construction had to accommodate:
* The particular jurisdiction officials had passed a building moratorium. It was necessary for Landis to initiate an appeals process in order to obtain a variance allowing the construction of the porch the family wanted;
* Our design had to take into account an extremely tight set back and lot coverage requirements; and
* The husband and father loved to change his mind about the scope of the project for a time sending multiple faxes daily to the Project Designer.
* The family intended to remain in the home during the extensive remodeling.
Landis Construction photographed and documented twenty (20) existing porches in the neighborhood and based the design solution on these samples. The authority having jurisdiction granted a variance for the construction of a porch.
The left side of the house was the only place to construct additional space. The property was deemed a corner lot on the right side of the house. The presence of a two car garage and concrete entry way did not allow for any extension. Perhaps, most importantly, this constraint coupled with the design and remodeling plans, allowed us to minimize disruption of the families’ routines and ensure their safety important factors in maintaining excellent working relationships.
The extended multipurpose room spans the length of the original structure, permitting unobstructed flow. The bank of floor- to- ceiling windows and French doors in the rear allow for a maximum use of natural lighting an important feature that the owners valued. The design of the library and office spaces permits quiet activities in an uncluttered, serene setting. The French doors at the far end of the multi-functional addition open onto a hardscaped rear patio, designed to make the most of a very small, heavily shaded rear yard.
Landis transformed an ordinary bedroom into a spacious master suite that includes a luxurious master bath, a grand walk-in closet and a laundry center. The master bedroom has a vaulted ceiling that is designed to take advantage of natural illumination. The master bath is adorned with hand decorated tile and a custom-made mirror frame.
THE ATTIC GET-AWAY
The attic became an open, cozy and comfortable space for the girls. Fortunately, Landis determined that the original attic was structurally sound, safe and habitable. The design called for replacing the existing ductwork with a new, reconfigured baseboard system. Two new skylights and a new, larger egress window provide much needed natural light illumination.
The front porch just might be the owners favorite. The family uses it frequently. The porch allows the family to engage the neighbors and the passersby; to relax and to enjoy their communitys activities. For this family, the porch is an outdoor extension of the indoor sitting room.
Final Results – Good Design and Supeior Craftsmanship Attract
The neighbors are as thrilled as the homeowners are with the results. A nondescript colonial now has the feel and look of a much larger deluxe home. The addition, from the outside looks natural and cannot be distinguished from the original structure . It enhances the structure, adding more function and space.
“All our neighbors walk by and say what a lovely addition our new home is to the neighborhood. We highly recommend Landis to anyone considering a home renovation/addition and we could not have been more pleased.”
November 5, 2006