Additions & Renovations

Residential additions and renovations come in all shapes and sizes. Some are historic houses on urban lots that require careful restoration; others are suburban houses that require expansion for a growing family. Some are rambling farmhouses that are in need of repair and updating for modern living; others are small lake cottages that need to be grown while respecting their rustic origins. Sometimes a house is largely wrong for a client, but the site is perfect. In a case like that, the existing house can often be altered to suit the owner’s program and taste without having to pull down the entire structure and start all over.  All of these projects are individual, and I treat them as such.

As patterns of family life change, houses can change to accommodate the new needs of the residents. Additions can accommodate new children. Existing spaces can be modified to allow homeowners to age in place. Older homes that may seem outdated can be altered to provide the more open interior spaces, greater interaction with the outdoors, and energy efficiency that many of my clients are looking for, while preserving the charm and other virtues of the original house.

Of course budget is a major concern in every project.  I work closely with my clients to produce a design that will fit their budget, often finding ways to limit, or even eliminate, the need for an addition by judicious re-utilization of existing spaces.

MAINE COAST

A site in a blueberry field, overlooking a classic bay in Maine. The existing cape-style cottage on the lot was stoutly built but was not only very small but also failed to take advantage of the breathtaking views. With a limited budget, we increased the living space by fifty percent and opened the house up to the bay and its islands.

BAY COTTAGE

This project started with two existing elements:  a shed that the owners had remodeled into a fantastic Tiny House before the phrase was invented, and an octagonal prefab screen room.  With the increasing popularity of the site with the owners' family and friends, more space was soon needed.  

The solution was to move the shed and the screen room down from the middle of the property to a spot closer to the shore, place them 30 feet apart from each other, and fill in the space between with a brand-new structure. 

LAKESIDE CASTLE

An unusual project by any account: the restoration and addition to a castle-style country house. We started with the abandoned shell of what might best be described as an example of folk art, full of charm and quite idiosyncratic. The site is steep and rocky, with commanding water views. As the house had once been in the family, the project had great emotional value for the client.

Our job was to create an expanded, upscale family retreat while preserving the character of the original. Also included in the project were some brand-new structures: the pool house and garages shown. The result is a home that combines quality, comfort, and respect for both the site and family origins of the house in equal measure.

SMALL CHANGES

Sometimes a house needs just a couple of small changes to make it really right for a client. This could be a new kitchen, a bigger bath for the kids, more windows in a dark family room.

In this case, an otherwise handsome turn-of-the-20th-century colonial house had an awkward entry portico (in terms of both form and function). The front of the existing garage was also plain and in very poor condition. Together they added up to a major distraction from the otherwise very pleasing appearance of the home.

We created a new entry portico and garage facade that were in keeping with original style of the house. A particular challenge on this suburban project was the extremely restrictive zoning that required the new portico have the same footprint as the existing one, making it difficult to design the new one large enough to be in scale with the front of the house.

WATER VIEW

A small cottage well suited to a bachelor needed to grow when he married. We added a floor for bedrooms and provided a balcony off the master bedroom to take in the water views and shelter the patio below from the noonday sun.

WOODLAND MODERN

The original house was a contemporary ranch located in a mature woodland. The owners needed more room and wanted an opportunity to, as they put it, “sleep in the tree tops.” The new bedroom addition was to have a modern form that also fit with the natural setting.   They were very pleased with the result.