What do you get a mother with two boys and two more identical twin boys on the way……..More square footage,and fast! When we were asked to add 1,200 square feet to a 1,000 square foot 1920’s cottage, we were thrilled; this type of job is right up our alley. We love old homes, the character they posses and the incredible details that are difficult and expensive to recreate. We were then told we had a November 1st due date (literally), which normally wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that that it was already July! Jumping in head first into this old house, we quickly discovered problems that had to be addressed immediately. Termites had invaded the home at some point, rot and decay had destroyed the back of the house, and structural framing/foundation was insufficient throughout.
Addressing these issues became a top priority of ours – we quickly identified the deficiencies, prescribed a solution, and then brought in the experts to execute the corrections as efficiently as possible. After we had corrected all of the problems in the original house, it was time to attach the new addition. Attaching a new home to a historical structure can be an engineering challenge, but nothing we couldn’t handle. The harder part is making sure the two structures look like they belong together; luckily, the architect and homeowner had an eye for detail. Old 117 style siding was specified, architecturally accurate trim and cabinetry details were a must, reclaimed pine floors were sourced, and tile details had to remind you of grandmas house.
Using environmentally sensitive materials, such as marmoleum flooring, low VOC paints, high efficiency windows and doors, cutting edge insulation techniques, as well as natural wood products that do not contain formaldehyde, we were able to please this earth loving family. Although environmentally sensitive materials can be more costly than modern building materials, the team worked together to determine where the limited project’s budget would realize the most bang for the buck.
The finishing touch for this house was the wonderful paint job on the exterior of the home. Several colors and shades were used to highlight the architectural details on this home. Exposed rafter tails, soffit brackets, window and door trim, as well as many other details were all highlighted by the clean lines and vivid colors. This highly detailed paint job was only possible because the decision was made to remove 90 years worth of paint that had accumulated in at least 10 layers. Alligator ripples , rotten wood, and lost trim details were all a result of simply adding another layer of paint over another. This time consuming job of removing the old paint took approximately four weeks, but the results were worth it. To ensure the protection of the workers and the homeowners, the EPA’s new Lead-Safe rules were followed to ensure no contamination of the home.
Unfortunately, we missed the impossible to achieve November 1st deadline that was given to us four short months earlier. However, even with all of the unexpected structural problems, we were only 9 days behind schedule and were still able to beat the real “due date” of November 17th. As you can see from these photos, Mom, dad, and their four boys now have plenty of space to grow!