Our clients and their two children lived in a small Cape in a neighborhood they love and want to stay in. They could walk to shops and public transportation, had a nice big yard, great schools, and wonderful neighbors, but they needed more space for their growing family. After considering moving within the neighborhood they chose to add space and improve the overall quality of their own house.
A second floor was added to provide space for two bedrooms with a shared bath and a master suite with bath and walk-in closet. A new front porch keeps the scale and style of the house compatible with the neighborhood and provides sheltered outdoor space.
A more generous entry hall and new stair to the second floor lead the reorganization of the first floor. The two existing bedrooms were converted to a home office and a mud room, while the existing galley kitchen space was opened up to give more space to the living and dining area. The kitchen was relocated to the former family room space at the back of the house with access to a new patio area.
The kitchen features simple Ikea cabinets with elegant granite countertops. Reusing existing Energy Star rated appliances helped keep costs down. The new windows and French doors provide good views of back yard. Natural daylight on 3 sides helps connect the family with the changing times of day and variations of the seasons.
What helps make the project ‘green’?
- Staying in the city to minimize transportation needs
- Keeping as much of the existing structure as possible and keeping the addition modest – just enough to provide needed program spaces
- Improving energy performance of existing house and building the new to a high standard
- Incorporating products and systems to improve air quality for occupants with allergies
- Incorporating ‘green’ materials and Energy Star products (and re-using existing) where possible, such as Hardi-plank siding, wood flooring, lighting and appliances.
Photos of this project appear in the 2010 book ‘ Practical Green Remodeling – Down-to-Earth Solutions for Everyday Homes‘.