Category Archives: Architect

The Next Chapter

We began planning to renovate The Glade in April of 2011 by hiring an architect who took about a year to get us actual working drawings. In the Fall of 2012 with drawings in hand we got our plans OK’d through the historic commission. After a false start we hired a contractor in April, 2013. So the preliminary work took us two years.

The Glade in 2011.

The Glade in 2011.

The Glade in 2014

The Glade in 2014

The contractor we hired has finished his contracted services here, here, and here. That leaves us with an extensive unfinished renovation list which we are either going to try to do-it-ourselves or contract out on a job-by-job basis.

The Glade in 2011

The Glade in 2011

The Glade in 2014.

The Glade in 2014.

This is not an exhaustive (although exhausting) list but it covers most of the major tasks:

  1. Finish conservatory  ConservatoryDrywall
  2. Finish conservatory bathroom

    Conservatory bathroom

    Conservatory bathroom

  3. Finish master bathroom

    Master bathroom

    Master bathroom

  4. Finish master closet

    Master closet

    Master closet

  5. Install deck with rail outside master bedroom

    The deck outside the master bedroom is the roof of the conservatory (in the foreground above).

    The deck outside the master bedroom is the roof of the conservatory (in the foreground above).

  6. Finish master bedroom

    Master bedroom. YIKES!!!

    Master bedroom. YIKES!!!

  7. Landscape property

    The front, back and side yards near the house need to be landscaped.

    The front, back and side yards near the house need to be landscaped.

  8. Prepare Cottage for rental

    Glade Cottage would be perfect rented to a grad student from the nearby university.

    Glade Cottage would be perfect rented to a grad student from the nearby university.

  9. Paint and trim dining room

    The dining room

    The dining room

  10. Paint exterior trim and shingles

    The new and old shingles need to be painted so they'll match.

    The new and old shingles need to be painted so they’ll match.

While I’ve said that finishing with our contractor is the end of the beginning, I wouldn’t characterize the near future (next 2 years) as the beginning of the end but rather “The Next Chapter”.

How does your next chapter read?

The Architect’s Site Visit

Our architect has been trying to see the progress on our home renovation which she designed for at least a month.

The Glade was redesigned to accommodate 2 additions.

The Glade was redesigned to accommodate 2 additions.

The weather has not been cooperating. It’s been cold and snowy even after spring began.

Early March at The Glade this year.

Early March at The Glade this year.

At last she made it by and I think she really likes what she saw.

Approaching from the street this is the view of The Glade.

Approaching from the street this is the view of The Glade.

She did not pick any of the finishes.  She basically designed the structure including all the little details that make the final building so special.

The architect thought our choices in the kitchen really represented our style.

The architect thought our choices in the kitchen really represented our style.

Some tweaks have been made in the building process due to local codes and our personal preferences. Early in the contractor bidding we were advised to eliminate the conservatory to save money.  I know now that we would never have gone for a second round of excavating and framing to build the conservatory at a later date.

The conservatory is one of our favorite spaces.

The conservatory is one of our favorite spaces.

You can see our architect’s other work here.

What’s special about your house that you enjoy?

 

A Problem on the Front Porch

Upon my arrival home one evening I was excited to check out the front porch lights.

I have 2 of these coach lights for the front door.

I have 2 of these coach lights for the front door.

That’s right they’re not there yet.

I wasn't expecting 4 columns on the front porch.

I wasn’t expecting 4 columns on the front porch.

Instead there are two 6-inch columns near the house that I wasn’t expecting.

Those back columns seem like over-support to me.

Those back columns seem like over-support to me.

They’re not in the plans.

I only see two columns on the front porch on the architect's plan.

I only see two columns on the front porch on the architect’s plan.

I quickly emailed my contractor and said if the columns are not needed for support I prefer they not be there.

There must be another way to support the back of the porch roof after all it's been without support for over two months.

There must be another way to support the back of the porch roof after all it’s been without support for over two months.

He emailed me back and said they are structurally necessary.

The light was perfectly placed until the posts were installed and they can't be moved closer to the door due to ductwork inside the wall.

The light was perfectly placed until the posts were installed and they can’t be moved closer to the door due to ductwork inside the wall.

I hate them. I want them gone.

We have a lot of landscaping to do.

We have a lot of landscaping to do.

The contractor said we’ll talk about them next week. Aiiieee!

What happens when you don’t get your way?

Changing the Traffic Flow

When the HVAC subcontractor put ductwork in the living room and dining room that runs from floor to ceiling new walls were determined by these large protuberances.

The white door leads to the basement and the ductwork to the left and right will be encased in walls.

The white door leads to the basement and the ductwork to the left and right will be encased in walls.

Even in the architect’s floor plan we new we would get a new wall near the basement steps which are accessed from the living room but are destined to be accessed from the mudroom.

The new walls are marked in blue and the ducts in grey.

The new walls are marked in blue and the ducts in grey.

Now the framing must take into consideration the air ducts.

The ductwork has been encased in a zigzag wall that blurs the diving line between living room and dining room.

The ductwork has been encased in a zigzag wall that blurs the diving line between living room and dining room.

The new wall needs to zigzag around the ductwork so we split the difference and put some of the space in the landing near the basement steps and the rest in the living room near the fireplace.

The new framing allows us to enter the kitchen from the living room or the side hall.

The new framing allows us to enter the kitchen from the living room or the side hall.

We’re getting accustomed to the floor plan.

Framing A Better Way Up

At The Glade we used to use the kitchen door (marked #1 below) to enter from the driveway.

New Entrance

New Entrance

In order to go upstairs from there you must walk through the living room then up the stairs. The steps outlined in brown above are 2 steps up, a landing, then 2 steps down.  We’ve found that friends with mobility issues find this difficult to manage.

The stairs and landing to the powder room.

The stairs and landing to the powder room.

I proposed cutting a door (marked #2 above) from the old kitchen (new mudroom) through to the front stairs which will also access the downstairs powder room (Le Bibliotheque).

The kitchen has been removed and a doorway to the front of the house is in progress.

The kitchen has been removed and a doorway to the front of the house is in progress.

This small modification will allow access to the powder room without using any steps and entrance to the upstairs without circumnavigating the entire downstairs.

Reframing the doorway is a little trickier than expected due to a tangle of plumbing and wiring.

This opening will connect the front and back of the house.

Reframing the doorway is a little trickier than expected due to a tangle of plumbing and wiring.

The opening is crisscrossed with pipes and wires.

The opening is crisscrossed with pipes and wires.

In a side note, #3 in the plan above is the current kitchen window which will become the new entrance from the driveway from the bluestone porch. The kitchen will become a sort of mudroom and pantry area.

Kitchen Window will become Mudroom Door to the driveway

Kitchen Window will become Mudroom Door to the driveway

Is there a doorway change that would make your life better?

Interior Framing and Such: Part Two

I showed Part One: the progress in the conservatory that has been accomplished in the past week.  We had also made decisions in the upstairs addition (master closet and master bathroom) which have now been framed.

The new door to the bedroom will take the place of this window.

The new door to the bedroom will take the place of this window.

A doorway has been made where the window once was.

A doorway has been made where the window once was.

Just as in the conservatory  this second floor addition will not be “finished” in the first round of improvements but the interior walls and closets have been framed. Electricity, plumbing, and heating ductwork will be roughed in.

The casement window over the bump-out is on the wall where the sinks are planned.

The casement window over the bump-out is on the wall where the sinks are planned.

The view from inside the window over the bump-out includes the potager (foreground) and the back yard.

The view from inside the window over the bump-out includes the potager (foreground) and the back yard.

As we enter the new hall the master bedroom is on the right and will be open to the new hallway.

The amended layout for the second floor addition.

The amended layout for the second floor addition.

On the left is a walk-in closet with a window in the center of the exterior wall which looks out over the driveway.

This enormous area (7'-8" by 11 ') with a window will be our new master closet.

This enormous area (7′-8″ by 11 ‘) with a window will be our new master closet.

Continuing down the hall past the closet straight ahead is a linen closet which I would love to look something like this.

The linen closet/display shelves will be straight ahead.

The linen closet/display shelves will be straight ahead.

Making a sharp left one finds oneself in the master bathroom.

Step across the threshold and turn left, you're in the bathroom. (This photo is looking through the closet wall into the bathroom.)

Step across the threshold and turn left, you’re in the bathroom. (This photo is looking through the closet wall into the bathroom.)

As in the conservatory we have decided to put the shower along the back of the room where the bird’s eye window is located.

The shower in the master bathroom is as wide as the room.

The shower in the master bathroom is as wide as the room.

Under the window (not visible in photo above) on the right we’ve decided to have a cabinet with double sinks.  Tucked in the corner on the left is the toilet.

Viewed from the shower, the interior wall of the master bathroom.

Viewed from the shower, the interior wall of the master bathroom.

Between the shower and the toilet knee-wall I plan to use the vanity that I inherited from my mother.

The dressing table will sit between these two knee walls, toilet on the left and shower on the right.

The dressing table will sit between these two knee walls, toilet on the left and shower on the right.

Not being a fan of knee-walls myself we chose to use them in this room for very specific reasons which I’ll explain in a future post.

Charlie and I still have lots of decisions in here: fixtures, towel bars, mirrors, window treatments, cabinets .  .  .

How do you make your vision become reality?

Interior Framing and Such: Part One

Last week I wrote about the walk-through with our contractor  where Charlie and I made some decisions that changed  the building plans.

Adjusted conservatory floor plan.

Adjusted conservatory floor plan.

The conservatory (which will not be “finished” in the first round of improvements) has framed interior walls and closets.

The conservatory bathroom will be built in this niche.

The conservatory bathroom will be built in this niche.

The shower has a built-in bench on the left with a knee-wall and an access closet behind the  shower wall on the right-hand side.

The shower has a built-in bench on the left with a knee-wall and an access closet behind the shower wall on the right-hand side.

The shower is built along the back of the bathroom under the bird’s eye window. To make the room ADA accessible we are enlarging the doorway to 36 inches wide.

The bench is framed on the wall opposite the showerhead.

The bench is framed on the wall opposite the showerhead.

The bathroom wall continues in the room to include a long closet.

The 36-inch doorway on the left enters the bathroom; the 2 doorways on the right open to the closet.

The 36-inch doorway on the left enters the bathroom; the 2 doorways on the right open to the closet.

The closet adjacent to the bathroom has 2 double doors.

A quick mick up of the closet/bathroom wall in the conservatory.

A quick mock-up of the closet/bathroom wall in the conservatory.

The closets are large enough to house a compact-size washer/dryer or closet office.

The closet is large enough to hold a washer/dryer or a small office.

The closet will be plumbed for a washing machine and also have electric.

The sheathing has been removed from the wall adjacent to the dining room and the doorway opened to five feet and shifted slightly right.

The doorway will be widened to five feet and the area of the right could house a TV or desk.

The old door will be removed.

The opening of this wall has made a huge difference in the dining room which now seems more spacious.

The sheathing has been removed from the conservatory wall and a 5-foot opening into the dining room.

The sheathing has been removed from the conservatory wall and a 5-foot opening into the dining room.

We plan to use this room as a conservatory which could also become a first floor bedroom with en suite bathroom if the need arises in our elderly future.

Wait until you see what has happened in the second floor addition above the kitchen.

What changes are you making?