In my last blog post I wrote about why split levels are so prevalent in Boulder and in Colorado’s Front Range and what the major pros and cons of this style of house are. This blog post highlights 2 projects Sobo did that focused on easing the pain of the split level.
This first project is in the Table Mesa neighborhood in South Boulder. The primary objectives of the project were to:
The key to solving all three of these issues was to build a front addition that redefined the entire front of the house. We expanded the house forward 6’. Here are the new main level and lower level floorplans (you can see the original front walls in dashed lines):
NEW MAIN LEVEL FLOORPLAN:
NEW LOWER LEVEL FLOORPLAN:
On the lower level, we deconstructed the front foundation wall and built a new wall 6’ forward of the original foundation. The original home had the standard 2’ cantilever for the upper level. For our project, we eliminated the front cantilever so as not to replicate the ‘mushroom’ feel of that expanded upper level (see previous blog post if this makes no sense!). This means the upper level only grew 4’ towards the front. We also built a closet for the entry to give it some much needed storage. Due to the split level nature of the home, this closet juts into the upper front office room and is only about 3’ tall, allowing for a desktop to be located above the entry closet.
In simple terms, we did a long skinny addition on the front of the house. This addition completely transformed the entry by making it gracious and open, with coat storage out of the way of the main traffic flow. We also built a covered front porch to make the home more attractive and inviting and to protect visitors from the elements. Lastly, all the adjacent front rooms gained width and usability. We also enlarged all the new front windows and now the home feels expansive, bright, and open.
The second project I’d like to highlight is also in South Boulder. I’ll let a few pictures do the talking; here’s the ‘before’ picture:
And here’s the ‘After’ picture:
For this project, we decided to completely relocate the front door. We converted the cramped attached 1-car garage into a generous entry/mudroom. This move completely changes the flow and feel of the home. The entry now has tons of room and storage and light. If you study the ‘after’ picture you’ll see it’s still very much a split level home, but the choked entry is no longer! We converted the old front door into a window so now that area is purely a staircase between the upper and lower floors. For parking, we built a new 2-car covered carport. Lastly, to give the home a sense of generosity and style, we built a large front porch that extends across the majority of the home’s facade. Here are the new upper and lower level floorplans for the home:
NEW UPPER LEVEL FLOORPLAN:
NEW LOWER LEVEL FLOORPLAN:
I really love these two projects because they represent how Sobo works to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative aspects of a home. I hope that after reading these 2 blog posts you see the split level in a new light and appreciate this unique style of home.