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Major Renovation Near Chautauqua

Major Remodel with a Small Addition near Chautauqua

Some of our favorite projects happen when we get to work with creative and fun homeowners who want to completely overhaul their entire home.  Given the complexity that projects like this have, it generally means the homeowners have a very strong attachment to the property.  In this case, we were working with an early 1950’s ranch with an attached 1-car garage.  The existing home’s bones were in good shape, but many components of the home needed to be replaced.  Furthermore the geometry of flow of the home was not working anymore.  

remodeled and changed the kitchen's flow

One of the main catalysts for the project was that the homeowner’s new partner was moving in, and they needed more space.  The primary suite had a tiny bathroom and laundry, and very little closet space. There were some very lovely and mature trees in the backyard so a large addition was out of the question.  Our solution was a small addition that filled in a tiny deadspace between the existing primary suite and the sideyard property line.

Another issue was that the existing 1-car garage was too small for a car or any bikes.  Also, the partner that was moving in is a terrific woodworker and wanted to have a legitimate shop space.  To solve this problem we completely demolished the garage and built an extra deep 2-car garage.

This floorplan shows the small addition and the new garage:

We set the new garage further back on the property because there is an enormous boulder that they wanted to leave untouched.  The new driveway flares out around the boulder to allow 2 cars to get into the garage:

There were a number of challenges in working on this post-war house.  It was built like a bomb shelter.  The walls were built of 4” thick cinder block (CMU).  The floor structure was a concrete slab with cast iron radiant heat piping embedded into it.  We changed a number of door/window openings and interior walls that forced us to cut up and operate on these heavy well-constructed elements.  Operating on the piping proved to be very difficult and time consuming.  Demolition was slow and painstaking.  Due to the existing slab on grade, we couldn’t operate on the sewer main either.  We had to dig and build an entirely new sewer drain to accommodate the new primary bathroom:

Once the house’s rough construction was completed, the most challenging parts of the project were over.  Finish installation went quickly and smoothly.  With this project (and most of our projects) we strive to make the final product blend with the original home.  We want the home to feel cohesive.  With all new exterior stucco and flagstone accents, all new interior flooring and trim and painting, the house truly feels like it was built once and done right.

After the project was completed and the homeowners were settled, they invited us over for dinner.  They threw an awesome party for us and our spouses. 

An Added Design Feature: How Do You Hide A Large TV?

We developed a cool detail for a problem we hear about fairly frequently.  The issue is that people want a large TV in the living room yet they want to hide/cover the TV when not being watched. For this project we built a custom shallow box with a lifting door.  When closed, the door displays a large piece of art that completely covers the TV.

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