Small house. 480 sf

We worked with the clients and developed many variations on this project. The footprint is 20x24 so it was essential that we make  sure that everything was accounted for in the design, as a building this size doesn't leave room for error.

We also worked through numerous options in terms of construction methods/energy modeling from passive to pretty good. Our ability to provide cost/benefit analysis in house due to our PHIUS skillset helped the customer make decisions in this area.

This house was built for a couple who moved up to Vermont to retire. They are very interested in minimizing their footprint on the land. 

 

Also on this project we used the Intello air and vapor barrier system to achieve a high level of air tightness and manage water vapour in the wall assembly.

 

First floor renovation...

This was an extensive and transformative renovation project. The homeowner was moving back into his childhood home, and wanted to have the first floor renovated and rent out half of the second floor.

We opened up the wall between the living and dining room to create a single spacious area which includes comfortable seating, a media center, Sonos sound system and electric fireplace all with concealed wiring.

The carpet was pulled up and the hardwood floors refinished. New floor went down in the kitchen. 

The walls went from old faded wallpaper to tasteful but interesting color selections. 

In the kitchen the old cabinets were retained but painted. A new island with a cherry top was added as well as a few nice lighting touches.

The old knob and tube electrical system was fully removed and updated, including new service and breaker panels. The radiators were removed, sandblasted and painted.



Deck design and build...

We worked with the client on this simple deck to develop drawings that would create the design which best fit their desires. As often happens, the design process resulted in several small but significant changes which had a big impact on the functionality and aesthetic experience of the final built project.

Closet design...

Working on some drawings for a client who is in need of more storage space. They have 2 kids and too few closets (1). We are working on a creative design for a kneewall closet that will be accessed via a pocket door located on the stair landing. The closet will be 30' long, running the entire length of the house. Through the use of 3D computer drawings we are able to quickly ans easily explore many design options. To quote the customer..."It's starting to really come together now, and having the 3D models to look at really helps."

Curved Porch Renovation

This curved porch is located in Barre. It is the former house of DeForest Clinton Jarvis, probably known to few, but he wrote a 1958 book Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor's Guide to Good Health. 

Anyway, the porch was trimmed out with short straight bits of crown moulding which may have looked ok at some point but were in a terrible state of disrepair. We removed all the old crown moulding and rehabbed the dentile area below it. The new curved crown moulding was constructed from laminated strips of wood which were glued up into a curve and then milled with the matching crown profile using a custom shaper knife which matched the old profile.

There was also a lot of sheathing and framing repair. Re-roofing was also in the scope of work with new black drip edge. A difficult and challenging project but in the end a satisfying result.

Before and after photos below...

Kitchen Renovation/Dining Addition/Dormer Repair

The scope of this project was to renovate the kitchen, add a 14x14 dining addition which also will house an upright piano and extend/modify the dormer to eliminate a snow buildup problem.

When we got into what should have been a simple 4' extension of the dormer we found that the dormer had been poorly framed-undersized lumber and failure to carry roof loads to the ground had resulted over 30 years into a near failure of the roof. We observed a 3" sag in the rafters at the worst point!

The finished product gives the owner a  stable and sturdy dormer, reduced maintenance, a beautiful new kitchen and a dining room space.

Middlesex addition...

Above is a drawing for an addition that we did  in Middlesex. It is a 2 car garage/mudroom/bath addition. The site ended up having a lot of ledge and to accommodate the drainage we have a stepped foundation that follows the site grade. The bathroom has warmboard hydronic radiant floor heat, tile floor and wainscot and a curbless shower with heated floor and bench. Roman tub with wall mount faucets.

There is a wedge shaped connector between the mudroom and garage to allow the garage to sit at a good angle for pulling in and to give the building footprint a more dynamic shape. This was a design that greatly benefitted from 3D design as we went through a number of ideas before settling on this one and being able to see the project in 3 dimensions helped the design team and client decide what worked best visually and functionally. This project also benefited  from design savvy owners as they were highly involved in creating a number of aesthetic decisions.

Screened in porch

screen porch with furniture
screen porch with furniture

The goal of this project was to re-use materials from the old porch where possible and aim for a rough Adirondacky look. This screened in porch was re-constructed on a site where the old porch had heaved due to piers that were not done properly. We took down the old porch and used the excavator to lever up the deck so we could set new piers. Then we lowered the old deck framing and re-attached it to the house. We were also able to re-use the old floorboards as wall covering on the inside of the walls. We partially sanded off the old dark stain and then oiled them with Penofin Verde. The rafters and tongue and groove roof boards are stained with mahogany stain and then oiled. We also oiled the cedar deck boards with the Penofin product.

Finish basement work...

This work came about via a reference from a plumber. The customer had water damage to a wall from a plumbing leak. It provided the opportunity for a strand bamboo floor to replace the old carpet in addition to other upgrades.

Screening in the porch...

This past week we have been screening in a porch that we built a few years ago.  The customer decided that it was more important to keep the blackflies at bay than to have a 100% unobstructed view. We used vertical grain fir for the trim pieces and charcoal screen.

porch screened in
porch screened in
screening porch
screening porch

Montpelier renovation...

This project is an interesting one. I would describe it as a collaboration between us (the builders), the designer, the homeowner, two painters and a heating systems company. The job has many aspects to it. After a structural assessment we addressed a few support issues in the basement with new footers and posts. We replaced a number of large double hung windows in terrible shape with new Marvin full replacements. We duplicated the historic trim inside and out and one painter did a fantastic job matching the trim to the old mahogany. We have performed numerous floor patches to match the old floor as the old radiators have been replaced. The new heating system is a Pellergy boiler with Runtal low temp panels that operate at 140 degrees. The heating project has been mostly the brainchild of the homeowner and heating company and will also include solar panels. We have altered closets and walls. The project also includes a full kitchen remodel.

It's been a while...

It's been a while since the last post. It was quite a busy summer and fall. Still busy with interior work. Kitchen renovation, half bath addition, full window replacement matching historic trim, helping rehab and renovate a neglected farmhouse. Pictures coming soon.

Montpelier 3rd floor...

spiral staircase

spiral staircase

This project is located in Montpelier and consists of renovating the 3rd floor of  house that will one day be a mother in-law "suite". We are adding exterior access to a 3rd floor space via a combination deck, spiral stair and wooden stair. The 3rd floor is to be finished and a 3/4 bath and small kitchen added. The sketches below are an example of the quick working drawings we do to help a customer visualize what things could look like.

exterior sketch

exterior sketch

kitchen elevation sketch

kitchen elevation sketch

bath sketch

bath sketch

The Blue Ranch House...

living room
living room

This 1970's ranch is located up high with an amazing view across to some wooded mountains. The main focus of this project was to replace the current windows with much longer ones. The new 63" high casement windows extend down to about 14" above the floor, providing a nice sweeping view. The windows on the south side of the house have a coating that allows much more solar gain than a traditional low-E coating to help lower heating costs. The master bedroom and living room each have a triple set of 37"x63" windows. Additionally we will be added a partition wall and moved a few others to create a new bedroom and a mudroom. We added transom windows on either side of the hallway in the office and mudroom to help open up the space. We also built several built-in bookcases with the same modern no trim style as the windows.

hall
hall
mudroom
mudroom
bookcase
bookcase
bedroom

bedroom

dining room
dining room
piano room
piano room
Before and After

Before and After

Before and After (after on left)

Before and After (after on left)

Flood repair in Waterbury...

Hurricane Irene Flood Damage

Hurricane Irene Flood Damage

To state the obvious, what a disaster. The house is a 3 family rental. It belongs to clients who I have worked for over the years doing small projects to make the apartments nicer for the tenants. Luckily there were no tenants when the flood happened. Unluckily we were 2 weeks away from doing a medium sized renovation when the flood happened. When the Winooski overran it's banks the houses on this street were filled with water up to the 1st floor windowsills. The basements were of course full, and in this house the heating oil tanks tipped over and an environmental cleanup was necessary. We filled 5-6 20 yard dumpsters (the big long ones). Luckily the town paid for trash removal. The basement is about 100 feet long and was basically full of stuff. It took weeks just to clean the place out. Then came the power washing and treatment for mold and drying. After all that was over we finally started rebuilding. I am amazed by the fact that it seems that everyone has stayed put. I would have expected more people to just start over somewhere else. Maybe it is the community spirit that kept everyone going. People were handing out free lunches and coffee for weeks. Youth and church groups were everywhere helping out. Thanks to the Mennonites from Morrisville! They saved the homeowner thousands of dollars by providing hundreds of hours of labor for free.