Client: Mike Hardiman & Jacquie Spector

Size:  2960 Square Feet 

Year Complete: 2010

Type:  Gut Rehab + Major Addition


This 1962 ranch house received a complete gut- rehab and an 800 sq ft addition in order to provide in-home studios for architecture and photography and bring the house up to 2010 living standards.

Site limitations which included a non-conforming lot + a wetland buffer zone meant that horizontal expansion was out of the question. In addition, the existing structure had no footing beneath the foundation wall. The addition of any more load to  would have meant expensive underpinning. The solution to adding more space was arrived at by rotating a new 2nd floor 90 degrees to the original structure and supporting the entire load on custom steel columns and LVLs girders, which support it’s entire weight.

This solution also allowed a new gable end to face the street and a large outsized window seat to face the pond and woods at the rear. As a by-product, a new front porch and suspended rear deck were created. The front porch shades the interior from the summer sun and rear deck affords a lookout to the woods, protected from the elements.

The kitchen, living and dining functions were moved upstairs into a new single volume, featuring 15’ ceilings structured by steel collar ties. Most of the daytime hours in the house are spent at the level of the trees where there is the most amount of natural light, reducing electric running costs.

Materials are straight forward, robust, locally sources where possible & intended for the long haul. Galvanized steel sheet clads the risers of both stairs to hedge against wear and tear. Insulation is mostly closed cell foam in the cavities, with rigid sheet insulation outside the sheathing. The new fiber-cement siding is fixed to vertical battens in a rain-screen configuration. Cabinetry is made with MDO edged with poplar and a sparing use of Plyboo drawer fronts for contrast.

Mechanicals consist of a new oil-fired high- efficiency boiler coupled with an indirect hot water heater. A heat-recovery ventilator offsets the low air infiltration during the winter months.

The house features a number of small scale custom details that bring it out of the ordinary: galvanized steel local fabricated front porch rail, for example. 

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