Home additions and improvements for an efficient home.

Historic Stone House Addition in New York

Historic Addition to 18th Century Stone House

Historically Correct Addition

Frequently as family expanded and finances improved, early settlers added on to their homes. Whether to use stone or wood as an exterior material depended on availability, ultimately cost. The same is true today, so that the decision to build a wood addition on this beautiful 18th century stone is historically correct.

Addition design to historic home

Addition design to historic home

Locating the expansion on the back of the original building resolved two needs. In plan it connects to the core of the house so that there is no need to walk through existing rooms to access the new. Also the new structure supports the failing rear stone wall, re-mediating a difficult and expensive repair. Authentic materials and simple clean lines create an addition that looks to have been there for 200 years.

Historic Stone House Addition in New York

Addition to Historic Stone House in New York

Addition design to historic home

Addition design to historic home

Addition to historic stone house in New York

Addition to historic stone house in New York

Architecturally accurate addition designed for historic stone house in New York.

This early stone house has been well-loved. One wood frame addition had been added but the new owners were looking for extra space and more contemporary accommodations. The design included an entrance foyer, (the existing entrance was directly into the living room.) dining space, kitchen, master bedroom suite and a sun space. These spaces wrap half-way around the stone structure shielding it from the weather and creating total view of the former exterior from the interior of the additions. Exterior finishes mixed stone and wood siding to match the existing and are used to define the basic functions within.

A Well Thought Out Floor Plan

Slate and copper roofs also define these functions, slate on the steeper slopes and copper on shallow slopes. It is always an interesting challenge to respect a beautiful existing structure while adding on and renovating. The solution here is to mix the whole range of shapes and materials of the style and let a well thought out floor plan decide how they are assembled.

This addition was designed to take advantage of the property's spectacular view of the Esopus Creek in Saugerties New York

Addition takes advantage of Esopus Creek view.

An addiiton designed to take advantage of spectacular creek view

An addiiton designed to take advantage of spectacular creek view

Behind this home is a spectacular view up the Esopus Creek.

The original house, the brick structure to the left, was a rectangle not oriented to the water.  Elda and her husband Tom needed an open plan and wanted to take advantage of the great potentials of the site.  The design solution was to add on to the side of the house thus orienting the home to the view.  The garage is located in front of the addition and is used to enclose a picket-fenced front garden.

A series of changes – bluestone path, picket fence, garden, porch, then front door prepare you for the surprise view once you enter.  These “patterns” are documented in Christopher Alexander’s classic study,  “A Pattern Language.”

Addition to make a man's home his castle

Home addition makes man’s home his castle

Home addition doubled the existing square footage by adding a second floor.

The original brick structure is a 19th century toll house. It’s purpose was for tallying bluestone before being hauled to the Esopus Creek. The design challenge was to economically and aesthetically tie-in while arriving at a strong floor plan. Part of the solution was to use wood as an exterior finish in lieu of brick. This decision was to adhere to a tight budget. By playing with scale the two parts fit perfectly.

A man’s home is his castle

The oversized corner boards (pilasters in architect-ese) mimic the scale of the original large roof brackets. Very thin siding and roof details contrast these larger scale elements. Mixing very-large scale with very-small scale allows this small home to fulfill – “a man’s home is his castle”.

Japanese styled photographers home studio addition

Home studio addition with Japanese aesthetic

Photographer home studio addition design

Photographer home studio addition design

Photographer’s Studio Addition

Howard is a photographer who needed space at home for his work and wanted to include a “Japanese” aesthetic in an addition. The property drops off at the edge of the existing home so the only solution was to remove a portion of the roof and build upward. This presented challenges but also opportunity; the second story porch uses the dramatic site while its exposed structure gave me an opportunity to work toward Howard’s aesthetic. Roofs are a powerful defining shape and here were an opportunity to complete the request for a Japanese-styled architectural addition.

Japanese styled photographers home studio addition

Photographers studio design addition

The second-story addition and renovations below were an opportunity to bring this wing of the house up to better-than-code specifications for insulation and (shell-tightening). It’s always wise to identify and (fix existing problems) in structures that should be corrected as you add-on an addition.

Second story addition and renovations

Improvements for an efficient home addition.

Home addition with efficient improvements

Architecture should also be thought of as problem solving. The more thoroughly a problem is described and understood the closer one is to a solution. This is especially true during renovations and additions because there are many already-built facts to work around. Part of my design process is the “program questionnaire” (see design process) where input from clients helps define the challenges and solutions.

In this case, a second story addition and renovations, one problem was the dark interior hallways of the existing first floor. The solution, a windowed roof cupola above a stair core, quickly led to the ultimate floor plan. This is an example of “fixing existing problems” while adding on. The Arts and Craft style grew from roof shapes that work and the need to change siding materials on the second floor [Matching the existing siding would have required expensive custom milling].