Walkable, in-town neighborhoods in New England have very few available building lots, so renovation is the logical way to rebuild and re-fabricate our neighborhoods to meet the challenges of the present day. If we are to create a better, carbon-neutral & revitalized country, it will start with improving our existing environment.
The owners searched for a house to perform a radical transformation. The search led to a faded 1960's 1,100 SF ranch house in an in-town Portland Maine neighborhood, an ideal candidate for improvement. It may have been the worst house on the block, but it had a strong foundation, a spacious lot, and no one would miss the vinyl siding.
The key to affordable renovation is in imposing limitations: build up and not out, re-use whatever possible, and maintain existing services whenever possible.
We designed a compact second story for the children's bedrooms, and used long span I-joists to span the full length of the house, opening a cramped floor plan up into a generous open plan with 12 foot ceilings at the high point.
The roof pitches align with the existing garage pitch, allowing a coherent composition without incurring expense incurred in modifying valuable existing structures.
Careful window orientation maintains privacy from the street while drawing sunsets deep into the house. The backyard, previously isolated from the living spaces is opened up with expansive triple glazed glazing.
Photos by Trent Bell
I am saving thi because it at least has a white roof, even if it is snow! none the less, it shows the white roof on a dark grey siding, and looks really great to me. - mbinroth