1805 Brook Road
Abington, PA 19001


1636 Brisbane Road
Silver Spring, MD 20902
215-886-6916 (universal)



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Home Current Projects and Advice

Current Projects and Advice

Cheltenham Renovation

A new project, from the brother of an older client (I love happy clients!).

This old house was a wonderful old Victorian that grew old, got converted into illegal apartments then abandoned. The new owner is restoring it to a single family home but will be changing the character of it, the Victorian details just too costly to restore,. Luckily the bones, the basic form, is amenable to different styles so we hope to develop a more contemporary (no, not modern!) interpretation.


We also hope to add a garage with a family room above at the rear of the deep lot, which is going through zoning now.





Philly row house

Our row house in Philly, so long in the works due to the recession is making great progress. Aside from finding out that the existing floors were up to 6" out of level, the walls several inches out of plumb, and the brick walls much less stable that thought until they got braced, things are ok. The trussed roof went on quickly and will allow HVAC and insulation easily. Since the house is pushed back on the lot as a twin, the rear porch is a way to get outdoor living space to the 2nd floor. A new sidewalk will be ramped to rear door for the accessible apartment. If we can get zoning permission, we'll raise the rear yard up for an accessible outdoor space for the apartment.

Not the greatest picture, but progress as of November 2015. I haven't been able to get back for updated pix but the porch roof is replaced and more detail work done, and the owner is moved in. Zoning got a bit tricky trying to add a ramp and raised back yard for an accessible apartment, but it worked out.

Accessibility Addition/Renovation

The project is maturing as we push and shove the disparate requirements for full accessibility as well as non-handicapped users into coherent form! The basic form is how it looks in the earlier post, but now things work.

The sky-lit pool pavilion will give them a social center year round, let the kids take the weight off and do regular therapy and the parents get some exercise! The kitchen gained an angled stove which surprisingly gives us more room and circulation, and the laundry moved back upstairs in favor of a giant pantry and storage closet.

The bedrooms and especially the accessible bath have developed more fully and the mudroom has a wash-down area to clean off the wheelchairs and scooters (the 5 year old likes to off-road...) and a nice modern covered entry from the drive as well as new entry from the garage. The family room takes advantage of the southern exposure and generous back yard, and gives back a more intimate dining room The old one was absorbed into the kitchen). 

Right now we are working out the construction details with an eye toward energy efficiency and comfort as well as the necessary accessible details, and hope to wrap the documents soon.


Dormer blowout finished!

Our Cape dormer expansion has just wrapped up, getting final inspections and is about to be occupied. It gained a ton of space, is quiet as can be and very comfortable with minimal HVAC even in this current cold snap. The shower is simple, elegant and spacious given the area we had to work in and the vanity was custom by a local cabinet maker which let us integrate the HVAC into the base (recessed, slotted) and fit perfectly. All the windows were triple glazed, low-e. The expanded bedrooms gave us a terrific seating area with a great view of the wooded back yard.

In the end, while a cape dormer is not quite an architectural statement, it is a common expansion for the house type and very effective for additional space and comfort. Once the stucco is painted a more attractive color and landscaping is put it, it will be a very comfortable home to be retired in.

Abington Dormer blowout

This retired couple asked to expand the 2nd floor of their Cape, which already had their master bedroom, bath and guest room, for a fuller more up-to-date master suite that would benefit them for the long term and open the space up as much as possible.

In a fairly typical fashion we blew out the back with a shed dormer, which added 6' to the room, created a sitting area with an enhanced southern view of the back yard, a larger bath with shower and soaking tub, and large closet in the guest room. Built in storage was also fitted under the front eaves.

Foam insulation combined with fiberglass and careful air sealing has vastly increased the efficiency, and a new zoned HVAC system was fitted in for more control of the house. The ridge was offset to the bearing wall below which led to some interesting structural gymnastics!

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