1805 Brook Road
Abington, PA 19001


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



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Current Projects and Advice

Haverford Addition, June 2014

Apparently the winter froze my fingers, since I haven't updated for months! tsk, tsk!

This Haverford addition is pretty well done, with final decor, mudroom components and the deck still in the works. The photos show the work in progress, still a bit chaotic as the family moves into the renovation,

and give a sense of the space. The relatively modest 1x12 addition gave the family a huge boost in usable family space, 

with a large family friendly eat-in area, a completely expanded and reconfigured kitchen, and an exercise room below.

Some issues to be aware of as you go forward: Zoning: changing the plan as we went along threw a wrench in the timing; WIndows: the large bay in the background was a tough one to fill. They finally went with Marvin, then it got dropped on delivery. Flooring: The client used a beautiful wood look tile, very durable and still warm looking. Great for dogs!; Old house structure: always a surprise.

Haverford Addition Progress, Jan, 2014

The addition was closed in before the real cold, so work is proceeding apace in the kitchen and bump-out. The foam insulation is in, wiring done, drywall up, the door cut through to the main dining room and the old outside wall removed. For the garage portion (see earlier posts) the dormer has been done for a while, and the interior is fully fleshed out. They now have a nice little bedroom with a huge closet, and the old bedroom is becoming a real office. As usual old framing or plaster issues surface, reminding us not to take anything for granted!

The cabinets are due in a couple of weeks, and finishes are scheduled to go in shortly.

Haverford Addition, Kitchen

I probably should have mentioned that the Haverford project began life as a kitchen renovation and small addition to  he kitchen. It grew to add the garage addition below, and the kitchen bump out has evolved as well. This is causing zoning conniptions since we jumped into zoning early just to see if we could do it, without working through the design first. I would strongly recommend sorting out as many design issues as possible before going for zoning.

That said, we have created a nice eat-in area with an adjacent mudroom. The mudroom extends the existing entry vestibule, and is 18" lower than the kitchen. This is causing some interesting framing issues. Don't take anything for granted in an older home.

The original design was very low-key, in deference to the house, with a modest hip roof. As the foundation was built, it became apparent that a bit more floor space was needed, and that it would look better to echo a large bay found further over in the family room. This required a change to a gable roof so the bay roof would work, and the extension is requiring re-submittal to the zoning board.

Glenside addition

Adding onto any house is a challenge, but when the complex roof styles, deep stone walls and tight room layout of a post-victorian home come into play, things get tricky.

For this client  we are removing the rear wall and providing a rear addition as well as interior renovations and reorganization of rooms.

On the first floor, we are adding a family room that opens to a generous porch then to a deep back yard. We are also adding a mudroom and expanding the kitchen as well as opening it to the dining room.

On the 2nd floor, the old master bedroom becomes a laundry and new master bath, while the 2nd floor of the addition is a new bedroom. The steep roof slopes led to us using dormer for more space. In this house, the attic is all usable bedrooms as well, so the addition attic will become the new mechanical room.

To make it all work, the existing garage is being removed and replaced with a smaller one further back on the lot. The compromise gives more yard and garden space for the family.

Haverford garage update

The Garage and Kitchen projects proceed apace. The rains slowed things down quite a bit, but the garage is now sheathed, roofed and stuccoed.

KITCHEN ADDITION: The deck has been demolished for the kitchen expansion, and the foundation exposed. When the new basement walls go up and the top is framed in, the window and door wall will be demolished, with new headers, and opened to the old kitchen. This gives them the opportunity to finish the majority of the addition before demolition, saving the interior for daily use as long as possible.

A couple of surprises, to be expected in older homes, are poor support for the existing walls, almost non-existent footings and the need for new foundation details to address this.Note to prospective project-ers, there is a LOT of coordination in adding onto and renovating older homes. Flexibility, contingency funds and a favorite restaurant are critical!

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