A Classic Cape Cod… In Newton
The Home Stats: a 3,000 sq. ft. 1940’s cape in Newton that was remodeled over a decade ago by the previous Owner. The new occupants, fresh from roomier accommodations in Atlanta, wanted more space for visiting family and a master suite renovation that provided enough closet, bath and bedroom space while providing a flexible home office/guest room.
The Clients’ needs: The Owners wanted a master suite with more room and more closet space than the existing master. The existing side entry also didn’t allow for enough storage for an easy grab of the skis if an afternoon run presented itself. Inside the home, the original stair to the basement is extremely narrow and the laundry, as well as a TV playroom were less than pleasant trips.
The Challenges & Approach: Because one of the Owners is a semi-retired commercial builder, he was well prepared to work through the process quickly, though more versed in steel and concrete, there wasn’t much time devoted to discussing the scope of work. Typically from concepts to budget on a project this size we would need about 6-7 weeks; to review iterations, and add or remove things on the budget. From the first visit to the start of construction, it took about five months to get the project started. The extra time required was a terrific game of “design chess” to achieve the space we needed that would meet Newton’s local zoning FAR (Floor Area Ratio). Collaborating with the client we added eves, took an inch or two from here and added it there and provided a great plan with 11 square feet to spare.
The Solution: Going above the existing garage was an obvious place to start for the Owner and the design team because we felt we could balance the home scale and gain a couple of benefits: a covered entry to the garage and a second-floor laundry room which is always on the wish list for clients! After showing the Owners a few concepts, we discovered we could add a second set of stairs from the first floor from the master without making one of the bedrooms a walk-through or smaller thus providing the master suite with an easy journey to the garage and kitchen. We also created an improved entrance to the basement, the Owner’s idea that made the small, but conforming, side addition become a multi-benefit space- ski storage and improved entrance to the basement and mudroom.
Where are we now in the process? It will take about 4 ½ months to complete the project. We are about one month in and the framing is near completion with windows and roofing to go for the first phase of the dry in process. You can already begin to see how the exterior of the house will morph into what looks like a lot more square footage (about 1,000 SF). Because there are a lot of significant and visible changes in the first couple of months the client is riding a pretty steady level of happiness and should be according to the emotional roller coaster of remodeling. Stay tuned for the final product of this Newton home remodel and home addition project!