Addition Blends Seamlessly with Original Structure

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Thoughtfully designed and skillfully executed, the addition to this 1940s bungalow in Ann Arbor, Mich., blends in so well with the original structure that a casual observer would be hard-pressed to identify the remodel. But for its empty-nester owners, who now have a new "friends and family foyer," a spacious and sunny gathering area, a back-yard deck and an attached, two-car garage, the change...

September 01, 2007
Sidebars:
Addition
Products List
A Perfect Match

Architects made a point to hide the transition between the old and the new brick for the Ann Arbor, Mich., remodel.
After photos by Stanley Livingston

Thoughtfully designed and skillfully executed, the addition to this 1940s bungalow in Ann Arbor, Mich., blends in so well with the original structure that a casual observer would be hard-pressed to identify the remodel. But for its empty-nester owners, who now have a new "friends and family foyer," a spacious and sunny gathering area, a back-yard deck and an attached, two-car garage, the change in their home is like night and day.

"The biggest compliment that we can receive when we do an addition like this is that it looks as though it has always been there," says Debra Moore of Custom Design/Build, the remodeling firm responsible for the project's construction. "We always want it to be as seamless as possible."

Architect Michael Klement, principal of Ann Arbor-based Architectural Resource, addressed several key challenges when developing his design for this remodel. The first was to eliminate the "identity crisis" created by the home's side-oriented formal foyer that's accessed via a steep, 150-foot-long sidewalk. The homeowners or their guests seldomly used the entrance because it was set away from the driveway. Instead, most people entered the home through a narrow, dark passage between the house and detached garage. "This was really the least pleasant way to come in, and they were using it all the time," Klement says. His solution was to use the new family room to link the existing living space and an attached, two-car garage and re-orient the daily entrance toward the front of the home, giving it a bright, southern exposure. His design provided the homeowners with direct access to the family room through the garage as well.

"There had always been real confusion about where to come in to the house," agrees Moore. "The new porch and entry have really clarified that."

Klement says his clients were looking for a design that would give them the additional square footage they wanted, as well as the convenience of an attached, direct-access garage. They also wanted to remain sensitive to the architectural style of their existing home while having the finished project remain low-key and sympathetic to the neighborhood.

"The success of a project like this is all about finding a balance between scale and proportion," says Klement.

The shape of the shed roof of the upper level inspired the roof form for the new entry porch. Similarly, the shape of the exiting single-car garage provided the template for the new garage's front, street-facing gable. "The balance of the new forms fall back in line behind that," adds the architect. "It was as though the original garage reappeared in the new design."

The existing finishes on the home's exterior brick and aluminum siding, were either reused or matched with new materials to provide continuity of style and save clients money. The original garage door was incorporated into the front bay of the new two-car garage with a matching custom-built one. Similarly, the builder did not replace all of the windows in the home, instead matching the new ones to the originals. The home's energy efficiency improved thanks to new insulation and a new HVAC system.

The clay medallion is a long-held family treasure.

Matching clay medallions were incorporated into the brickwork in the front garage gable, as well as above the formal entry, visually connecting both ends of the home. Not only are they distinctive, but they hold a charming story, says Moore. "The homeowners had actually come across them 20 years ago while walking through an old masonry yard. They had been using them as stepping stones in their garden for all these years. We cleaned them up and incorporated them into the new design."

"Adding a personal touch such as this goes a long way toward marrying the old with the new," says Klement. "It also provides a really wonderful sentimental connection for the owners to their home."

 

Addition

ARCHITECT: Architectural Resource, Ann Arbor, Mich.
REMODELER: Custom Design/Build, Ann Arbor, Mich.
PROJECT LOCATION: Ann Arbor, Mich.
AGE OF HOME: About 55 years
SCOPE OF WORK: Create a new entryway and add a family room and two-car garage


Products List

HVAC: Lennox Garage Door: Wayne-Dalton Insulation: Owens Corning Locksets: Schlage Roofing: CertainTeed Windows: Norco (Jeld-Wen)

Before

A glass front door with simulated divided-lite glass panels allows light to penetrate into the living space without sacrificing privacy from the street.

A Perfect Match

Several key design and construction techniques downplay the transition between the home's original exterior finish materials and the new ones.

The original form of the home was clad with brick with aluminum siding used as the accent, says remodeler Debra Moore of Ann Arbor-based Custom Design/Build. "Rather than re-side the entire house, the goal was to match these materials as closely as possible on the new construction as a cost-savings measure."

Architect Michael Klement addressed this challenge in his design by making sure the old and new structures intersected. "When two planes meet at a right angle, they each have a different quality of light because of the shadows created. This is the case even when they are the same color. We used this play of light to our advantage to help us blend the new with the existing parts of the home."

The remodeler also salvaged as much of the old brick as possible during demolition. She was also able to find new brick veneer material that almost exactly matched the original size and color. The two were blended with more new brick added to the mix as the addition moved away from the older part of the structure.

"It is just as critical to match the mortar as it is the brick in an application like this," says Moore, "and that can be really difficult. We experimented with a lot of samples in order to get it right."

The final step was to re-roof the entire home. "You get the best overall results that way," says Klement. "If there was a theme for this project, it would be 'the addition that wasn't.'"

Comments on: "Addition Blends Seamlessly with Original Structure"

October 2014

This Month in Professional Remodeler

2014 Design Awards

Project of the Year

Measuring Design Space

Flooring Trends

DIGITAL EDITION
Products

All aspects of the unit are customizable, including height, length, materials, and finishes.

Features

Slated to be held again in 2015, the Extreme Sales Summit is the only conference devoted entirely to in-home selling.

Email Subscriptions