Angles Help a Simple Square Roof Gain Grandeur

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When these Seattle homeowners decided to remodel and expand their second-floor bathroom, they also wanted to create a grander, more contemporary entryway that would not distract from the home's 1950s split entry and long, linear lines.

August 01, 2003

 

The hillside location didn't provide Stone Pillar Remodeling much access on the uphill side, not even for a small tractor. In addition, the hillside had lots of clay earth, which proved to be precarious and difficult to work on. The site had to be hand-excavated, with ramps creating a path back to the work truck to get rid of clay. Cranes dropped the beams in place. "The weight and placement of the beams were a challenge because we were trying to get the different angles of three beams to match and hit the overhang at the same time," Paul Gordon says.

Having to greet guests in a small, cramped area (so cramped they often had to stand on the steps to allow guests to enter the vestibule) wasn't ideal for Seattle homeowners who enjoyed entertaining. So when they decided to remodel and expand their second-floor bathroom, they also wanted to create a grander, more contemporary entryway that would not distract from the home's 1950s split entry and long, linear lines.

"The whole goal was to update this traditional split entry and make it more welcoming, an area they like to spend more time in," says Paul Gordon, president of Stone Pillar Remodeling in Redmond, Wash. "They were looking for an area where they could welcome guests that was a little larger and led people to the front entrance instead of leaving people to wonder where exactly the front entrance was."

In pushing out the bathroom and front entry, Gordon broke up the monotony of the flat roof and created a new peak, making the outside of the bathroom the highest point of the house with an 18-foot-tall outside wall that soars outward instead of dropping back down (almost like a reverse fault, he says). Gordon altered the home's conventional A-frame by vaulting and extending the roof over the two-story entryway. He also elongated the soffit, using three 6x14-foot, solid-fir beams (one weight-bearing and two for architectural definition) to support the extended overhang. To give the exposed structural connectors an architectural look, Gordon had them custom-made, opting for a hand-dipped galvanized finish.

Large tongue-and-groove pine identical to that on the entry ceiling was used on the newly vaulted interior ceiling. The customer added personal touches with a custom-made hand railing that reflected his maritime background. Floating steps help open the vestibule, while book-matched fir front doors complete the contemporary look.

The project took four months to complete, with a total cost of $110,000 ($25,000 for the entryway alone). It won a 2003 Remodeling Excellence Award for best entryway from the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties and two awards from the Building Industry Association of Washington.

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