New Entry Creates A New Beginning

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Like a shy child, this 1926 bungalow peeked out from behind a fence and overgrown landscaping. Even the front door was hidden from view, located at a perpendicular angle to the street. A low roof and shaded front porch further obscured the front elevation. The objective was to create a more inviting entry to the home, making it more appealing and visible.

August 01, 2005

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Like a shy child, this 1926 bungalow peeked out from behind a fence and overgrown landscaping. Even the front door was hidden from view, located at a perpendicular angle to the street. A low roof and shaded front porch further obscured the front elevation.

 
Barrel roof tiles for the addition were custom made to match the original roof tiles. The 2 1/2-inch thick circle-top entry door, custom made in Mexico, replicates the arch of the grand window as well as existing arches inside the home.   After photos by Paul Body Photography

The objective was to create a more inviting entry to the home, making it more appealing and visible.

"An entry should say hello and invite a guest to the front door," says Stephen Lusk, CGR, owner of Lusk Building and Remodeling, a design/build remodeler and custom home builder.

Reclaiming the little-used front porch and creating a new entry "opened up the house and made it more social," says Lusk, not only enhancing curb appeal but also interior livability. His firm accomplished this by demolishing the front porch and adding a 20- by 12-foot two-story addition.

 
 Before

Constructed with balloon framing, the two-story ceiling extends over a new foyer as well as a new casual eating area. The foyer soars 16 feet, topped by twelve 24- by 18-inch clerestory windows that greatly increase natural light to the interior. Lusk also enlarged openings into the living and dining rooms to open the house visually and increase circulation and natural light.

The remodel changed the indoor traffic flow of the now 2,300-square-foot home. The new floor plan allows entrants easy access to the living room, the formal dining room, the galley kitchen and the informal dining and entertaining area, which overlooks a pastoral garden on the side of the house.

 
An interior wrought-iron gate distinguishes the 7 1/2- by 8 1/2-foot eating nook from the foyer. Matching the tile and wood finish floor levels proved challenging, says Stephen Lusk.

Outside, Lusk sought to enhance the charm of the structure, not create a new home. Building materials and architectural details replicated original elements of the bungalow, located in one of San Diego's oldest subdivisions. Sticking to the Early California architectural style made this project work, says Lusk.

"Good remodeling is copycat design," says Lusk. "It should look like you were never there."

In fact, workers completely demolished the old porch, then formed new footings and poured them into place. Going to two stories for the foyer was necessary in order to converge rooflines, says Lusk, as the home incorporated gable and flat roof areas with barrel tile and parapet trim. The original ceiling plate was established at 96 inches.

Part of the roof was removed and the house was exposed for about 30 days — no problem in dry San Diego. New custom tiles match the 79-year-old tiles on the existing roof. A new, 60- by 54-inch, three-section window on the front of the new addition replicates the look of the previous window.

   
 Before  After

Appraisals before and after the three-and-a-half-month remodel showed that the $100,000 investment resulted in an increased value of $300,000, a combination of increased curb appeal and acceleration of the market at the time, says Lusk.

"It doesn't look like an add-on," Lusk points out. "See what is there and repeat it. It is that simple. Be creative with the spaces, not to make the house look differently. Get behind the eyeballs of the original designers."

 

Remodeler: Lusk Building and Remodeling, San Diego
Project location: San Diego
Age of home: 79 years
Scope of project: Converting a porch into a two-story entry foyer; 230-square-foot addition

Product List
Door: Marco.  Lighting: Simply Italian.  House wrap: Tyvek.  Insulation: Owens Corning.  Locksets: Baldwin.  Paint/stain: Dunn-Edwards.  Windows: Andersen.

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