Photos: courtesy Ron Solomon
Remodeler: Gibson Builders, Washington, D.C.
Architect: GTM Architects, Bethesda, Md.
In a nutshell: The homeowners loved their traditional Colonial house, but not its small rooms and lack of flow. On the main level, they wanted to open up space and add guest suites while upstairs, they sought larger bedrooms and a real master suite, as well as better access to the attic than the existing steep, narrow stairs. Outside, the clients wanted a path and a large outdoor patio for entertaining, accessible from four points around the house.
Challenge: Preexisting property drainage problems presented obstacles.
Solutions: The architect worked with a civil engineer and landscape designer who proposed raising the back right corner of the property to create a high point that would divert runoff from neighboring lots. Near the rear of the property, where most rainwater was likely to collect, the landscape designer installed an ornamental garden basin to allow water to seep into the soil. The engineer also discovered two drywells in the rear yard, which they tied into the gutters and downspouts of the addition.
To make attic access less steep and cramped, remodelers moved and reoriented the stairs to the attic and landing so it’s now at the center of the roof pitch, to maximize headroom. The remodeler then raised the collar ties to provide space for an attic bedroom, bathroom, and closet.
In the addition, the first floor includes a new kitchen, mudroom, and pantry, a larger family room, and a more generous screened porch. The second floor has a new master bedroom with a master bath and a new third bedroom.
See the full list of winning entries here.