Climbing Addition

Great design means fit and finish, not square footage. Get ideas on how to win consumers in the West - and the rest - with these elegant elevations and intricate interiors.

September 30, 2004

Remodeler: Red Oak Remodeling, York, Pa.

Architect: Shermeyer & Associates Architects, Inc., York, Pa.


A mix of brick and vinyl cladding maintains the farmhouse feel and eases maintenance. Porches on two sides of the kitchen mesh indoors and outdoors. Photos: Lisa Habig.
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While farmhouse renovations are common in the Northeast, this addition stood out for one soaring reason: three levels. Seamlessly integrating three new stories with a home built in 1869, the judges felt, was truly remarkable.

Demo work on a home that old is bound to present challenges, and this project didn't disappoint. The stone foundation had no footers, and the exterior walls were formed with a triple layer of brick. A 76-year-old elevator shaft had to be removed before work could begin. Crews poured a concrete foundation under the stone and added the footers necessary for the addition's foundation wall. Steel beams replaced the stripped-away exterior wall bricks - Red Oak office manager Lora Deller says it took three full dump truck loads to remove all of the brick from the site.

After the extensive prep work and reconfiguration of some existing spaces, the addition provided the homeowners with an office and powder room on the walkout basement level, an expanded kitchen and dining area on the first floor and a master bath suite with walk-in closet on the second floor.

More than providing a nice contrast with the new vinyl siding, retaining brick on the lower level of the exterior was an aesthetic segue to the rest of the home. This thoughtful application of materials is what makes the project pop. When possible, items salvaged from the original house were integrated, reworked and updated. For example, the office's stone interior wall was adapted from an old exterior wall that crews repointed, and the wall's glass lit shelving unit was once a basement window. An oak seat cover made to match the stair landing between the existing basement and the new office masks the foundation footer under the exterior wall.

"In an older home such as this there are so many variables and unknowns. It takes flexibility and brainstorming when issues arise," Deller says. "Each level of the addition, both interior and exterior, maintains the look and feel of the original farmhouse. Each room has its own identity, yet there is unity throughout the entire addition."

Decking: Trex. Roofing: GAF. Siding: CertainTeed, Georgia-Pacific, Wolverine. Windows: Pella.

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