At the entrance, light stone veneer by Environmental StoneWorks complements the light, natural look of the main walls and roof. The same veneer is used inside on the great-room fireplace wall. A custom louver-look garage door from Clopay provides a color counterpoint and operates via a LiftMaster system that can be controlled from a smartphone. Other coordinated elements include the louvered shutters shading the windows, the louvered entry gate doors, and the main entry door from Simpson Door Co. All photos: Jeff Davis/Davis Photography, unless otherwise noted.
The 4,400-square-foot home in Orlando, Fla., was stylish when it was built in 1987, but by 2015 it was showing its age. Last month, after a top-to-bottom makeover, the transformed house was unveiled at the 2017 International Builders’ Show as The New American Remodeled Home.
Professional Remodeler and the National Association of Home Builders are cosponsors of the showcase house. Phil Kean Design Group, a residential design/build and interior design firm in Winter Park, Fla., designed and built the remodel.
Once drab and dated, the house now shines with a suite of stylish, high-performance exterior products. Architect Phil Kean, who is also a Certified Residential Contractor and interior designer, replaced a busy mix of yellow stucco, heavy corner quoins, and dark roofing with a crisp composition of white walls and Boral concrete roof tile.
In the new entry atrium, custom-crafted Accento Stone veneer (Roccia profile) by Environmental StoneWorks distinguishes the space while lending texture and style (main image, page 39). Designed for a realistic look and low maintenance, the facing pairs well with the light, natural look of the main walls and roof. The same veneer also is on the back of the house and inside on the great-room fireplace wall, reinforcing the home’s cohesive palette of materials.
As a counterpoint to the crisp, bright new exterior, Kean specified a louver-look garage door from Clopay in a rich brown. Designed for durability and style, the custom door has a LiftMaster operating system that neatly tucks against the garage ceiling and can be controlled from a smartphone.
The garage door coordinates with two other exterior accents from Simpson Door Co.: custom louvered entry gate doors, and hinged, louvered shutters that shade the windows. The simple, striking package has great curb appeal. The main entry door, also from Simpson, features matching dark trim that wraps around contemporary glass panels and side lites, forming a gracious visual connection between the gate doors and the home’s open, light-filled interior.
At the rear, exterior sconces from Progress Lighting are similar to those that flank the front entry and garage door. Ply Gem’s Builder Series and Mira Series windows and doors feature Warm Edge insulating low-E glass and argon gas fill. The dark exterior trim accents the white stucco walls and light stone veneer, and 12-by-24-inch Daltile marble-look porcelain floor tile at the pool deck complements the floor tile inside the house.
The same contemporary styling and color palette mark the back of the house (above). Complementary exterior sconces from Progress Lighting are like those flanking the front entry and garage door. Smooth, dark trim around the Ply Gem windows and sliding glass patio doors that line the back of the house accents the white stucco and the light stone veneer from Environmental StoneWorks. Those wide expanses of glass—including pocket-style patio doors—celebrate the connection between the home’s living spaces and the outdoors. Surface materials used in the outdoor area form another link between the indoors and the exterior. The pool deck is finished with 12-by-24-inch porcelain tile from Daltile that complements tile used inside the home. Similarly, the summer kitchen’s Daltile granite countertop picks up the flavor of the kitchen inside.
Ply Gem’s Builder Series four-panel, sliding pocket patio door (left) fully retracts into the wall, connecting indoor and outdoor living spaces. A motorized screen from Phantom Screens (right) stores retracted in the ceiling and can be fully or partially deployed via handheld remote control. Its Mermet E-screen provides shade, reduces glare, and blocks 90 percent of UV rays. Wind and sun sensors are available.
There’s more to the exterior of The New American Remodeled Home than just good looks. Thanks to a new building envelope featuring state-of-the-art components, the house has made the leap from drafty loser to efficiency leader. Sustainable-building consulting company Two Trails, in Parrish, Fla., tested the house before and after the remodel and documented a dramatic improvement in energy efficiency.
“One of the most noteworthy features of the house is its airtight thermal shell,” says Two Trails’ COO, Drew Smith. “Under blower-door testing, the thermal shell achieves 3.29 air changes at 50 Pascal, which is considered very airtight and keeps unwanted outdoor humid air from entering the home.” Smith reports that the house “is expected to be 55 percent more [energy] efficient than the average new code-built home.”
Poorly insulated before the remodel, the exterior walls now incorporate an army of energy-saving products. Icynene’s Classic Max open-cell spray foam insulation, an ultra-low VOC product, was used in wood-framed walls. It was injected into the home’s unvented, air-sealed attic, too, where a fire-retardant coating was applied to the foam. Sprayed around attached plumbing, the Icynene foam also insulates the home’s hot and cold water lines.
Wood-framed walls received the HY-Fi hybrid insulation and radiant-barrier wall-panel system from Fi-Foil. The HY-Fi system is composed of high-reflectant and low-emittance materials that encapsulate reflective air spaces between the interior wall and the wall insulation to resist heat flow. John Taylor, project manager for The New American Remodeled Home, adds that HY-Fi “allows you to use less foam in wall assemblies than in foam-filled wall assemblies to achieve a greater R-value than foam alone.”
Fi-Foil’s M-Shield two-layer cellulose-free insulation was used on the exterior masonry walls. This mold- and mildew-retardant product is designed with an inside layer of reflective, premium-grade aluminum foil paired with a synthetic polymer outside layer. The polymer has tiny perforations to enable vapor transmission for applications that don’t require a vapor retarder. Expanders separate the two layers to form reflective air spaces. Combined with the reflective component, the air spaces reduce heat transfer by convection.
DuPont Tyvek HomeWrap provides powerful weather resistance on all of the exterior framed walls. A barrier against penetration by outside air and water, it reinforces the effectiveness of the insulation and of the HVAC system. It also offers vapor permeability, which enables moisture inside the walls to escape, preventing mold and water damage. The housewrap is composed of high-density polyethylene fibers that are fused together. This web of fine fibers contains microscopic pores that resist penetration by air and liquid water but allow vapor to pass through.
Boral's Cool Roof System features elevated battens that allow airflow from eaves to rdige under the roof tiles. The elevated standards also enable any water that gets behind the roof tile to drain unimpeded to the gutter.
The Boral Energy Efficient Cool Roof System (above) is fitted with Energy Star–rated white concrete Boral roof tile. The system can provide heating and cooling cost savings of up to 22 percent per year, compared with a standard composition asphalt-shingle roof, according to Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The system features cup-like risers that support long battens while holding them up off the underlayment. This enables sun-warmed air under the roof tiles to freely flow to the ridge vent and to be replaced by cool air drawn into the roof system through a vented channel at the eaves. Use of long battens means there are fewer gaps, and because they’re elevated, the roof underlayment is pierced by fewer fasteners. The raised-batten design also allows any rainwater that penetrates the tile to run off the roof unimpeded by furring strips.
The single-pane windows and glass doors in the original house were inefficient. All of the windows and patio doors in the remodeled home are from Ply Gem’s Mira Series and feature Warm Edge insulating low-E glass, argon gas fill, and resistance to air and water infiltration. Similarly, the glazing in the mahogany entry door and side lites from Simpson is ¾-inch, low-E coated, and argon gas filled. The Ply Gem fourpanel sliding pocket door between the great room and pool is from the Builder Series, with low-E tempered glass, argon gas fill, and extruded aluminum construction. The opening is protected by a motorized retractable screen from Phantom Screens.