Kitchen: Embracing, Creating Wide-Open Spaces

This remodel started with a common cry: a 9-year-old house with second owners and the need for a larger, more spacious kitchen.

May 31, 2004


Remodeler: Access Builders, Latham, N.Y.

Architect: Peter Seidner, Clover Group

Project location: Guilderland, N.Y.

Age of home: 9 years

Scope of work: Kitchen remodel and addition
The owners did not want columns or protruding beams to impede the openness of the space. "To have a column in the middle of the space would have intruded on the whole concept," says Peter Seidner. "The idea was to open it up to have this space to freely circulate. The kitchen became the focal point of the whole house."

In tearing off the rear load- bearing wall and opening up the existing interior space, invisible structural supports were added. Access Builders eliminated one of two existing columns between the kitchen and family room by replacing a 12-foot header with a 15-foot microlam beam. David Barrows retained the other column and reinforced it with three 4-inch steel posts connected with metal plates. A new footing in the basement now supports those steel posts, which in turn support the steel beams of the addition.

In place of the load-bearing wall, Access Builders welded two 12x6-inch steel beams side by side to provide a sturdy 21-foot, 7-inch span. Columns on each end - one added directly behind the cooktop - support the span so that a dropped beam does not break up the smooth ceiling. "If we put a column in the center of the room, we could have done it with wood," Barrows says. Using steel instead of wood added $3,000 to the cost of the project. The plumbing for the master bath on the second floor had to be relocated around the beams.

Photos by Mark Samu

This remodel started with a common cry: a 9-year-old house with second owners and the need for a larger, more spacious kitchen. It resulted in a custom interior space with a Tuscan flair, dark cabinets, granite countertops and a cathedral ceiling.

Remodeler David Barrows of Access Builders in Latham, N.Y., built the 180-square-foot kitchen addition before removing the rear load-bearing wall, allowing the homeowners to use the existing kitchen for all but three weeks of the project.

"There were a lot of field changes," says Barrows. For example, a planned screened-in porch evolved into an octagonal three-season room, adding three months and $70,000 to the project. Access Builders completed the entire addition in four months at a cost of $175,000.

"The homeowners wanted something unusual," says architect Peter Seidner. "Most are extremely conservative and traditional, but here was someone who wanted excitement in his building."

Seidner's design helped maximize natural light by including an 11-foot cathedral ceiling with two skylights, a 52x40-inch fixed-glass window by the kitchen sinks, and a pair of new French doors that provide access to the back yard.

"Everything in the kitchen is new," adds Barrows. The two side-by-side sinks have separate faucets, and one dispenses filtered water. Three dishwashers, a wine cooler, a commercial-grade gas cooktop with six burners, and a potfiller faucet over the cooktop make entertaining easy. continued

"He had his wish list, and she had hers," explains Barrows. "We tried to give them everything."

Appliances: General Electric Cabinets: Millbrook Countertop: granite Doors: Pella Faucets: Rohl Fireplace: Heat-N-Glo Home systems and controls: Leviton Lighting: Lightolier Housewrap: DuPont Tyvek Insulation: Celotex Locksets: Kwikset Paints: Sherwin Williams, Pittsburgh Paints Roofing: Tamko Windows: Pella


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