Whole House: From Ranch to Mountain Lodge

The metamorphosis of this 1958 ranch house into a mountain lodge required melding the house with its environment, capturing livable interior space, and maximizing views and natural light. Most of all, it meant turning the ordinary into the outstanding....

September 30, 2003
To enhance this home's existing structure and increase its interior space and exterior appeal, the house had to be reoriented to the land. The house originally was a basic rectangle with an east/west orientation that failed to take advantage of the scenic, 2-acre site, Jeff Metke says. Basically, Metke Remodeling & Woodworking demolished about half of the house and reworked the foundation with new internal footings. Photos by Jeff Metke
Metke constructed a new bearing wall to allow a 23-foot, clear-span ceiling in the new great room, a space originally occupied by old bedrooms and bathrooms on the back of the house. In addition, he added a 5 1/8 x 18-inch, load-bearing beam through the space, approximately where the old ridge was positioned. Three of the four beams in the finished great room were included to provide an aesthetic, faux-truss look. The glulam beams went through a process that gave them a rough-sawn look and then were stained lightly to enhance the interior's mountain lodge appearance. The new wall and load-bearing beam allowed the home's core to be open and spacious and maximized views of the wooded site from the great room and covered porch. The new core's north/south exposure also helps maximize views while bringing more natural light into interior spaces.
Company: Metke Remodeling & Woodworking, Lake Oswego, Ore.

Project location: Wilsonville, Ore.

Age of home: 45 years

Scope of work: Whole-house renovation


The metamorphosis of this 1958 ranch house into a mountain lodge required melding the house with its environment, capturing livable interior space, and maximizing views and natural light. Most of all, it meant turning the ordinary into the outstanding.

"The house shows how far you can transform a basic structure," says Jeff Metke of Metke Remodeling & Woodworking in Lake Oswego, Ore.

Located in Wilsonville, Ore., on the rural outskirts of metropolitan Portland, the 2,800-square-foot ranch sat on a wooded, 2-acre enclave, a rare commodity in a market restricted by an urban growth boundary established 20 years ago.

"Basically the original house did not fit its 2-acre, wooded site, but the owners realized they had an asset that didn't need to be torn down," Metke says. "The home just didn't fit their needs now, and they could not find a lot available of that size that they could afford."

Better site utilization, interior expansion and exterior updating drove the renovation. Metke turned the 2,800-square-foot basic rectangle into a 4,200-square-foot lodge with a four-car garage and a loft. He added 1,800 square feet for a new mudroom entry, a laundry room, two children's bedrooms with an adjoining bathroom, and a full master suite.

On the exterior, Metke replaced the original 8-inch lap turquoise siding with horizontal finger-joint cedar siding, cultured stone columns and cedar trim on new windows throughout. A combination of exposed aggregate and inlaid stamped and stained concrete replaced and expanded the front stoop. Natural wood accents were repeated inside and out, from exterior garage doors to a hemlock ceiling inside. The stone porch supports and dormer windows embrace the distinctive detailing of Craftsman-style architecture.

"We tried to create more of a Northwest lodge look," Metke says. "We integrated what the owners wanted, how they wanted it to look and how it was going to feel."

The homeowners collaborated with building designer Ron Tesch of Silverton, Ore., on the plan. "Basically we were given a shell and a budget," Metke says. "The house was defined by materials, which we walked through with the customer."

The exterior changes were indicative of the radical transformation within. Metke turned the house on its axis to reorient living space and maximize natural light and views (see caption above). The wide-open spaces inside now take advantage of the surroundings outside. Previously, a small dining room window provided the only views. Now, "you can stand in the kitchen and look all the way through the house," Metke says.

Only a window wall and sliding door separate the inside and outside living spaces. A tongue-and-groove, clear vertical-grain hemlock ceiling runs out from the great room through the patio for the feel of uninterrupted indoor/outdoor space.

On the rear elevation, Metke created a 15 x 30-foot outdoor living space integrated with the rest of the house rather than attached like an afterthought. It was part of the effort to blend natural materials with the natural landscape and meld house with site.

In 1958, ranch was the dominant residential construction style in the United States. Today, this ranch is no longer a rambling, outdated home on a large lot, but a distinctive, livable house that maximizes a coveted environment and accommodates a 21st-century lifestyle.

"The house was well-built before and was enhanced by what was done," Metke says.

To see floor plans of this project, visit www.HousingZone.com/pr/metke.

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