Painting Inside the Lines
Old houses, even large ones, are often built too close to neighboring property lines according to present-day building codes. That was the case for this early 20th-century Arts & Crafts cottage. The existing porch, patio, and garage were mere feet from the back property line, and the garage and an embankment wall bordering the driveway stood flush with the side property line.
“This was a very complicated project,” says designer David Heide. Applying for and receiving variances to current setbacks was time consuming, taking three months. “Luckily we have experience working with the city and know what questions to ask. We have yet to be turned down.”
Once the approval process was underway, Heide demolished the existing garage and made plans to rebuild it below grade. In another complication, the soil underneath the new addition and new driveway had to be injected with chemical stabilizers to support the new construction. Since the retaining wall along the driveway literally sat on the property line, rebuilding it meant coming to an accommodation with the neighbors.
With site issues under control, Heide still had to find space for a new family room. He reclaimed the old step-down patio between the existing kitchen and dining room and extended it by creating a terrace on top of the garage. In keeping with the owners’ desire to entertain, the family and dining rooms open right onto the terrace.
On the interior, a onceawkward combination kitchen and family room has been redefined into a well-equipped periodstyle kitchen and adjacent breakfast room. Throughout the renovation, Heide carefully considered sight lines from all the rooms in the house toward the lake, choosing only the best. “It was pretty amazing, the views we were able to provide.”
The refreshed Arts & Crafts cottage gained appropriate period elements as well as a new family room and outdoor terrace. INSET The approach to the existing garage was awkward and cramped. The room off the portico was probably a later addition.