When a home buyer or homeowner is looking at design elements to remodel, build or purchase, it is a good idea to understand the way that you live your daily life from the workspace you need in your kitchen, to the layout and design of your living room. Having a better understanding of the “way you live” will give you and your builder/architect/real estate agent a better direction of which to help you create a more livable space and even reconfigure what you already have to make it more efficient for you and your family.
This is exactly what happened for two homeowners who completely remodeled their 1925 Mission home in Arlington. When they contacted Principal owner and architect Marta Layseca of EnviroHomeDesign to remodel their kitchen, they had no idea that they would end up re-modeling their entire home, adding more space, light, and energy efficiency. The outcome was a beautifully finished home with a team of like-minded people who wanted to create a functional and beautiful space for two deserving homeowners.
When Mart and her dynamic team first met with the Arlington home owners, they thought they were just going to be opening up the kitchen to the dining room, but what they ended up doing (quite literally) was re-mastering the house from top to bottom- inside and out. The challenges were:
* Kitchen was too small with limited storage and counter-tops
* The narrow staircase was in the kitchen and had low headroom
* The flat roof had leaks and the basement had water problems
* The house was cold during the winter, energy was being wasted
The solution was found in sitting down with the homeowner to get a better understanding of how they used their home and what they really needed out of it, aside from a bigger more user friendly kitchen. The home needed to be entirely re-purposed. This was already a beautiful home that suited most of their current needs, but what happens when their family blossoms? What happens when it gets cold again in the winter and they are bleeding money to keep the house warm? A meeting with architects from EnviroHomeDesign would prove to be this home’s salvation! After gaining insight into how the homeowners “live in their home” the solutions were not just to open up the kitchen, but to redesign this home so that the homeowner would be improving the livability, efficiency and value of the home:
* A New open staircase at the center of the house
* More spacious open kitchen, dining and family rooms
* New 2nd floor with master suite, two bedrooms complete bathroom and laundry
* Bigger area: addition of 1,508SF for a total of 2,681sf.
The architects, who specialize in sustainable architecture took the initial need for more space, looked to the future to create value and efficiency for the homeowners. The remodel by SAI Contractors was a beautiful “full-scale green renovation” because they included (just to name a few) specifications in their remodel:
* Natural light in all rooms (sun tunnels)
* Natural cross ventilation in most rooms
* Chimney effect at staircase by operable skylight and location of windows
* Energy Efficient envelope with spray foam insulation and fiberglass windows
* New mechanical system, including zoned radiant heat and ERV for comfort
* Recycling of construction waste
* Low VOC paint throughout
* On Demand water heater
* Refurbished existing hardwoods
* Low flow faucets and toilets
The home is LEED Home Silver Certified and certified by Arlington Green Home Choice. The end result is that the home owners now “have a beautiful, healthy energy efficient house that is creating buzz among the community” that was showcased in the 2009 Parade of Homes. After this was article was originally written, this remodeled home in Arlington, VA won several awards for the design and sustainability on construction.