Lofty home expansion project...

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robbhouston
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Lofty home expansion project...

Postby robbhouston » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:08 am

Hey all,

Long time, no posting. Hope everyone is well.

A while back, I was responding to someone's post and I happen to post an image that was a scan of a hand drawn sketch I did of a home expansion plan. Some responded saying it was rather ambitious. It is... :) This plan is still a ways out (you know...the $$$ thing), but in the mean time I've attempted to work on it.

I bought and learned to use TurboCAD Mac Deluxe, only to find it wasn't up to the task (or at least I couldn't see it). I've since taught myself to use SketchUp, and have finally started the visualization part of the project. That is, I'm building a full scale 3D model, but everything isn't measured out to the inch (or feet, in some cases) as it will have to be after I get together with a real architect to hash it out.

FYI, the addition will initially serve simply as more living space. I'll also set up my recording studio/office there freeing up a bedroom for our future expanding family. It may later serve as a home for an aging parent who needs care. We also affectionately call it the pool house without a pool. But, we may try and add a pool at some point.

To refresh ya'lls memory, here's our house as it is...

Front view...
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... nt3_lg.jpg

Side view...
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... io1_lg.jpg

Here's my rather weak attempt at sketching the addition last year...
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... sketch.jpg

Here's a couple of exports from SketchUp of the model so far...
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... tchup2.jpg
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... tchup1.jpg

I figure, you gotta start somewhere. SketchUp has been a tremendous help in not only big picture visualizing, but puzzling together interior spaces (ie: those pesky closets that back up to baths that back up to something else, etc, etc, on & on...). It's got a ways to go, but much of the interior is laid out. FWIW, we're pretty set on having it detached, which has been the first objection our friends and family have had upon seeing it for the first time.

Would love any opinions and/or ideas (FYI...I can export top views with the roof removed, or 2D blueprint type images, etc...).

Thanks!

--Robb
http://www.nashvillemodern.com
A little website I created to showcase my home and other MCMs in and around the Nashville TN area.

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Postby jakabedy » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:47 am

I think it's interesting, and looks to be in keeping ith the style of the original house. And I'm assuming you have no setback or driveway cut or other issues, because that is a BIG addition! And I think it is a good solution when working ith the existing rooflines.

I know you're set on detached, but I just want to comment on that for a minute. In a previous house we had a finished attic that served as a very groovy TV room, and we put the big TV up there. There was also a smaller TV on the main floor. I would say that 90% of the time we stayed on the main floor and watched the small TV. Why? The attic was remote, even though it was under the same roof. It wasn't convenient to the kitchen, or to the door to let the dog in or out, or to the laundry (which was in the basement, three floors away), etc. Nevermind climbing all the steps.

In your solution you lack the stair-climbing issue, but you do have to go outside into the cold/heat. I would make sure that the living area in the addition has everything one could want. Otherwise, your inner logic will find you staying in the main house most of the time.
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Postby FRaC » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:01 pm

a couple of comments:

- i understand why you're bending the roof up like that but it creates a difficult area where rain, snow, leaves, etc. will collect. even with a 'cricket' (which you would have to do) it creates an area that is more likely to have problems down the road. it makes sense in a front elevation (which no one truly sees depicted that way) but as you move back into the courtyard space the butterfly roof looks funny.

- i would suggest doing the same roof pitch but rotated 90 degrees and blending the addition with the existing house. you could add clerestory windows at the end of the new roof similar to the original front.

- i know matching the existing roof seems boring and not creative but i think matching the existing roof line and focusing on windows/doors, the patio steps, and the courtyard design (built in seating? fire pit? water feature? type of paving/planting/lighting?) is where you can express your creativity.

- at the (3) pairs of (sliding?) doors i would either continue the steps all the way across or break it up with raised planters between the steps. since the doors all create a continuous wall of glass the steps should reinforce that.

- lastly just looking at the existing front reveals how much you can get out of a simple pitched roof and two main materials (brick and painted wood siding). it's really cool how the perimeter wall has been cut to create that courtyard entrance and how the brick wraps around to create that mass on the right (with clerestory windows above). i could see on the addition doing a similar sort of cut as a way to get from the addition to the courtyard. but i'm a 'blend-into-the-existing' kind of guy when the existing is really nice.

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Postby robbhouston » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:55 pm

Thanks for the replies!

jakabedy: We're on an acre. Property line about like this...

http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... tchup6.jpg

...so plenty of space.

As far as having everything you'd want to spend extended time there, its probably best to describe it as in-law quarters. Or, an apartment sized free standing house. Here's the interior layout...

http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... tchup3.jpg
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... tchup4.jpg
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... tchup5.jpg

The strip of roof line the runs along what appears to be a long skylight will be a covered pavers-in-stone walk. We've done that all around our house and in our entry court. So, yes outdoors, but covered.

FRaC: Interesting ideas. Nothing is set in stone, so we're open to big (and different) approaches. It's all just a SketchUp file now (actually many many files of different versions at various points of completion).

I understand the trouble a butterfly roof might create. One thing...we only have a couple of mature trees on our virtually flat lot. I've never had to clean out my gutters. So debris shouldn't be an issue. Nashville measures snows in "dustings". Not sure what a "cricket" is. Is it an architecture roofing element that assists in rain run off? I've considered how that's accomplished with a butterfly. I know I'll have to consult an architect eventually to figure out such things.

Rotating 90% is certainly a way to go, but I so love the visual interest of the carport spanning between the house and the addition, then the 90% turn butterflying out. And I like the butterfly effect from the street. Not sure how it doesn't work as well from another view.

For cost and availability, I was planning on using the same entry level Pella slider we put into our breakfast room to fill that wall of glass. Hoped the had both left & right opening. Was going to stagger left/right making the non-moving side face each other. Was planning planters between the steps in front of the stationary glass. That make sense?

I hear ya regarding the interesting use of materials and volumes to create cool spaces. That's one of my favorite features of our house (visit the site below my signature for more photos of it). Perhaps with the blending roof approach you suggested... volumes, materials (and perhaps beams traversing a broken roof line here and there) could create some cool spaces and a nice look.

Thanks for the suggestions.

--Robb
Last edited by robbhouston on Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby robbhouston » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:56 pm

<removed redundant post>

Wonder why my posts keep duplicating?

--Robb
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Postby FRaC » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:21 pm


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Postby scowsa » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:55 pm

Regarding the butterfly roof starting from a roof line sloping down, I can recall seeing that in side additions to Crestwood Hills homes and it looked fine.

I looked on flickr for such houses and here's one example

Image

In this case, if the homeowner had carried on the down-slope of the main roof, internal ceiling heights would have got lower, and the more common choice of a flat roof would not have looked good IMHO

As Robb says, this is something that an architect with the right experience should be able to address and solve any run-off issues.

BTW Robb, when we designed our place and started to finalize room sizes with door placements and fixtures and furniture, we found Floorplanner to be very useful as it has a full range of "pieces" in its library.

Last edited by scowsa on Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby johnnyapollo » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:48 am

A couple of things Rob -

First, I love the general feel for the design and I applaud your efforts in learning SketchUp - I've taught a few classes and the program, while easy to get started can be rather intimidating to most people. Kudos!

Second, you know my home is a "butterfly and a half" and the biggest drawback I've found is in guttering the bottom of the "v" to get the excess water away from the house. You will need to plan well ahead for that - think about all the water from the two slopes ending up in two small gutters (mine are about 28" wide) - not bad with a regular rain but during downpours they over-fill. You'll want to design a gutter at least 6" from front to back and the down-tube should be of similar diameter. You'll then need to provide a way for the water to flow away from the house - you may need to bury a drain that goes back under your home (I don't remember which way the ground slopes) otherwise you could have issues with pooling.

Finally, I've been in several modernist homes with the port-cochere design (that's the pass-through) - in your case it looks to be just for parking - most of the homes I've seen extend the drive so you can enter/exit from either open end. Those homes I've been in that have an unconnected addition on the other end get rarely used, unless it's a business-use studio or similar. As mentioned previously the disconnection does not lend itself well to family living. If you're using the space for a specific purpose then it can make sense, especially if you intend to use it for practice sessions or other tasks (like a workshop) where you would like to insulate the rest of the home for sound. When you talk to your architect, provided he/she is good, he/she will probably raise the same concerns.

Just a few things to think about.

-- John
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Postby egads » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:54 am

For the stated use (studio & Casita) having them detached is desirable. What I wonder about is why the step down to go outside? I understand it as an existing feature of house, but why not lower the floor of the addition? One of the things I would do if it's necessary is to broaden the steps to make them more gracious and provide space for potted plants. Often a builder will provide the minimum code requirement for steps and pads to the outside knowing that, once sold, a landscape plan will have them torn out and replaced.

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Postby robbhouston » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:28 am

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Postby robbhouston » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:35 am

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Postby blinkbeforebeauty » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:04 pm

Hi Robb -
1st of all, I really love your home. I think the entry / atrium modifications you did were really well thought out and executed pretty well. I am impressed that you have taken the time to learn sketch up and put so much thought into the addition in the back of your place. The more you understand what you want the easier it will be to accomplish the project.

From my perspective, I am an architect in orange co california, I feel that your proposed roof connection from the original home to the addition feels a bit out of scale and to me it detracts and overpowers the simple geometry of your current roof. Like others have said, I feel that simple roof forms might better serve your project. It might be worth considering disconnecting the two roofs. One existing roof of your current home and one roof for the carport / addition. It might be possible to lower the carport roof to be a little lower that your current roof and make it a separate structure that doesn't read as such a large mass. What does the rear elevation of your home look like?

I am not against the butterfly roof in the back, but I feel that connecting the two roofs in the way that you have isn't the best solution and doesn't do justice to your current place. If you do the butterfly you have to have a plan for the water. It might be better to have a cross slope so the water drains to the back of the addition. You could even utilize a roof drain and storage tank to store water for irrigation.

For the design of the living area in the back I echo joe's comment about the very slight bend in the plan. I don't think such slight bend is doing anything for the overall design and seems arbitrary. It really isn't going to add that much to the costs, but it isn't adding anything. Simple is better. I also feel that the 3 sets of steps is overkill. Do you want 3 sets of entries into that part of the house? It makes more sense to lower the finished floor height, especially if this would be possibly used for an elderly family member later. Any reason this wouldn't be a slab on grade? (IE 1 step up into the house?) Any flooding issues in your area?

I also feel like some design element (fence / landscaping / trees)needs to be placed around the courtyard you are implying with the design. The open expanses of sliding glass doors are great, but having them just face back out to the street with no buffer seems harsh. Was the proposed / thought about pool being planned to go in between the house and the addition?

You have def sparked my interest in your project. Sorry for the long response. Keep studying your ideas, and def get a local architect involved. It will be worth the investment.
cheers!
Brian

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Postby robbhouston » Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:21 am

Hey all,

Just wanted to give a quick update. I really appreciate everybody's input. The extra brain power has help tremendously. I also got fresh input from friends and family, who had good points.

I went back to the 2D model I did of our existing house and put in all the interior walls properly (which I hadn't before). Staying in 2D, I started over, hashing out lots of different approaches. As some said here (and friends and family agreed), we needed to clarify what it was we were trying to accomplish. Here's the bullet list…

1. MOVE MY MUSIC ROOM OUT OF THE HOUSE SO OUR FUTURE KID WILL HAVE A BEDROOM. Get all my music gear and instruments out of one of the 2 spare bedrooms and into a dedicated office/studio space that is separated from the house enough to act as a noise barrier. Newly opened bedroom will serve as future nursery.

2. ADD EXTRA LIVING SPACE THAT COULD BECOME FUTURE IN-LAW QUARTERS. First use, media room, repurposed later if needed as "wheelchair friendly" in-law quarters (my parents live in the same town as my wife and I, and are becoming quite elderly). Also, new structure could serve as "pool house" for possible future pool. Also, configure so new space could be repurposed as rental apt (ie: just enough separation and key-lockable doors). Bonus use (if possible): Configure so that new media room is assessable from master, creating a spacious master suite (see current plan…perhaps an invisible moving bookcase door that could later be locked/retired should the space become in-laws/rental…that's out there, I know).

3. EXPAND MASTER BEDROOM. Currently 11' x 12' 8" and barely fits our king, much less it + furniture. Right now we use some modular stuff I built for my previous place (a tiny one-room efficiency apt.) as headboard/nightstand/end-of-bed TV stand, and have a chest-of-drawers in the closet.

4. ADD LARGE GARAGE. Current garage is barely one (small) car sized. Sound insulate new garage so as to be useable as rehearsal/recording space. Studio/office and new garage must be adjacent (ie: cables can be run between the 2 spaces, gear can be rolled between, etc..).

One of the things we've come to realize is that we don't want to build a better house behind our house (ie: like my first impulsive-flash-of-inspiration plan…see previous posts). We love our house and want it to continue to be our main living space. That's why the kitchen area in the new addition is just a small kitchenette/galley type thing. Cooking a big meal? Use the big (current) kitchen. Popcorn and a beer for a movie? The kitchenette. I threw out the fireplace idea for the same reason. If we want a fire, we have a fireplace in our current living room. You get the idea…

Below are links to 4 PDFs (thought the resolution would be better than JPEGs) of the latest version (believe me, there've been a ton). One is the existing floor plan of our house. The others show the new addition configured as a media room, and then as in-law quarters. These are 2D plans. That said, the 4th PDF is a perspective, looking across the plan. Thought it might help visualize?

http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... isting.pdf
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... config.pdf
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... config.pdf
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... ective.pdf

I'd appreciate any thoughts. I've resisted going 3D with it, as once you go there altering it is more labor intensive. So, staying 2D for now.

Thanks!

--Robb
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Postby robbhouston » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:46 pm

Hey all,

Been hacking away at our home expansion plan. Below are a few exports from SketchUp of my latest efforts. But first, a quick review of the existing house..

Front
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... ission.jpg
Side
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... io1_lg.jpg


Latest designing effort...

Front
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... /front.jpg
Side
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... 1/side.jpg
Back
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... 1/back.jpg
Roofline
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... ofline.jpg
Floor plan
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... orplan.jpg
Top Cutaway...
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... utaway.jpg

I know it is not always favorable to change a house that already "is what it is" so to speak. I do love our house. But, we really will need the additional space (for reasons mentioned earlier in the thread... ie: kid+in-laws). Perhaps sooner now than later. That's why I've been working so hard at this first step...coming up with a solid basic plan that I can take to an architect.

Thanks again for everyone's ideas previously posted. This latest version has come after many many (many many many) other versions. Way too many to count. Any thoughts and ideas are, as always, very welcome.

Happy Spring-time everybody.

--Robb
Last edited by robbhouston on Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby scowsa » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:19 pm

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Postby egads » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:45 pm


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Postby robbhouston » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:36 am

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Postby robbhouston » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:31 am

http://www.nashvillemodern.com

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Postby robbhouston » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:53 pm

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Postby johnnyapollo » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:23 am

He could always put his scooter collection in the front garage, and cars/trucks in the back...
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Postby robbhouston » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:02 am

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