Home Renovation Project
Totally Phased: Charlestown Farmhouse with solar-heated floors and solar electricity. We have clients who want to do one project this year, another in 2, and maybe more as the family grows. When we hear this from a client, we know we can work with the big picture in mind. Then we can build it one phase at a time, resulting in the best possible design and financial outcome for our client. One thing I can tell you about 18th and 19th-century homes is that closets and circulation were not major considerations. This house was small, and that was part of its charm. I think we lose something when families are scattered to the far corners of the house, and in this case, more square footage for the first child wasn’t necessary, but a master suite with lots of closet space, daylight, and privacy was. Knowing there were more kids to come, we decided to leave the 3 small rooms on the second floor as is. We pushed up the roof with a dormer and lots of windows overlooking pastures and woods. We separated the dressing room and bedroom with a beadboard wall which became a 12’ long closet on one side. We added built-in dresser drawers into the sloped area opposite the closets for 12’ of a dresser and bureau space. In the bathroom we exposed a stone wall, sealed it for the shower, and installed glass doors. A few years later we extended only one wall on the south side a few feet, raised the roof just enough, and vaulted the ceiling with old beams and skylights. We created an open bright and communicative area and renovated the kitchen and dining room. A large island separated the kitchen from the traffic areas, at the same time creating a fantastic workspace and tying together the first-floor family hub. The more formal dining room and quiet living room were just a few steps away. Always thinking about energy efficiency and cost, we provided free heat for the house and the pool by installing a radiant floor heated by a solar water heating system. When the seasons changed, we transferred the solar water heating to their pool, extending the swimming season by months, and at no cost. Next, it was the timber-framed garage/shed. A solar electric system was added a few years later... The kids are grown and out of the house now, and the house is just the perfect size for them, not too big, but with enough room for the grandkids.