As the days get colder and indoor spaces become a priority, clients often contact us with a similar problem.  They need more room inside their house for their family!

Living in an older home has its charms, from the historic woodwork to light fixtures. But what happens when form doesn’t meet function? Let’s face it, often in older homes we need to make modifications to fit today’s lifestyle. Life has changed since 1913 and your kids don’t want to sleep in a sleeping porch with 3 other siblings. (Although sometimes maybe you want to threaten them with this thought…)

Craftsman Design and Renovation has a reputation for thoughtful, perfectly integrated additions to homes of all ages and styles. We maintain the integrity of your home, enhancing what makes your home unique and often restoring lost details in the process. By thoughtfully listening to you, we help clarify your needs and create spaces that function to meet those needs, while blending the new with the best of the old in a seamless way.  Here’s 5 key stages we go through and the questions we ask when working on a home addition:

1. Listen, listen, listen….we pay attention and help you formulate priorities based on your needs, your home’s potential, and your budget. Our end goal is to understand your needs and meet those needs with great solutions.  

  • What are your needs? An additional bedroom? A master suite? A bedroom and office space?
  • What makes sense for the home? Can the basement or attic be utilized with a dormer addition?
  • What can the house handle structurally? What are the ramifications of adding another story to the home?
  • What is the best configuration of existing and added space to ensure meets your priorities?

For these clients we created a full second floor with family room, kids bedroom and bathroom, and master suite.

2. Pay attention to the scale and proportion of the home. We firmly believe that great design does not mean big. We often find solutions that utilize existing spaces in better ways, preserving as much as possible and adding new space that is proportional to your existing home.

  • Ever see a floating box addition? Our worst nightmare.
  • Many older homes were built smaller and a large, over-scaled addition can make the rest of your home feel dwarfed. A well-proportioned addition feels like it belongs.

This dormer fits right in with the rest of the home.

3. Take design cues from the existing home, both inside and out.

  • Our designers and carpenters carefully examine roof pitches, eaves, rafter tails and exterior (and interior) house detailing.
  • Windows are examined to determine size, placement and style.
  • Replicating and extending existing details such as rafter tails and overhangs will unify the addition with the existing home.

The dormer, window, and rafter tail detailing of this second story addition match the original structure – while providing 3 additional bedrooms, a bathroom and laundry room for this family.

4. We are often confronted with homes that has been poorly modified and stripped of their original details, or “re-muddled” as we like to say. With a thorough understanding of historic homes styles and careful examination of the existing structure, those missing elements and details can be restored. We start our study on the house and work our way out into the world from there.

  • What does the existing home tell us? We often find outlines of removed elements in the layers of paint. Spliced trim indicates a possible structural change.
  • What fits in the neighborhood? We walk the neighborhood looking for similar homes that have where built in the same time period (Often by the same builder).
  • What fits within the time period and style of the house? We have an extensive library of architectural and period style books that we rely on. Many based on Portland and regional homes.

This home had been stripped of its originally detailing, which we restored.

5. Build to make it look like it’s always been there. We feel an addition should add to the home, in more ways than additional space.

  • We build with the best materials available to blend seamlessly with historic materials.
  • We up-grade using the latest building practices, while integrating them in the least intrusive ways.
  • Sometimes, the best compliment is: “What did you do? It all looks like its always been here.”

This dormer addition included a new master suite with closet, master bath, office and a new kids bathroom.

Make your older home a home your whole family loves.  Contact us today to help you with your addition project: 503-239-6200.