Archive for December, 2009

Farmhouse renovation

Author: Travis Kinney

Here’s an old farm in Georgetown that once belonged to the Swedish Consulate. The renovation was done over a year ago, I just haven’t been back up to photograph it. I came across this photo though and wanted to post it. Next spring, I will try to take a new photo from the same angle. The house looks out over a long sloped lawn that goes down to the water.

Old farmhouse

Here’s their boathouse that they hope to one day renovate. Inside the boathouse is a large winch that was used to pull a motor yacht along a set of steel rails (that are still there) up into the boathouse for winter storage. I’d like to open up a large section of the side of the boathouse with large sliding barn-like doors. So boathouse could be used for evening dinning while overlooking the water.

boathouse

stonework

Author: Travis Kinney

I loved the stonework at a project of mine so much I had a few pieces installed in front of my office. Coastal Lawncare is doing the landscape work at the garage project of mine and did this installation. It was installed last week over the two coldest days we’ve had. There were huge chunks of frost frozen on each piece. It took a combination of a blowtorch, sledge hammer and scraping with backhoe to remove the frozen dirt clumps. I ran ahead of the backfill and installed 4″ rigid perforated drain pipes for later connection of downspouts. They also dig some regrading behind my office and along the side of my barn where I just installed two large barn doors that I built. I’ll have to post a picture of that at a later date as I still need to add some trim and replace one pane of glass that I broke when leaning the door against a shelf bracket. Oops

stonework

I’m going to plant varieted Japanese Hakone grass to the right of the low stonewall

variegated japanese hakone

To the left of the vertical stone will be a 2′ wide boardwalk up to my sliding office doors. On either side of the boardwalk will be the ornamental seagrass miscanthus sinensis.

miscanthus sinensis gracillimus

entry update

Author: Travis Kinney

I designed a new entry roof a number of months ago and went by to check it out.

BEFORE

BEFORE

Above is the photo of the entry I took before starting design. You’d get drenched by rainwater trying to get into the house.

PROPOSED

PROPOSED

Working with the proportions of the existing windows, off center walkway and chimney was a challenge. My final proposal was a roof that spanned from garage wall to chimney.

AFTER

AFTER

Here’s what was built. The three criss-cross brackets came out great. Unfortunately, the contractor sold the owners on using mahogany which cost $1,800 for the material. That was just for the brackets! Makes no sense to do something like that. I specified clear pine, which would have been way less expensive and in keeping with rest of the trim on the house. I felt bad for the homeowners when I found this out. They are going to install a gutter a cross the front. Came out nice.

bracket

bracket

More garage updates

Author: Travis Kinney

I stopped by the jobsite for the garage that is nearing completion and stonework looks incredible! The large weathered granite flags were installed across the front of the garage separating the paving from the slab of garage. The landscape contractor found three circular weathered stones which he installed centered under each wall sconce light. The raised garden-bed across the back of the garage is so nice, it should be out near the road for everyone to see.

garage

garage

The small excavator that you see the right in the photo above was used to move landscape stone around. The metal rod at peak of roof is for a custom weathervane that is being built.

garage wall sconce

garage wall sconce

Unfortunately, the weather was bad when I was at the site so the picture are rather drab colored. You can see one of the round stones below this sconce. The rock looks small in the photo, but is nearly 3′ across.

garage lights

garage lights

These are such nice wall sconce lights. Love that shingle flare!

reclaim

reclaim

Because it is so late in the season, they are installing reclaim asphalt for the winter and will install new paving in the spring. The stonwork across front of garage looks so nice. The strip of stone goes around the corner of the garage to the passage door (can see it behind the “cowboy”). The walkway also continues up to stairway of house.

Attic to office conversion

Author: Travis Kinney
I was recently recommended by a contractor to help a client convert an existing attic to a new home office. The first exercise was to design and draw a switch-back stair that would fit within the existing office space and provide access to this attic which only accessible through a ceiling hatch and step-ladder. This first picture is of the existing attic and the photo is taken from where a future desk would be located.
attic space

attic space

Here’s a schematic floor plan of the proposed office. The photo above and perspective rendering to follow were taken from desk area shown on plan. You can see in the plan, that there are a number of existing fireplace vents and bathroom ceiling vent to be dealt with. I have proposed adding radiant floor heat and spray foam insulation to roof. The GC will be relocating an existing gas fireplace from old office up to this new space. The dark gray rectangles on the plan represent knee-wall storage space. You can see a portion of the new stair at the bottom right of the plan.

office plan

office plan

Here’s the perspective sketch as viewed from desk looking toward relocated fireplace.

proposed office

proposed office

I was also asked to look at their existing living room fireplace. They told me that they really don’t care for it and feel that it doesn’t quite fit the space. This living room has a very tall cathedral ceiling and it surprises me that someone would recommend a flush hearth for a such a tall space, especially when there plenty of room for furniture. The black painted fireplace surround is an off-the-shelf unit that anyone can purchase through Brosco. You would typically see these in a spec house and not a custom designed and built house like this.

living room fireplace - existing

living room fireplace - existing

My proposed change is represented in this following sketch. I would like to see the gas insert removed, existing firebox enlarged and raised, new veneer antique veneer brick and vintage wood constructed surround. The mantel will be extra deep and contain recessed outlets for small tea lamps. I offered to options to the owners for pricing, one would be to make all the cosmetic changes, but forgo the raising of the firebox. It would be less expensive to remove and replace all the existing brickwork, than to tear out and raise the firebox and associated smoke chamber and damper.

On a previous project where a homeowner wanted antique brick, I purchased a pallet of new brick and brought them to the Portland Vo-Tech school where I traded them for a pallet of their used bricks. The school uses a lot of bricks and they don’t use Portland Cement, just a lime mix, so all their bricks look vintage and they love getting new bricks for the students to use.

proposed fireplace changes

proposed fireplace changes

Rangeley, Maine lodge

Author: Travis Kinney
We were up in Rangeley, Maine the other weekend and had a chance to check out the progress of the lodge renovation that I designed. The place looks awesome. I wish I could post some photos of the interior, but there was too much stuff in the way. They are nearing completion and there are boxes and furniture everywhere and they are racing the clock to get the yard picked up before it snows.
Here’s a photo I took when I first saw the place and measured it. Love all those propane tanks! One entrance is up the ramp and into this large room where there are beds and a stair to the basement. The other entry is to the far left in the photo and goes onto an enclosed porch.
entry before

entry before

Here’s what the place looks like now. I designed an addition onto the rear of the building that engulfed the old enlcosed porch. The porch was useless and had absolutely no view, so would seldom be used. It was too “campy.” The new entrance to the right will have a couple of old trees holding up the roof (they haven;t been selected yet for installation).

entry almost complete

entry almost complete

Here’s the floor plan before renovations were started. You can see the ramp to the left of the plan and the enclosed porch in the upper right. The whole heart of the place is the existing living room which had a hint of it’s glory days as a resort lodge. The stairway to the loft, kitchen and first floor bedroom really cut down on the grand scale of the living room and I proposed bringing it back.

Plan before

Plan before

Here’s the proposed plan that was executed. I got rid of both weird entrances and made a new covered walkway to the entry which brings you into a mudroom. The first floor bedroom and office were moved back to where the old enclosed porch was, making the living room much larger. There a loft bedroom and full bath on second floor.

Plan after

Plan after

Here’s a photo I took of the waterside when I was first there.

waterside before

waterside before

Here’s a recent photo that I took. The dining table is located beyond those tall cottage style windows on left. The porch railings and posts will be stained dark brown to match rest of house and foundation wall  and open spave below deck is to be covered with weathered currogated steel. You can see they had a lot to clean up before it started to snow, which was predicted to snow that evening.

waterside renovation almost complete

waterside renovation almost complete