Tag Archives: attic conversion

remodeling design award

We submitted our “Bridge House” project to the annual Remodeling Design Awards in the Spring and were thrilled in June, during a particularly challenging work week, to get a voicemail saying we’d been given a Grand Award for the project. Woo-hoo! This was a fun project, and only really possible by having great clients who were receptive to our ideas. Sometimes I feel that working in Victorian houses is restrictive and in this case we came up with some great ways to mix old and new…I wasn’t sure which category to submit to but I chose ‘historically sensitive renovation‘. This was the first project for Farooq on our team: he saw it all from climbing up into the dark attic to winning the award.

A huge thanks from our team to the judges for this Grand Award!! We’re very proud and excited to share the pages with the other esteemed architects and designers.

Thanks to the photographers Eric Rorer and Rachel Styer for capturing the house, and Mixed Nuts for some of the staging elements.

Check it out among the other winners here.

…and please vote for it here! (through Sept 26)

A copy of the feature below:

 

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pacific heights part deux

birds eye view

It’s always a treat to return to a house and start the second phase of a project you designed a master plan for. In this case I worked on an interior to-the-studs remodel of this house back in 2009 – see it here in our portfolio and here on the blog as it was ripped apart. This was a fun collaboration with Ian Stallings Design. Above you see an aerial view of the house as it was recently, with a low pitched roof and attic above the main living space. I was thrilled when the new owners contacted me and expressed that they now want to add the top floor.proposed rendering

We worked off the old plans and made some modifications for the new owners. See renderings of the proposed top floor addition – an elegant, flat roof structure with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, office space and large outdoor decks that will tie right in with the existing house. The front deck is largest since here in SF you’re encouraged to set back top additions so they’re not competing with the original facade… like it or not!  Below is a view of the rear of the house, with the new intimate master bedroom deck overlooking the existing courtyard space below.

rendering

roof removal

We’re working with Cook Construction for this project – a team we’re very happy with. The demolition of the old roof, its 5 layers of asphalt shingles plus original wood shingles, went pretty swiftly. Above, looking toward the front of the house, below, the rear. old attic

redwood framing

A view from within the front part of the attic looking back – you can see all the recessed lighting, wiring, and ducting from the 2009 project.

top floor addition

Just a short time later, the new floor level was framed in. pacific heights

At the very front of the house, you see the old boards of the cornice / parapet. The views open up in this direction.

framing

Above left – the opening for the new staircase. On the right, the only part of the new roof that is sloped is over the master closet, a result of negotiating with neighbors who were concerned by potential impacts to light. They’ve since moved away. front facade

A little over a week later, the top floor has been mostly framed and plywood is up. This is the front wall. master bedroom

Above is the wall of doors and windows from the master bedroom. new view

Lastly, the beautiful view from the office / hallway area, between two adjacent buildings to the hills beyond. Stay tuned – this one’s moving fast!

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noe valley victorian bridge

roof framing

Once the 2×4 flimsy roof was ripped off, the new roof was framed back up pretty quickly. The top floor will have new rooms so we needed to take advantage of dormer space, and as much height as possible.  The view above is looking toward the street. old shingles

On the right is a close-up of the layers of shingles, starting with the original cedar shakes from late 1800s and a series of asphalt shingles right on top.  Note there is no waterproofing in the old roofing system! On the left is an old coffee coffee can that was found during demolition.

dormer framing

Here is a view looking toward the back of the house; the roof is a tricky series of angles and shapes. At the very back is the square ‘box’ addition from sometime in the ’80s or ’90s.

remodel

A view from the inside of the new bedroom at the former attic level. It’s a double-ridge dormer. The neighbor’s house is just outside – tight urban living! new dormerFrom the street you barely notice the dormers. There’s my Volvo out front 🙂 dormerThe same view a few weeks later after the plywood sheathing has been installed on walls and roof. triangle windowAnother few weeks and the windows are installed – this is the corner facing the street and Twin Peaks beyond, so we thought it important to have a window along the slope where the dormer meets the roof. Uncommon, but I was able to dig some examples up online. footbridgeThe ‘great room’ will occupy the area at the back of the house on the middle level. There I am crouched on the old attic 2×4 framing, which we repurposed as a bridge walkway to connect the areas of the new top floor.  The photo below was taken sometime between the two photos above, once the attic floor was taken out but before the bridge steel was installed. steel framingI am SO excited to have this steel exposed in the house; it will be a nice mix of Victorian and modern together, and tell a story of the old framing that was reused to build it.  bridge walkwayA view below the bridge toward the rear wall.  bridge sketchA sketch when we were figuring out how the bridge would meet the floor on each side, which were at different heights! lincrustaAbove is a detail of the existing lincrusta wall covering featuring birds (Swallows?) original to the house. Most of it was removed but will be replaced.  Next to that is the rectangle of a closed window found behind the refrigerator. Much of the work at the upper two levels happened while the new concrete footing was being poured around the perimeter of the house at the ground level. Groundwater was discovered during excavation which set the progress at the ground floor back a few weeks.

More to come!

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noe valley victorian

noe valley victorianHere is a typical ‘railroad flat’ Victorian house in Noe Valley.  The house is nestled among a tight old neighborhood with close neighbors and a narrow, 20′ wide lot. As seen below, the house had a full, unfinished attic – and good views of Twin Peaks and Sutro Tower in the distance. twin peakstwin peaks noe valleyCheck out the spooky, dark attic. So much potential. The photo below was taken after the chimney was removed so there is some light coming in, but the first few times we went up it was pitch. Always a gamble what you may find…animals? bodies? box of money? atticAt the back of the house was a tiny flat-roof room addition housing a pink-painted kid’s room.  Not many windows in the box, creating a huge blank wall above the rear garden. san francisco houseOtherwise the house was in a limbo retaining some Victorian elements and halfway decent updates. bay windowold kitchenThat’s possibly the world’s smallest island in the kitchen!  Aww.  I met the new owners the day after Thanksgiving last year and learned of their quick timeline. A full, to-the-studs remodel was in order!brick foundationSomething else I should point out is the existing brick foundation, on which the house was sitting but was not actually connected to in any way other than gravity!  Yes, the house was not bolted to the foundation at all. It could hop right off in a sharp earthquake. In order to create new living spaces at the basement level, we would have to replace the brick with concrete – a huge ticket item, something not immediately visible and would take up a lot of the budget. tothestudsThe permit was obtained quickly by avoiding the dreaded, 9-12 month ‘neighborhood notification’ process.  We could add dormers and expand into the attic and basement but no major additions.  Demo began as soon as we had a permit. demolitionThe house started to open up. leaded glassWe’ll keep this small leaded window. It’s painted shut but it’s a cute relic.  remodelThe house feels spacious now with the attic and ceiling opened up.  In order to achieve living space within the former attic, we planned to drop the entire ceiling (since we had a generous 10′ height) of the main level. attic remodelAnd just like that the roof is GONE! Except for the front 15′ feet. The contractor said the neighbors were looking out their windows wide-eyed. Seems so bright and spacious up here. Initially the owners wanted to create a small deck up there but I encouraged them to actually use the attic footprint for living space – it will be uniquely shaped with the angled roof but worth it.3d modelA rendering of the house (on the right with mirror twin on the left) showing the new dormers at the roof level. Stay tuned – more to come!

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