Before & After (aka, Hide & Seek)…

Remodels & Additions are often much more challenging to design than a New Home.  For starters, I must create a completely accurate model of the existing structure, which involves taking detailed measurements and lots of photographs.  Ever hear of the terms “Plumb”, “Level”, or “Square”?  Well, the builders of many older homes haven’t, or at least didn’t build them to stay that way.

While measuring and subsequently designing the 3D model of the home, my superpower of “x-ray vision” kicks in.  I do my best to “see through” walls, floors and ceilings to figure out the direction and size of framing members – the structure of the home.

Other factors that complicate the design of an addition involve Regulations.  Zoning Ordinances limit the overall bulk and height of a structure, as well as how close it can approach the property lines.  If there are Wetlands on the property, the Conservation Department will also have restrictions.  Flood Zone on the lot? More restrictions.  Septic System? Health Code will have even more restrictions on the number of bedrooms allowed and separation distances.  If I blogged once a week, I’d easily fill up the year with posts with great stories of all the challenges we’ve encountered and creatively overcame when designing additions.

I’ve just put together some Before & After images.  Each one shown has a backstory of challenges that we overcame.  But let’s keep it light and fun… Can you see the “old” within the “new”???

This waterfront home was already at maximum lot coverage; in a Flood Zone (FEMA “50% Rule”); and had Conservation restrictions.

This home, also with water views, was in a Flood Zone, was at maximum coverage (we could only add above the existing footprint), and Zoning Regulations limited how much of the 3rd level could be habitable. The owner wanted Modern; this is the result of our creative “cooperation” with all the regulations.


A very “tricky” addition to a Split Level Home….The trickiest type of home to add to without creating a botch job.


Are you in the early stages of contemplating an addition or renovation?  Check out my “Needs & Options Review” offer (or refer it to a friend!).  This no-obligation First Step will take away all your wondering and worrying about what you can or can’t do with your home, and start you off with a plan for success!


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