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Rebuilding an addition on our house this year.

Post in 'The Green Room' started by zelachowski, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. zelachowski

    zelachowski New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Loc:
    SW NH
    I just joined the group a few days ago after reading the forums for a few weeks. I live in SW NH and have an 1840's center chimney cape on 53 acres. The house has 4" of spray or foil faced urethane all the way around. This insulating was done when I had all the outside walls open for sill work and wiring. The attic was unfinished so the spray foam was a no brainer. The house had been a camp and hobby farm for the same family since 1929. We have the original 1840's windows in place(nine over six) w/ interior storm windows sealing out the drafts. Our main heat source is a 25 year old Woodstock Classic. The ell we intend to redo or tear down was put up in the 1930's on an early foundation. If we tear this down and redo it we want a super insulated replacement. The goal would be to make it look like it goes with the house. The new ell would contain a full bath, kitchen and living room w/ vaulted ceiling(wife request). The current size is 21X31 and is 1 1/2 stories. Over the kitchen we want a 1/2 bath to serve guests. Now my question is for you. Is there a place we make a blueprint for something like this or do any of you know builders or architects, that could design this? We've been thinking about this for eight years and are ready to do it, but you only get one chance to do it right. I asking for a little guidiance. Thanks.

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  2. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,207
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    Welcome to hearth!

    Very interesting project!! Your house sounds very similar to ours and your project idea is something we have wanted to do as well - our back ell is 1 story with attic above and we always wanted to build it up to put an extra bedroom/bath up there. Not in the cards budget wise for many years over here.

    Not much advise I can offer other than it seems you have the right idea trying to find an architect to work with. Has to be some around that deal with historic preservation. I think the biggest challenge you will face with an old cape is that to make it look like it really belongs, and not overshadow the original part of the house you have to keep the roofline of the addition at or lower than the roof of the main house. Just my not so humble opinion.

    If you do go forward Id love to hear more about your progress. and pictures. Shameless plug- we love this stuff over at the forums at oldhouseweb.com and there are some folks there who may be able to help.


    BTW, I'm very jealous of your original windows. Glad to hear you were able to retain them. I'm guessing they are single hung? I still have some nice old 6 over 9's upstairs but I'm sure they are not original as they are double hung with counterweights.
  3. zelachowski

    zelachowski New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Loc:
    SW NH
    Thanks for the reply. This cape is my third and last old house. I started with an old cape in 1983, then a two story colonial and now this one. I have visited the oldhouseweb in the past for research. I'm excited about the possiblities for energy efficiency, plus including renewables into this new project. We've come along way as we burned seven cords the first winter and it was cold inside, now we use four cords and its in the 60's and 70's(plus a much happier wife). I see you are in Holliston, MA I grew up in Ashland, but have been in SW NH since 1983.
  4. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,253
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    If you're willing to give it a try Google Sketch-Up is free and easy to use to draw up such plans. Even if the plans aren't blueprints you can still take them to your architect or design-builder for them to use as reference.

    Apologies in advance to the architects out there: I'd recommend you seek out a good local builder who also does design. Typically, matching an addition to the core structure is not that hard. You just need to incorporate similar roof angles, windows, trim details, and materials to integrate the addition well.

    The Fine Home Building and Journal of Light Construction websites should be helpful too. This topic is often written on.
  5. zelachowski

    zelachowski New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Loc:
    SW NH
    Thanks for the information. I will give Google Sketch-up a try. I have a good eye for design and have been around old buildings for 30 years. The super insulating and all that goes with it ventilation, heating(or how little) are where I will fall short. I like the idea of a designer and builder, as I will not be building it.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    45,975
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I would recommend skipping the vaulted ceiling. There is little benefit to this style. Go for higher ceilings to have a nicer proportioned room but use common sense here. There is no gain by adding a lot more cubic ftg to the space that is unused.
  7. zelachowski

    zelachowski New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Loc:
    SW NH
    Thanks for that. Do you want my number, so you can talk to my wife? I've discussed this with her at length, it's her payback for making her live in an antique house. Hopefully, at the design stage we will come up with a hybrid version of a vaulted ceiling.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    45,975
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    My wife is the opposite, she totally prefers an older house, but can totally do without cathedral ceilings. And we pay for that too. :) I'll let the two of them work it out. LOL

    The real payback as a couple will come from saving a lot of money and paying off the mortgage early.

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