Here are a few photos of our Winter Park Road home during construction.
Here are a few photos during the construction of our most recent project on Lafayette Avenue in Winter Park, FL.
Here are a few photos from the construction of our latest project on Pansy Avenue in Winter Park, FL.
We have two new custom homes just starting construction in Winter Park. Both are 4 bedrooms with 3.5 baths. The first is a craftsman style two story home with 2,650 square feet on Pansy Avenue in Winter Park. The second is a two story, Louisiana-inspired home on Winter Park Road in Winter Park and has just over 3,400 square feet.
One of our clients purchased a modest home that was built in 1956 with a vision of remodeling it. Her priority was enlarging the kitchen and creating a second master suite by expanding one of the smaller bedrooms and the bath. To enlarge the kitchen and create a larger bedroom and bath, the existing kitchen would have to expand into the adjacent sunroom. Some of the space would also need to be used for the new bathroom and master suite. Some additional space could also be captured by expanding into the covered porch adjacent to the sunroom without needing to revise the roof. The original carport had been enclosed years ago and could be used for a new guest bath and laundry room.
Typical of a 1950’s house, the kitchen was very small. It also had three different doors leading into it from the hallway, dining room and sunroom that really hampered its functionality. The new owner really enjoys cooking and entertaining and the small kitchen just wouldn’t cut it. She wanted a pro-style range and a generous island where she could prep while still being able to engage guests in the adjacent dining and family room.
Our challenge was to come up with a plan that would provide a functional kitchen that was open to the adjacent dining and living space, an enlarged bedroom and bathroom, a new guest bath and an expansion of the living room – all on a modest budget. The first task in undertaking such a project is to map out the existing space to see how much square footage we have to work with. Next is determining what walls can be removed without damaging the structural integrity of the home or creating the need for extensive (and expensive) structural changes. Ater drawing the floor plan of the existing house and some careful planning, we determined that we could accomplish the homeowner’s goals by removing a few existing walls and reconfiguring the interior space while adding just over 50 square feet of interior space under the existing covered porch roof.
Here are a few photos of the project. We’ll add more photos as the project continues so you can follow its progress.
We’re currently working on a project that was in very sorry shape when we started. The house was built in the early 1960’s and had been vacant for a period of time after the previous owners had been foreclosed on. One of the first questions we were asked by the new owner was whether we should tear it down or keep some of it and remodel it. We often get asked that question by owners of modest homes where the property values have escalated. Whether or not to keep an older home depends on a number of factors. In some instances the vacant lot may be worth more than the structure on it. Sometimes there may be value in the old home or a reason to keep at least a portion of it.
One of the first considerations on whether to keep the old structure may have to do with the size of the home in relation to the size of the lot it is sitting on. We do a lot of work in a city where the buidling requirements have changed from when many of the older homes were built. There are now more regulations about how much pervious area the lot has and how far from the property lines you are allowed to build. Some older homes are larger and closer to the property lines than we are allowed to build today. If you remodel an older home, you may be grandfathered in and may be allowed to remodel or tear down a portion of an existing home and rebuild in its existing footprint a larger home than you could if you tore the entire structure down.
The second consideration concerns the value of the structure. If the bones of the house are in good shape and the layout is one that will still work with your new plans, the existing structure probably has some value. For example, if you were to keep 500 square feet of space that might just need some cosmetic work, at $100 per square foot for new construction, that existing space has a value of $50,000. That $50,000 could go pretty far toward a new kitchen, master suite or new car in the garage. Keeping some existing bedrooms that are still adequate while adding a new master suite is one example. Any money that you can save might help you get what you want for your budget, or possibly even make it a little nicer.
You might also consider the amount of material that you are keeping from being dumped in a landfill. Some things can be recycled, but the majority of the structure that is torn down will end up in a landfill. So if you’re concerned about the environmental impact, it’s wise to see how much of the existing structure can be reused. Our construction methods haven’t changed all that much in the last 70 years or more. Interior walls are still normally constructed of 2×4 studs. In the past those 2×4’s may have been covered with plaster instead of the gypsum drywall we use today, but otherwise there’s not much difference. Electrical outlets and switches can be relocated and new wiring pulled if necessary to meet current codes. Exterior walls constructed of concrete block are also much the same today. We typically insulate the interior side with better materials, but those materials can be applied to an existing wall as well.
So if you are thinking about purchasing a property with an existing home, it might be wise to consult with a design firm that specializes in remodels and additions to help you evaluate whether portions of the home can be retained before calling in the bulldozers.
Our “Guest Nest” project in New Smyrna Beach was just used as a location for a Beall’s television commercial. The outdoor entertaining and pool area was used as well as the main residence as a background in the commercial.
How do you go about designing your ideal kitchen? You may be familiar with the term “form follows function”. This is essentially the best methodology for designing your perfect kitchen. The idea here is to design a kitchen that works for the way you live, cook and entertain. Not everyone lives the same way or cooks the same. You may like certain types of appliances, or do a lot of baking. Perhaps you entertain a lot or hardly at all. You may like someone to help you in the kitchen or you may prefer that everyone stay out of your way when you’re on a mission. All of these things need to be considered when designing a kitchen that works for the way you do. The form, including the layout, appliances and plumbing, should follow the function.Read more
While doing some research for one of our clients, we came across some information on various home styles that was very helpful. It is a brief outline of the distinguishing characteristics of each style. We’ve reposted it here along with representative photos of each style.
Colonial – Adams / Federal:
• Symmetrical exterior, with central door
• Two or more stories
• Circular or elliptical windows
• Often a plain brick or clapboard-style façade
• Low-pitched roof, or flat roof with balustrade
In general, colonial homes feature symmetry, with centered doorways and a balanced array of windows. The exterior is usually brick or clapboard siding. Colonial Federal style homes present a formal, rigorously balanced face to the street. Rooflines can be peaked with little overhang, although larger versions sometimes feature a flat roof flanked by a decorative balustrade. Their close cousin, the Colonial Adam/Federal house also presents an elegant and balanced façade. The homes have an airy, delicate feel, with carefully thought-out – but not ostentatious – detailing.Read more
If you are designing your own kitchen, here are the guidelines from the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) that will help you create your ideal kitchen layout. These are the guidelines that I follow when designing kitchens for my clients. They are designed to maximize safety and functionality. Keep in mind there are constraints with existing kitchens, which might require some compromises. These are guidelines to be followed as much as possible. The only true rules you must follow are your local building codes.Read more