Going up; this month, another strategy for remodeling your house; adding a second story.
The peak-roofed cottage on Coronado Island, near San Diego, was one of four adjacent two-bedroom, one-bath, 800square-foot summer rentals. The new level adds 600 square feet and a more contemporary look, but one that still blends with surrounding houses.
A tight budget and a small lot kept the "footprint" (existing foundation) almost unchanged. Most of the new space was added upstairs-a new master bedroom, bath, and office.
The office and bedroom are housed in one long room; a stepped half-wall and changes in floor level define the two spaces without blocking views and light. Metal tie rods spanning the room's width provide support for a 15-foot-high peaked ceiling.
The addition, designed by San Diego architect Joseph Cristilli, steps back from the front of the house in two ways. Outside, the new peaked facade starts 8 feet back from the original front wall. Inside, the second floor starts another 6 feet back from the facade, leaving room for an interior light well that soars almost 25 feet from the living room to the new roof, brightening both floors.
Adding a second floor might be the most challenging way to remodel your house. Compared to reshaping existing space (discussed in last month's Sunset), or additions that expand a house laterally (the topic next month), adding a second story can be the most structurally demanding, intrusive, and expensive remodeling option.
But, if your house already fills your lot, if you want to preserve garden space, if you yearn for views that lie beyond your neighbor's rooftop, if you want to add light to your interior spaces, or if you wish to create some startling architectural touches by emphasizing height, adding a second story might be the answer.
Here and on the following pages, we show different ways homeowners have added a new floor. For most, the reason for going up was simple: there was no place else to go. Under local building codes, the existing house covered as much lot space as possible. (Most codes specify the percentage of a lot's surface area that can be covered by buildings.)
Since blending a new floor with an existing house offers structural and esthetic challenges, you'll probably need the help of both an architect and a structural engineer. Together they must determine whether the existing foundation can bear the weight of the added floor; where to add supporting pads, posts, and stiffening shear walls; and how to tie the new roof into the old. Other concerns are where to locate stairways, and whether the addition should rise abruptly from the foundation or step back to make the house seem less massive.
Many communities have design review committees that approve, amend, or deny remodeling proposals. Your community may have regulations limiting the height of additions, usually to preserve the views, privacy, or solar access of neighboring houses. Check all codes before starting your remodel.
With two sons entering their teens, Eric and Judy Monkonnen decided their family was outgrowing its home. They had ambitious dreams for their late 1940s tract house with its single bathroom and three small bedrooms: they wanted a new master bedroom, a second bath, and an office. Los Angeles architect Barton Phelps met the challenge.
Phelps' strategy was to add space by heading upward, at the same time opening up the existing house's boxy sequence of rooms.
The new master suite and office rise over the bedroom side of the house a little like a captain's bridge on a ship. The office tucks into the gable, at one end of a hall that links office, bathroom, and master bedroom. Phelps reinforced the house's two-story exterior wall with plywood and added 4-by-6 posts to the central interior supporting wall.
From the outside, the living room half of the house appears untouched. But inside, it gains a bright sense of space from a new adjacent two-story stairwell that replaces the old bedroom hallway. The stairway's stepped wall has built-in bookshelves and cabinets on the side that faces the living room. Clerestories at the top of the stairwell bring daylight down to the living room, blurring boundaries between levels.
Dramatic volume can be the biggest surprise of a second-floor addition. The remodels on these two pages show what happens if you don't run the second floor from wall to wall.
When architects Kristy Berner and Dan McAuliffe added onto their Sacramento house, they expanded slightly outward (by incorporating a small porch) and emphatically upward. Now, instead of the 8foot ceilings in most of the original rooms, their new family room rises 27 lofty feet.
As in many of the remodels we show, the new upstairs holds a generous master bedroom suite, which includes a bath, sleeping area, and office. Downstairs, the existing kitchen seems larger since it opens onto the new 10- by 20-foot family room.
To accomplish a remodel of this scale, the McAuliffes first had to completely remove the old roof. Then they replaced old ceiling joists with sturdier 2-by-10s to bear the new floor's weight, added posts and beams to frame the family room, and sheathed the walls with plywood for shear strength. For access to the upper floor, a long stair runs up one side of the family room to the open office above.
A little deception outside can create a big surprise inside. Windows above the porch of this enlarged bungalow make it appear as if there's a room up there. Actually, the windows are part of the two-story-tall area that greets visitors once they step inside Kathy and Joe Cuffaro's house. As in the remodel shown at right, this area opens up and brightens adjacent rooms.
To expand the lower floor, Galvin-Cristilli Architects of San Diego pushed out modestly toward the street, incorporating a partially enclosed sunroom. A new front porch, accented with three posts at each corner, extends forward for a more gracious, better sheltered exterior entry To lessen the house's bulk and make it seem less vertical, the second floor steps back from the lower one.
Inside, a long, open stairway angles up from the front door to a new master bedroom suite. The stairway stands slightly away from the side wall, which was pushed out to create a tall bay rising up the side of the house. A window seat tucks into the bay beneath the stairs. This intimate alcove, just off the living room, has its own built-in bookcases and space for a game table.
Sometimes an original foundation can't support the weight of a second floor, and an entirely new foundation must be installed. The strategy of replacing an old foundation is to jack up the house, dig out the foundation, and pour the new one.
Such was the case in Carol and Don Mullen's two-bedroom 1910s cottage. But when they jacked up their house to put in the new foundation, they kept going untit the house stood 11 feet above the ground.
Because there was nothing structurally wrong with the roof and walls of the original 950-square-foot cottage, they were able to reuse as much of the old house as possible; they saved the cost of a new roof by putting the new floor below the old.
The result is a shingle-clad house recalling the graceful lines and detailing of the Craftsman era. The new first floor and a new rear wing raise total floor space to 2,800 square feet.
In one fell swoop San Francisco architect Mark Mack brought the familiar form of a 1950s ranch-style house into a contemporary architectural idiom.
Mack cut out the center of this low, broad, double-wing house. He inserted a two-story stucco addition that contrasts with the original structure in height, form, texture, and color. The original wings radiate from the terra cotta colored addition, which incorporates a livingdining room on the first floor and a master suite on the second level.
Mack's approach allowed the two wideopen living spaces to be stacked on top of each other without structurally disturbing the rest of the house. The plan also accentuates the relationship of the house to its broad rear lawn and patio the low wings now seem like arms stretching wide to embrace the space. French doors on both levels open onto the back garden.
Owners Trish and Dixon Kelly have a private retreat in their upstairs suite, complete with an office, fireplace, sleeping area, and bathroom.
On the first floor, understated colors and textures combine: off-white plaster softens the walls; muted green and terra cotta stains color the concrete floor. A stuccoed fireplace, stained to match the addition's exterior, divides the room into living and dining zones. The same color covers the divider surrounding the upstairs fireplace.
In the adjacent bedroom wing, Mack did away with the interior hall and added its space to existing bedrooms. An outdoor covered walkway functions as a fresh-air hall to the bedrooms.
On hilly sites, just a modest 10-foot rise often reveals surprising views beyond a next-door neighbor or the house across the street. And going up may be the only option in city lots, where houses' side walls often abut each other.
In this San Francisco remodel, architect James Stavoy added a floor and completely opened up the back with windows to take advantage of urban views. Before, the 1,100-square-foot one-bedroom house had the living room oriented toward the street, virtually ignoring views to the rear. Stavoy reversed the floor plan, putting the kitchen on the street side and relocating the living room at the back of the house. The new living room, where bedroom and bath used to be, has a huge window wall and a deck.
The second-floor addition includes a sitting room with an outside deck at the back of the house, a master bedroom, a dressing room, and two bathrooms. The two small baths help give the upstairs suite a great deal of flexibility. Most of the time, the rooms serve as his-and-hers baths. But when guests stay overnight, the sitting room can be completely closed off from the bedroom (as shown below), and the "his" bath becomes the one for guests.
"It's like a tree house," say owners Robin and John Gamper of their new elevated master bedroom. Half of the addition rests on the house's original roof; the other half perches on 8-foot-tall "legs."
The inventive remodel, designed by architect Richard Berteaux of Davis, California, not only gave the owners a private retreat, but it also created a covered back porch underneath.
The 12- by 16-foot addition disturbs as little of the existing house as possible, and only part of the roof had to be removed. Most of the new area sits on two gluelaminated beams with floor joists running between them. The big beams are in turn supported by posts buried in the house walls and by the legs of the overhanging upstairs room.
Downstairs, a small bedroom now functions as a family room opening onto the living room. Stairs to the addition replace a former closet and storage space. At the top of the stairs, a slender hall leads to the bedroom. Clerestory windows help vent built-up heat and bring light down to the center of the house.
Graceful arches and thickened walls give this kitchen a Mediterranean look. They also define living areas better and add storage. Sandwiching the kitchen, the arches accent the entries to a hall on one side and the family room on the other.
Opening the kitchen to the family room, a 7-foot-wide arch rises almost to the full height of the 8-foot ceiling. But a 19-inchdeep, 56-inch-high wall cuts 4 feet into the archway to block views of kitchen counters and appliances. On the dining room side, the half-wall presents a clean, unbroken face; on the kitchen side, it offers a tiled storage cavity.
A narrower arch on the opposite side of the kitchen also cuts through a thickened wall. Here a pantry tucks next to a pair of stacked ovens. It looks only about 9 inches deep, but it's actually almost 23 (it reaches all the way to the studs in the old wall); its 50-inch-width runs the full depth of the ovens, Between the arches, a new greenhouse bay opposite the oven wall extends the kitchen into the garden.
A bright and informal space, the long family room repeats the arched opening along one side and the recessed storage along the other end wall. White paint and hexagonal pavers further unify the rooms. Design: San Diego architect Peter Rodi for Kathleen and Paul Bremner.
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|Date:||May 1, 1989|
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