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Why tear down the old walls? This family just wrapped a new living-dining-kitchen wing around them.

Tearing off a corner to add on to this little house in Redlands, California, seemed a crime: beautiful redwood shiplap siding had been part of the 1924 kit from which it was built. But the house was just too small for a family of five, and too dark and dated for the owners.

Architect Leon Armantrout of Day & Armantrout in Redlands expanded the cottage with the L-shaped, mostly glass addition you see here, leaving the original siding virtually intact to become inside walls for a bright new living room, dining room, and kitchen.

To link old and new spaces, the old exterior bearing wall was made nonbearing: Armantrout had steel Y-posts fabricated at a welding shop to support both old and new roof sections. Between arms of the Y, where the addition meets the original house, the roof section drops slightly to allow room for ducting and electrical wiring. Here rows of accent lights flank the redwood-planked soffit.

The original house sat 4 feet off the ground; you step down from the old living room to the new poured concrete floor at ground level. The roof line was simply continued over the addition, providing full-height walls at its perimeter and a lofty ceiling (almost 12 feet high) in the center.
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Date:Apr 1, 1984
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