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A Home for the 21st Century: Part 1, the Exterior

by Build LLC last modified Jan 04, 2012 02:46 AM
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by Build LLC last modified Nov 02, 2010

BUILD LLC remodels a mid-century modern home to last another 50 years.



[All photos and drawings by BUILD LLC]

BUILD LLC just completed the substantial renovation to a mid-century modern home in Seattle’s Innis Arden neighborhood. We thoroughly enjoyed working on this project and couldn’t be more proud of the finished product. There are a couple of key ingredients essential to a project as rewarding as this. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again –behind every great project are extraordinary homeowners and this project is a perfect example. They courageously dove into the adventure of design and construction and we are absolutely honored to have worked with them. The existing home itself incorporated clean lines and a straight-forward design.  The original floor plan was open and flexible, the framing was in good shape, and the foundation was solid. All things considered, it was a great departure point.

A package of smart architectural moves allows the house to be functional and inspiring for another 50 years. Today’s post addresses the exterior strategies of the remodel and we’ll cover a bunch of materials, methods and behind-the-scenes process.

The entire remodel kept to the original envelope, which includes the home and a detached garage. New 1×4 vertical grain T&G (tongue and groove) siding was installed on the house and garage; this siding was positioned horizontally to reinforce the long, low lines of the original home. The siding was finished with a gray Sikkens Cetol SRD stain. The stained cedar compliments the anodized aluminum window package, the Marlin 1505 series, chosen for its high thermal value (thanks to the Solarban 60 Low E & Argon filled glass panels). We used the roto-hardware on operable windows to maintain the clean, machined look of the window package. At the garage, the Modern Classic P516 overhead door by Select Garage Door is made of anodized aluminum and obscure glass. It creates a nice glowing affect at night and looks crisp and clean in the daytime.

If you follow the BUILDblog you may remember that we struggled a bit with the original stonework on the house. After trying some different methods, we decided to paint the stone with a Laxon XP Waterproofing System from Sherwin Williams. The color works nicely with the stained cedar siding as well as the natural cedar of the fences and screens.

The soffits are sheathed with MDO plywood and finished with Sherwin Williams paint. Perimeter soffits are painted dark to fade back in the shadow lines, while the underside of the entry roof is painted white to be more inviting.  The lighter color of the entry canopy celebrates the entry and matches the interior ceiling, providing a visual link between the outside and the inside.

To help guide visitors to the front door and warm up the entry composition, we used a screen of 1×4 vertical grain T&G cedar boards and finished the cedar with a light penetrating stain. We reviewed the cedar screen details in a previous post that you can find here. The cedar screen transitions to a cedar partition that then transitions to a solid cedar wall at the interior of the home. The screen lends privacy to the courtyard between the house and the garage and gives the entry sequence a continuity of material. The courtyard has become home to a relocated Japanese maple and, thanks to the fall colors, the courtyard is a gorgeous exhibit of color.

Between  the house and garage we designed and built an attenuated canopy from sleek aluminum I-beams that support a double-wall translucent plastic membrane from TAP Plastics. Patios, walkways and the driveway were all poured new; expansion joints were cut in afterward, providing a crisp grid pattern on the hardscapes. The landscaping was designed by Stacie Crooks and implemented by Mike Malcham of M-Two Contracting Co.

The new roof is the Kynar 500 24 gauge Easy-Lock standing seam metal system made by Taylor Metal Products and it comes in 12” wide panels. It’s placed over an ice and snow shield underlayment. We used a dark bronze for the color to minimize reflections at adjacent homes, we also like  the look of the darker composition with the light gray siding. New flashing, downspouts, and seamless gutters are color matched to the roof.

For exterior lights we like to use the RAB VC100DG series, they’re a tough industrial light that can weather a good storm and look good doing so. At the entry canopy we soften things up a bit and use Lightolier 5 inch recessed cans with Alzak trim and halogen lamps.

The front entry door is vertical grain fir veneer  with a strand lumber core, the jamb is a single rabbet kerf for a simple function and clean, modern aesthetic. At areas of low traffic, we used Milgard aluminum sliding doors to keep plenty of light and view coming into the house. The doors between the kitchen and the back patio receive a great amount of traffic and we used the La Cantina Bifold door system with tempered glazing, covered in detail here. The far left panel is operable on its own as a passage door, the remaining doors accordion open up to a maximum opening of fifteen feet. The intent was to create indoor/outdoor spaces when the weather gets nice here in the Pacific Northwest.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the series where we tackle the interior of the home.
Cheers from team BUILD and if you’d like to keep a pulse on us, jump on board Twitter.




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