Where to start? Consult with a trusted architect. I met with Rick Eifler to measure and photograph the house. With a base plan of the existing house, we brainstormed design ideas that would transform the river property I’d purchased. Together we’ve completed scores of renovated and new homes over the past decade.
Our initial inclination was to remodel this old ranch. My primary goal was to take advantage of a site that overlooked the
watershed. Built on an east-west axis, the rear of the house has great southern exposure on the river side. But to get those river views, we would need a second story. And because of the proximity of the house to the watershed, we weren’t going to be able to extend the footprint towards the river one bit. Assabet River
We called in Scott Nelson of Structural Response to check the foundation walls and soil composition to see if the soil and footings would support a second story. They would have, but was this economically viable? The existing rooms were small by today’s standards. Would building a second floor on a 1960s ranch give us a home that met 2010s needs?
We evaluated the state of the existing structure and systems. Nothing had been touched in forty years, except for that roof repair I’d done ten years earlier. A new roof was overdue. The heating, plumbing, and electrical systems all needed to be modernized or replaced. Ditto the original kitchen, bathroom, windows and doors. The septic system had failed. The insulation was inadequate and would be difficult to bring up to code.
We drew up a couple of plans and made cost comparisons of renovating or starting anew. We consulted with some local realtors. The consensus: Take it down and start over.
Stay tuned for our next post on the evolution of this house. . .