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Project Profile: Two families, one house 

04-05-2015 11:21

In 2002, I was contacted by a couple in Ann Arbor, Michigan, who was expecting their first child. Their home was a fairly large Cape Cod, but none of the existing bedrooms was really suitable for use as a nursery. The couple decided to finish the existing attic over the garage, adding a small dormer to the front of the house to match the existing dormers, and adding a shed dormer to the back to make the space much more usable. Unfortunately, the couple's son was born with a rare brain malformation, which meant that he would never be able to walk or talk. This was obviously a devastating blow. For the first few years of their son's life, they were able to carry him around the house. As he got older, he would learn to use a motorized wheelchair, which would be extremely difficult given that the house was not at all accessible. The garage was connected to the house with a narrow mud room which was two steps above grade. From this mud room, there was another step up into the main living level. The boy's bedroom, which he shared with his younger brother, was at the back of the house, at the same level as the mud room. The couple contacted me again in 2006 to address these issues. Although I drew up plans to make the home more accessible, most of these plans were never realized. However, my clients decided to add a carport to the front of the garage so that they could more easily transfer their son in and out of their wheelchair van without being exposed to the elements. This required a zoning variance, but the ZBA was sympathetic. In 2010, my clients contacted me again to add a wheelchair ramp to the front of the house. I drew up some sketches, but they did not complete this project. Instead, they found a house that was already accessible and sold this home. A year ago, in April 2014, I received a call from the home's new owner. They had lived in the house for 3 years with their two young daughters, and had decided to add a master suite over the first floor bedroom, which they used as a family room and playroom. I am currently working on construction documents for this addition. It will be built this coming summer. When the new owners first met with me, I shared the set of "before" photos I had taken back in 2002. When they returned them to me, they said they were glad to see that the attic that was converted into a bedroom was already two steps below the rest of the second floor, because the steps had always bothered them and they wondered if I added them as a design element. It was funny to get that kind of feedback. It has been gratifying to do so many different projects on the same house for two different families. Attic Bedroom Project Team: Architect: Dawn Zuber, AIA, Studio Z Architecture, LLC, Canton, MI Date of completion: 2003 Contractor: Pilon Construction, South Lyon, MI Carport Project Team: Architect: Dawn Zuber, AIA, Studio Z Architecture, LLC, Canton, MI Date of completion: 2007 Contractor: David Klein Construction, South Lyon, MI Master Suite Project Team: Architect: Dawn Zuber, AIA, Studio Z Architecture, LLC, Canton, MI Date of completion: 2015 (anticipated) Contractor: Beechwood Building & Design, Chelsea, MI [Unfortunately, due to a glitch in the software used for this project profile, we were unable to arrange the photos in the appropriate order.]

#addition #CapeCod #CustomResidentialArchitectsNetwork #Twoclients #onehouse

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Front of house in 2002   901K   1 version
Uploaded - 04-05-2015
This is what the house looked like when my original clients contacted me in 2002.
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Front of house in 2006   3.92MB   1 version
Uploaded - 04-05-2015
The front of the house after the carport was constructed.
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Attic interior in 2002   788K   1 version
Uploaded - 04-05-2015
This is the attic that my original clients wanted to turn into a child's bedroom.
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First Floor Plan in 2006   167K   1 version
Uploaded - 04-05-2015
This house was not accessible.
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Second Floor Plan in 2006   123K   1 version
Uploaded - 04-05-2015
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Mud room   3.09MB   1 version
Uploaded - 04-05-2015
The mud room connects the garage to the rest of the house. It's narrow and is a step below the main level of the house.
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Attic bedroom in 2014   3.14MB   1 version
Uploaded - 04-05-2015
The attic bedroom is now used by one of my new client's two daughters.

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