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E03 Kirkland Cottage Rescue

The 50’s and 60’s saw a boom in home construction in the Houghton area of Kirkland. Some families who raised their children are now relocating and others see this area as a very desirable place to live, a combination that has resulted in many single story smaller homes being razed and replaced with “McMansions”. These owners were lucky to find a seller whose desire to sell to owners outweighed her willingness to succumb to builders’ offers.
E03 Kirkland Cottage Rescue

Robertson GreenBuilt

The 50’s and 60’s saw a boom in home construction in the Houghton area of Kirkland. Some families who raised their children are now relocating and others see this area as a very desirable place to live, a combination that has resulted in many single story smaller homes being razed and replaced with “McMansions”. These owners were lucky to find a seller whose desire to sell to owners outweighed her willingness to succumb to builders’ offers.

We were lucky also to find an architect and a builder who understood our desire to minimize the impact of our remodel of the existing home.

We turned what was once a tiny (< 800 sq. ft) shed-roofed box with virtually no insulation and less than 2100 square inches of south facing windows into Snow falling on new cottagea sunlit cozy “Cottage” with gable roof, solar PV and thermal water preheat, sunny loft, sheltered front porch and a radiant heated slab-on-grade bed and bath addition that did not sacrifice the growing space in the back yard while increasing the size to 1150 sq.ft.

Existing hot water tanks were replaced with on-demand tankless making room for shared office space and guest wallbed/worktable and an owners' bath vanity cabinet was recently installed using Kirei board drawer facings with Vermont Natural Coatings finish, paperstone countertop and glass tile backsplash. It encloses a European style ventless condensing washer-dryer. A cozy day bed is being added in the loft.

The existing lawn was all converted to planting beds for natives, a rain garden/swale, vegetables and small fruits, qualifying this yard as a certified backyard wildlife habitat. Pervious surfaces were maintained and much of the materials used for construction were either re-purposed on site, salvaged from neighboring tear-downs, or purchased from ReStore. Most of the home was insulated using icynene spray in foam and new efficient windows, Hardiplank siding and metal roof were installed to better protect it from the elements. The interior is also much quieter and the adjacent bus line less of an auditory intrusion. Minimal new interior surfaces were added and all were finished using low or no VOC paints, some remixed from leftovers from other projects, including a “sunset wall” that combined paints leftover from each of the owner’s previous homes to create the impression of a sunrise or sunset sky.

Creative, space saving and artful touches abound in this welcoming home that makes the most of its still small size.

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