Eco-Friendly Home Remodel
From: Katarina Andersson
A complete home remodel can be pricey, but designer Katarina Andersson found she was able to give this duplex the boost it needed by choosing quality materials and nixing details that weren't important to the overall functionality of the home.
What were the main items on the family’s wish list?
Preserving the old duplex exterior built in 1905 and converting it to a single-family home. Low energy and use of sustainable materials were also high on the list.
What was the single largest challenge you wanted to address for this client?
We chose an open space plan to keep the home spacious and provide natural light as much as possible throughout the building.
What was your biggest obstacle in this space?
Creating a full height basement, by digging two feet below the existing basement and giving the main floor more height. Heavy steel beams were installed across the entire house to support the new very open floor plan.
How does the end result match up with your original vision for the space?
The original plan had a roof top deck. but as a result of costs we had to leave it out for the time being. Large roof top windows and a door provide an abundance of light and are also a highly effective way to cool the house during the hottest summer days.
What surprised you the most about the project?
The low energy bills — it really paid to spend money on spray-on insulation, energy efficient roof material and radiant heated, warm board floors. It is always important to work with quality materials because the higher costs in the beginning lead to big savings in the long run. Being sustainable is about spending your money in the right places; remodeling labor costs are very high. Most of the furnishings are old, but I feel they give a lot of character to the house.
What are the hidden gems in your plan?
The huge kitchen window overlooking the small garden with a tulip tree. The core steel garage is also provides a beautiful backdrop for year-round scenery. The sauna in the lower lever is a special treat.