My favorite Before & Afters are when talented people buy tired old houses and breathe new life into them. This 100-year-old house in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle shows that a thoughtful approach to design can be modern and sustainable while still fitting in with the surrounding neighborhood.
Todd Smith, of Syndicate Smith, along with his wife Julie bought their 1911 fixer-upper in 2004 and have recently completed an extensive exterior renovation. Like many homes in this area, it had leaky aluminum windows and no insulation in the walls, meaning the heating system had to work extra hard to keep the house warm. The first thing the couple did was to have loose fill insulation blown into the existing wall cavities (this was done from the exterior, allowing them to keep their plaster walls on the inside). Next, they replaced the windows with efficient triple-glazed, metal clad wood windows and re-sided the house with FSC-certified cedar siding. By closing in the old front porch and building a new one next to it, they gained valuable square footage to their living area while maintaining an outdoor space to sit and visit with neighbors. With a few clever design moves and careful selection of materials and products, Todd was able to significantly improve both the appearance and comfort level of their home while staying within a reasonable budget and doing much of the work himself.
(Images: Todd Smith, used with permission)
(Re-edited from a post originally published 02.21.11 - NM)