We met our Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman clients at the Broad Ripple Home Tour in Fall 2014 when they were volunteer docents for our Broad Ripple Bungalow project, which was one of the homes on the tour. We were very happy when they called to begin the planning process for their craftsman-style bungalow also on Carrollton, a beautiful, walkable street lined with several excellent Craftsman-Style homes.
Having lived in the home for 20+ years, clients don’t want to leave, but want a respectfully-modern, light-filled transformation to support their lifestyle for the next 20 and beyond. The new design will reflect their personalities and life-stories (who they are and how they want to live) on the inside, while the outside will be a major upgrade fully respecting the Craftsman tradition with a touch of funk.
Since the clients are passionate about good design, high-quality materials, and efficiency (energy + resources), this project was a perfect fit for a design-build approach (Architect-Led Design/Build, via WERK | Building Modern, our construction management company). Is there anyone better to build the project than someone who has worked personally with the owner to dream the concepts and articulate the details? Since we understand the design intent better than anyone, we enjoy continuing the collaboration directly with the trades to ensure that design-intent is realized. This method ensures that our clients receive the custom design solutions as intended. This is very important to us and most of our clients!
The design modifications included in this complete gut/remodel include new everything + personal touches inspired by the owners (exposed details and hardware making a nod to the owner’s father’s background in the building industry, a kitchen laid out to fulfill their culinary ambitions, and a design concept + details that pays homage to the owner’s stringed instruments.) We will share more of the story including INTERIOR DESIGN concepts and renderings as the project progresses – the interiors are what really sets this project apart.
This project is currently under construction; please check back as we will be posting periodic updates. The project is scheduled for completion in spring 2017.
Project Info – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation:
Architecture/Interior Design/Renderings/Photography: HAUS | Architecture
Construction Management: WERK | Building Modern
The Design Process – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
It is important to think about the big picture but also the fine details. At HAUS, we look at every item in depth and work closely with the owners to ensure they have ownership not only in the physical home but also the design process. While we are able to design disconnected from reality, each project has a personality that is reflected by the owner. After all, what we do is service to clients.
Although the construction documents are two-dimensional, we think, see, and live in three dimensions. The image below is a ghosted version of the 3D computer model. One can begin to see all the elements within the spaces, from the structural elements to the furniture pieces. Please check back later for more enhanced interior views – we plan to share those once we have a chance!
Breaking “Ground” – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
Here’s a shot of the existing house as lumber began arriving. The existing eaves were in disrepair and were casually referred to as a raccoon motel by the owner. We will be bringing this bungalow above and beyond its original Craftsman roots from a design, detail, and quality standpoint. This roof is coming off to accommodate the new upstairs.
We managed to get the majority of the lumber in one delivery which worked to our advantage. The site is unique in that is shares a driveway with the neighboring property and much of the landscaping is to remain. We managed to tuck the lumber package back into the owner’s carport and driveway, which gave us room to set a dumpster next to the house, rather than in the front yard or street.
Demolition – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
And with a few swings of the hammer, the renovation has begun! We began by salvaging a lot of elements from the existing space. We donated much of the existing light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and cabinets to Habitat for Humanity for re-use, thus diverting them from going into the dumpster. The existing doors and trims were salvaged for re-use in the new design. It was not our original intent to completely demolish all interior walls and ceilings, but our framer urged us to consider it since that would make the construction process easier for his crew. Let’s do it.
Drop the Top – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
The demolition crew wasted no time with the wonderful Fall weather. The skies were blue and the sun was shining brightly. The weather forecast could not have been any better for the demolition of the existing elements.
Dealing with the Old – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
Upon demolishing much of the existing structure, there were several details that needed to be sorted out before we could proceed with the new framing. The biggest issue being the existing exterior walls not being straight. As an architect-led custom builder, we have an amiable, collaborative relationship with our framer and he brought to our attention the skewed nature of the existing walls. We worked together on site to straighten the exterior walls before moving forward. It was important to do that as it would become the base for the new upper floor and the new roof. Leaving the wall wavy would result in more effort during the framing process but also inconsistent details at the exterior and interior as all the joists and rafters would be sized for each unique condition. Straightening the wall means all the rafters and joists can be cut to the same size.
The existing roof structure was made of 2×4’s, which was greatly undersized by today’s standards. This contributed to undue stress on the exterior walls as it sagged and pushed outward on the top of the wall. The framer noted that at the worst condition the top of the wall was five inches out from the bottom of the wall. The house was seemingly trying to flatten itself. Before moving forward, we worked with the framer to ensure the walls were plumbed and the previous issues were corrected. Once corrected, the floor structure went on seamlessly.
Raising the Roof – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
The framers continued to take advantage of the good weather. Two weeks into the demolition and framing, the roof structure was almost complete. The new form of the home is starting to show as the dormers peel up from the main gable. The roof is being replaced with a higher pitch and beefier structure. The previous rafters were sorely undersized. The higher pitched roof allows for the upstairs to have livable space, unlike the dark, low attic space that used to be.
As the construction progresses, it’s essential to keep an open line of communication. The details executed correctly are the difference between architecture and just another house on the block. It really is all about the details. The skeleton gives you a sense of the scale and proportion of the spaces. Below, the structure is standing tall with its neighbors where it previously seemed to have poor posture.
Installing the lid – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
As the framing for the Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation continues to progress, we start to see some of the details come to life. Here we see the roof sheathing beginning and the window openings are beginning to get cut in as we prepared to wrap the house and install windows. Because the eaves and rakes are left exposed, it is important that the installation of the exposed bead-board decking is done while paying attention to the location of the framing members – we don’t want to see any of the nails poking through.
Here’s a shot of the exposed eaves with the tapered rafter tails. Once the bead-board decking and trims have been installed, all will be caulked and painted.
Standing just inside the front door of the Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation, one can see the volumes of the space starting to take shape. The long skylight at the roof forms a scoop that appears to be funneling light and pouring it into the interior spaces. During the demolition process, the owner noted that for the first time since they’ve lived here that you could see the large tree from the front door. After the new framing and openings have been cut, one can still get a glimpse of the tree through the skylight. While this wasn’t intentional, it was a nice surprise.
New windows – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
The windows for the Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation have arrived and are ready to be installed. Because the project is utilizing a rain screen wall system, we furred out the windows to keep the relation of the window plane to exterior wall consistent. Prior to setting the windows, the plywood furring was installed and then flashed at the sill and jambs. We ensure that all of the details are installed correctly, especially the details that could spell water damage in the future if not installed properly.
The framers for this project were already savvy to the correct flashing methods but were open to a few tweaks in the process. We had the window sill framing set at a slight angle, sloping to the exterior, in order to provide another layer of safety. In the event water ever gets into the sill, the water won’t have a tendency to sheet to the inside of the house, but instead will flow to the exterior. In the image below, we were working beneath the cover of a tarp which cast an eerie blue tint to everything. Once the underlayment for the roofing is installed, we’ll be able to remove the tarp. For the time being, the tarp shall keep the newly installed framing and windows protected from the elements.
The Hat – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
The roofing underlayment for the Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation was installed over the weekend – it seems everybody these days is quite busy. As a result, contractors are fitting in smaller jobs, like this one, into their schedule by working a Saturday here and there. The skylights have also been installed. There are two near the roof peak on the north-facing shed roof and one between the south-facing dormers. The north-facing dormers allow for an even light to flood into the spaces. The south-facing skylight allows for the sunlight to pour directly into the kitchen workspace. The location of a skylight on a south-facing roof creates a more dynamic environment on the interior as the light levels change throughout the day.
As the seasons change, the trees around the Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation are turning beautiful colors. Not only is it exciting to see this happen but also to see the project coming to life as more of the exterior materials are installed. While there are days that it is nice to work inside an office, the views created this time of year make it tough to not be outside for every bit of the daylight. See for yourself!
Teamwork – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
It has been said that teamwork makes the dream work. Although we tailor the design process with each client differently, we always work closely with the clients on each project. Much of the early design process takes place in the office or possibly the client’s home. Over the course of the design process, one begins to get a sense of the personality that the home needs to have to fit the client. Many times there are elements of the design that still need to be massaged and worked-out, but often times the concepts are laid-out and some of the details remain generic. This gives a framework upon which many of the remaining details can be guided but it also allows for multiple interpretations. There have a been occasions where we find ourselves being surprised at the different ways in which someone can interpret the description given by someone else. This is one of the positive attributes of the design process as well as working in a team.
Seen below, we often meet with the clients on site to discuss various design decisions. It is helpful to be able to walk through a built space and make decisions together.
Although we do spend time designing with the client, there are times where we need to work together with the various trades to ensure the details are executed properly. A great example of this can be seen below. Because of the design of the main stair as an element, it was important that the stair horses are precisely cut. We worked with the framer to communicate the detailing. The stair horses will be the exposed so it is important that their finishing is of the utmost quality, meaning no overcutting at inside corners. While this may be a minor detail, the redesign of this home is one of a kind and should be constructed as such.
She’s Crafty! – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
The craft trades have moved into the structure in force. As plumbing, electrical, and mechanical trades move through the space, the infrastructure that makes a home function becomes more apparent. At this time we take time to walk through with the owner to discuss the fine tuning of these elements. An example of the fine tuning may be moving a wall switch to be on an opposite wall or perhaps adjusting a light rough-in slightly. Prior to insulating and drywalling (the next steps on the interior), it is a good idea to document the locations of all of this “background stuff” to help in the future with any questions – did that cabinet tower have blocking installed in the wall to be sure it’s anchored securely – did any can lights get buried by drywall – etc?
Apertures – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
In the design of the Broad Ripple Craftsman Renovation, it was necessary to look at how poking holes in the roof brought light into the interior spaces. This is where technology has become a great tool. The south-facing skylight needed to be able to translate the movement of the sun into dynamic lighting for the kitchen. Seen here, the sun pierces through the roof via the skylight as demonstrated by 3D software. Perhaps the surprising part of was the light quality of the north-facing skylight. Based on the design, we had anticipated an even-lighting into the upstairs common space and washing down the stair wall. The result was much better than predicted as the quality of the light was fantastic and it allowed for a view of the large tree in the back. The view of the tree became a welcome sight once the demolition of the house was completed. We had not anticipated being able to see the tree through the skylight! The images below are taken near the end of rough framing and start to give a sense of how the skylights will allow the daylighting into the interior spaces.
Floor it! – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
In renovations, you’re at the mercy of what you end up digging up and uncovering. In the Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman, the intent was to re-use a major portion of the existing flooring. This didn’t go quite as planned as the heart pine subfloor wasn’t in perfect condition – although mostly good – and it was also a different thickness than the existing top-nail oak. No sweat, we can transition between the different flooring types… or can we? The kitchen floor threw a wrench into that plan. The subfloor in the kitchen, once exposed, was in fairly poor shape and would be a significant cost to re-finish. The image below shows the patchwork that was the hand dealt here. We have a solution…
We worked closely with the flooring contractor here to ensure the solution wouldn’t take the budget and run. By working with the contractor and the owners closely, we decided the best route to continue forward to replace a portion of the jigsaw puzzle and in doing so were able to ensure a proper substrate for new finish flooring. Let’s cut it up!
Baby, it’s cold outside! – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
Winter is here and the temperatures are starting to slide. Fortunately, we’re ready to fill the wall and ceiling cavities with insulation. To achieve an excellent insulation value in the ceiling cavities, we’re going to go with a blown-in, dense-pack cellulose. For those interested in numbers, the theoretical R-value of the ceiling cavity is R-46. For the walls, we also went with a blown-in cellulose.
Because the ceiling framing was spaced at 24″ on center and the cavity was almost 13″ deep, we weren’t able to install the dense-pack cellulose with the typical netting used for this application. In some cases, this would cause a bit of a headache for scheduling work to be done, but not here. The insulation contractor also is the drywall installer. Because of this, we were able to seamlessly insulate and drywall, pre-installing drywall at ceilings to hold the dense-pack cellulose in-place (instead of netting).
(Sheet)Rock on! – Broad Ripple Modern Craftsman Renovation
As mentioned above, a product of the systems being installed means we have to install the ceiling drywall prior to the insulation being blown into the ceiling rafter cavities. This is perhaps the most revealing step of the construction process. The spaces have been shaped and punctured in the prior phases. In this step, the walls of the rooms become tangible and no longer have to be visualized. The light levels are near what they will be in the finished state. As seen below, the light becomes much softer as it reflects from the paper skinned rooms (weather barrier still covering windows, so some light filtered/dampened).
In the rough framing stage, the house begins to show its size but still feels quite open. In the drywall stage, the house begins to close in as it defines the rooms. The finishing of drywall turns up the spacial experience to the next level as all the edges and joints become white. Seen below, the lighting quality becomes softer and the interior spaces begin to glow. This is an important step in the project. Having an open line of communication with the contractors is key to ensuring the intent is realized. The contractors know that we’ll be out on site with lasers, lines, and levels checking edges for straightness and planes for flatness.
Stay tuned for more progress photos. This project is moving along quickly!