113 West Blvd. N.- Part I (The Exterior)

Nearly 5,000 vehicles and a few hundred bicyclists and pedestrians travel past Patrick Earney’s house at 113 West Boulevard North every day. Those that pass by on a regular basis over the past few months have watched Earney steadily renovate his 1,050 sq. ft. 1940 Tudor-inspired brick home. Now that the thoughtful addition is nearly done, the attention to every detail and design consideration, combined with the careful reuse of original and salvaged materials, makes the addition look as though it was there the day the home was built.

photo (5)The “before” picture is shown above. Notable architectural elements include brick arches or lunettes above each door, decorative limestone masonry infused into the red brick, and original windows.

When faced with the needs of an expanding family, Earney decided to maintain the historic integrity of his home, but squeeze in a little extra living space on the same 1940s footprint. It also helped that as a professional engineer and member of the Historic Preservation Commission, Earney was able to take on the majority of the design and construction work himself with a little help from friend and fellow HP Commissioner Robert Tucker. The plans Earney drew for the project may be downloaded here: TPE Garage 130904.

“I love my home and will live here forever. With a few tweaks to the floor plan, and a little extra space, I knew I could upgrade the functionality of my home but maintain its historic elements. Old homes have a charm and personality that can’t be replicated, and it was important that this addition look like it was always there.” –Earney

The new addition has gone along mostly to plan, with some upgrades and enhancements made along the way to turn this two-bedroom and two-bath home into a three-bedroom and four-bath home:

  • The original garage has been shortened to include an extra powder room  and mudroom area off the kitchen to the rear of the house
  • A master bedroom, bathroom and closet have been built on top of the garage and a front dormer window and two rear windows were added for natural light
  • A back door and deck will connect the back door to the back yard
  • Overall, about 300 sq. feet of living space will be added

photo (4)

The garage was removed, as shown above (Earney is to the right), and a new foundation for the garage and addition was poured, as shown below. The exterior brick from the north side- where the addition would go- has been removed for re-use on the front of the addition.

IMG_1912 IMG_1936photo (3)

The picture below shows the new garage and master suite framed in and ready for brick, siding and shingles. Note how the new roof line seamlessly blends with the height of the original roof. photo (2)The picture below shows the exterior of the new addition nearly complete. One of the best ways for historic renovations to maintain the property’s historic integrity is to use original materials. The bricks removed from the original garage were reused, and the extra facade space above the garage allowed for Earney to incorporate the arched lunette design used above the doorways to visually enhance the space above the garage. This provides visual interest and continuity between the addition and the existing architecture.

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All of the new siding, windows soffits and fascia will be matched to the original materials, and painted to provide a perfect color match between the existing and new wood trim.

The garage door will be re-installed, and a new driveway will be poured next.photo (1)

The rear window shown in the picture below now provides light into a bathroom instead of a garage. The back door will provide access to the back yard once a landing and stairs are built.  Two new windows matched to the original windows provide light and a view of the back yard to the master bathroom and bedroom addition.

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“Older homes have great lots, locations, and architecture– something that new construction just can’t match. Property owners should not be afraid to make small changes to their historic homes to meet modern needs because it isn’t difficult to do it right. This addition enhances the existing architecture of the home by building upon its unique architectural elements and using appropriate building materials. The effect is subtle and enhanced, not jarring and obvious. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that any addition is proportional to the house. I had to compromise on some internal functionality to ensure that the addition looked like original construction” — Earney

Interested in taking on your own project? The Historic Preservation Commission provides technical assistance to property owners wanting to renovate or rehabilitate while maintaining their home’s historic charm.

Great progress has been made on the exterior of this lovely home, and the inside has been transformed as well! Stay tuned for Part II for a tour of the interior of the addition to 113 West Blvd. N.!

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