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When a thirty-something couple relocated from Boulder to Steamboat Springs to start a family, they were seeking an affordable easy-to-maintain bungalow with early 20th Century architectural character in Old Town. It had to be family friendly.
What they bought was a post-WWII asbestos-sided spec house, architecturally devoid of period character and virtually unchanged since its construction in 1948. They had their work cut out for themselves, with high expectations for detail in renovating both the exterior and interior of the home.
With the impending time commitment of a new family, they needed some more space fast. They wanted the comfort of modern insulation and mechanical systems without constant maintenance. The renovations also had to be affordable.
This home needed to stay small by maximizing the utility of the existing square footage. By keeping as much of the current structure as possible and re-working the spaces for an efficient, compact floor plan, money was saved for upgraded mechanical systems and quality materials - including enough for historic architectural detailing inside and out. An existing single-car garage became the primary living space with a bay window and a dormer. An exterior, set-in entry became a highly functional mudroom with an airlock and wrapped entry porch. By removing the dropped mechanical systems, the downstairs storage room transformed into an office and playroom with a full bath for visitors.
Although turn-of-the-century was the guiding design principle, this couple wanted something fresh - not simply period replica. Both functionally and architecturally appealing, the home’s flat peak was capped by a single, four-sided glass-lined cupola. This offers a distinctive, playful character and provides year-round “daylighting” in the center of the main living spaces. It also efficiently vents the entire home during warm summer months.
By staying within the existing 1,600 square-foot building footprint, the couple had money left for period detailing, both inside and out. It also afforded them brand new plumbing and electrical, in-floor radiant heating and a super-insulated thermal envelope. The efficient, low maintenance home with delightful architectural detailing and street appeal became the perfect space for their family to grow from two to five.