Extreme Makeover…or Not!

This story starts with a large, ho-hum house situated on 17 majestic acres with open views of a 12-acre private lake, the Hudson River, and vistas that would make Frederic Church green with envy. Built in 2000, the 4,500 square-foot post and beam structure was not only dark, but cut off from its surroundings. When the property’s new owners asked us to transform their home – to bring in light, enlarge the living space, and contextualize it in its riveting land- and river-scape, we went to work.

Our first approach – an extreme makeover – involved removing the entire roof, reapportioning the second-floor layout, and creating a central living space that would draw together all areas and elements of the house. Glass at either end of the space would bring the outside in, and offer spectacular views. We proposed new high-performance, high-efficiency mechanical systems, too.

Covering all our bases in this tepid economy, we also proposed a modest makeover, one that would likewise transform the dark interiors, but at much lower cost. In this scenario, we would modify the roof only in the reorganized central living area, replacing dormers with a central gable and revealing an exposed roof line from front to back. For further savings, we’d reuse existing cabinets and materials wherever possible.

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