Our clients’ two-story farm-style home (4-bed, 3-bath) was destroyed in the 2017 Tubbs wildfire. Rather than rebuild the same size house of 2738 sq. ft., they saw the loss as an opportunity to rebuild with a smaller footprint (1909 sq. ft.) utilizing a more energy efficient and sustainable design. Because the fire insurance settlement was significantly less than it would have cost to rebuild the same size house, combined with increased building and material costs, a creative and value-engineered design solution was required. The new home is 800 square feet smaller than the original, but its open floor plan, large expanses of folding glass doors, transom windows, high ceilings and large deck make it feel much larger and more expansive.
The new home was located on the property in an east-west orientation to maximize the passive solar heating opportunities afforded by the long southern exposure. Glazing was minimized on the west and north orientations. Other energy efficient features in the all-electric home included high R-value closed cell spray foam insulation in the roof framing with an energy efficient heat pump providing heating and cooling. Clever solution for disguising the screens: Decorative wood frames around the folding door system provided a creative way to enclose the metal screen canisters; this aesthetic design also prepared the doors for the installation of insulated roller shades.
A full-width deck greatly increased the common area by connecting the interior living space to the outside.
The homeowners enjoy cooking and wine tasting and had a clear aesthetic goal for a kitchen designed for entertaining. The kitchen design included open shelving and a floor to ceiling board-form concrete wall, made from concrete tile that replicated a board formed concrete wall. Cost-effective and innovative practical solutions for storing every-day items included a dish drawer system and a larder pantry that were both universal-designed for accessibility.
In the living room, a custom reading nook/day bed featured display shelves for precious mementos salvaged from the rubble of the original home that burned.