Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Feathering Your Empty Nest

We're pleased to say that we did the renovation design for a Howard County home that is featured in Baltimore Magazine's, March 2008 issue. The article can be found here. Unfortunately the online article does not include the photos that are part of the magazine coverage. So buy the magazine. You'll enjoy the whole article (not to mention, the annual list of restaurant recommendations).

The topic of the article is renovations that "empty nesters" have undertaken to enlarge their changed lives. The home of our client's Nancy and Jerry Berson is featured. Here's a quote from the article:

"The Bersons also wanted their home to be more environmentally friendly, so Brennan used bamboo flooring in the bedroom and recycled tile and IceStone® countertops, made from 100 percent recycled glass and cement, in the kitchen and bath. The Bersons said they got a kick out of researching the IceStone company, which commits to progressive labor practices and employs a number of Tibetan refugees in its environmentally friendly factory in Brooklyn, New York.

To make the additions blend in with the existing structure, Brennan removed all of the aluminum siding and replaced it with HardiPlank®, an innovative masonry material that resembles wood but is much more durable. A new fiberglass roof was installed, and several clerestory windows were added in the bedroom to let in late afternoon light, while an overhang was designed to block hot summer sunlight from the west.

The house, built in the ‘60s, was “tired-looking,” Brennan said, and lacked curb appeal. He added larger windows and clad them in a cranberry-colored metal, to add some punch, and painted the front door the same shade of red. He chose the HardiPlank siding in gray-green and stone shades, to complement the brick base. New bluestone patios and walkways, and new exterior lighting, were added as well.

“It’s sort of crazy,” observes Jerry Berson, that all of these improvements were still less costly than buying a larger home. But the Bersons expect to be very happy with their new digs, once everything’s finished. “We really don’t want to move from here,” he said."

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