A Challenging Hillside Addition

If you are at all familiar with the Strite culture, it should come as no surprise to learn that our most rewarding remodel projects are often our most challenging — and among our most challenging are those associated with hillside lots.  

Vision

Our clients’ home was notched into a hill with a second level that included a bedroom and bathroom.  What their home lacked — and what they wanted — was a bonus room that would provide a better entertainment space and take advantage of a view of Bogus Basin.

Challenge

With its hillside placement, getting to our clients’ ground floor from their front door required going up about eight steps.  That being the case, if we were going to add a second level with a standard 9 foot ceiling, we would have had to add additional steps up to the new bonus room.  We didn’t want to do that, so we instead spanned across the depth of the garage with a four foot deep floor system using a web truss rather than a joist system design.  Pulling this off required a lot of design studies to get right, and we also had to accommodate for the return plenums in the HVAC system that were situated right where the entry to the addition would be.  Crunch time!

Accomplishment

As we were constructing the new 660-foot bonus room, we marked out the best window placements for optimal views.  Since our clients wanted to augment their kitchen capacity to better entertain, we not only added a compact but highly functional kitchenette, but also created cutout models of gaming tables, seating areas, etc. to make sure the space fulfilled their needs.  While the existing HVAC ductwork created a hiccup, we took advantage of the deep crawl spaces associated with hillside slopes to relocate the furnace and hot water heater to an existing crawl space area.  For the sake of design continuity, we replicated the garage gable bump out with a window seat bump out to the addition.

Highlights

As you’ve probably guessed, this was a very technical remodel, with challenges that ranged from the hillside lot itself, to engineering and mechanical issues, as well as basic design issues.  Our clients put a lot of faith in us — which we’d like to think had something to do with previous remodel projects we had handled for them — but the results more than justified their confidence in us.  That’s a good feeling.

Click on photos to enlarge.

To see a before-during-after sequence, visit this link.