Qualified Remodeler Magazine

MAR 2014

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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cations, though, this structure is really a study in detail. That exact modeling became fruitless when on site work began and carpenters began cutting boards to fit around tree trunks and limbs — and opportunities for added flourish began presenting themselves. Take, for example, the rectilinear pattern repeating itself in gate handles and plat- form decking. The perpendicu- lar lines represent the Danish flag, a nod to the family's native land. And the quilt pattern of the catwalk-style bridge's railings? You'll find the inspiration in a pattern inset into a concrete table on the structure's top deck. Also, since these photos were taken, Silent Rivers has added LED lighting on all the railings, along with scattered uplights to create more after-hours oppor- tunities to play at being pirates or enjoy a siesta in a rope bed amid leafy branches. "It's become more of an experience, both night and day," Leyendecker says. PROJECT 2 RESTORING A LOST IDENTITY This 40-year-old northern Illinois lakefront home had a few things going for it when a Chicago-area family purchased it six years ago, including great water access and plenty of room. Unfortunately, it also came with a leaky roof, failing windows and poorly considered access to the lovely back yard. And beyond these specific issues, it lacked the sense of presence its standout location deserved. "The house was built in the '70s," says Chris Donatelli, owner of Donatelli Builders, the company responsible for this makeover. "Everything was from that time period, and it lacked an identity." As plans progressed, all mate- rial and design decisions were geared toward maximizing the home's "wow" potential with a contemporary flair. This meant clean lines were a must. For example, siding-board corners had to be carefully mitered to eliminate the need for corner boards and window trim. "With this house, there was a lot of saw work that you're not going to appreciate from a dis- tance," Donatelli says. There's also a lot more usable outdoor space than previously existed. In the home's "before" incarnation, a pergola-style cov- ering extended over the ground- level patio so the only access to an outside living area was through a lower-level slider. Now a main-level deck extends from the kitchen, creating an outdoor room for entertaining. The patio (pictured below), still gets some filtered sunlight thanks to the deck's glass-block floor, a detail the homeowner suggested. This decorative touch added to the saw work for Donatelli's team. While the floor-rated block system came complete with its own framing, the pro- portions didn't match those of the decking. As a result, each deck board had to be narrowed, with fastening grooves rerouted, to maintain the clean lines. "You probably have 12 man- hours on the table saw," Donatelli estimates. "Everything has to be thought through carefully." Similarly, the windows and doors weren't simple replace- ment models. Six-foot-wide window and sliding-door open- ings were widened to 9 ft., with slim-line contemporary doors instead of the previous wood- heavy French-style models. In the main floor's central bay, 7-ft.- tall windows now run nearly floor-to-ceiling, a design deci- sion requiring consultation with the manufacturer and the addi- tion of steel supports to stand up to possible severe wind loads. "We wanted to maximize the view and we wanted to contem- porize the look," Donatelli says. "We really wanted to maximize the glass." A detail of concentric circles now gives the bay a strong visual pop from the outside, while it also helps draw the existing Palladian-style arch from the second floor into the overall design of the rear façade. The inspiration for this was drawn from the lakefront setting, as it's meant to suggest the rings formed when a raindrop breaks the surface of a body of water. As a sign of the exterior reno- vation project's impact, the cli- ents opted for a major interior redo soon after the outdoor plans were finalized. The fin- ished product has given the house its much-needed identity, inside and out, while banishing the 1970s from the property. QR Chuck Ross writes from Brewster, Mass., about remodeling and design. Photo: 26 March 2014 QR ForResidentialPros.com PROJECTS: Master Design Solutions Inspiration for the railing pattern comes from a concrete table on the Iowa structure's top deck. A main-level deck extends from the kitchen to create a new outdoor room for entertaining. Photo: Chaden Halfhill, Silent Rivers Photo: RichSistosPhotography.com QUR_24-27_MDS314.indd 26 3/3/14 1:52 PM

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