Shed dormers get a bad rap for being ugly. While they offer a practical solution for adding square footage to the second floor of a 1-1/2-story home, shed dormers are often oversize, creating an awkwardly large mass on the roof. When designed with care, intent, and an eye for scale and proportion, however... [CONTINUE READING HERE]

Queen Anne Renovation

These are some drawings I did for Maine Home & Design magazine, back when I was working at Fine Lines Construction/Harborside Design. The house was big and old (from the Victorian era, in the style called Queen Anne) with some great details but it had a terrible layout. I designed an addition and interior renovation, sympathetic to the existing home but with more open, livable spaces, better connections between rooms and greater access to the outdoors. Unfortunately the owners ended up moving out of state before they could complete the project. The article is here .

This is one of my favorite kitchen layouts, including a sunny sink area, furniture-style island, and cozy eating nook. It's fun to draw reflections on dark counters....

The existing walls are light gray; the added and/or renovated areas have black walls. 

1950's homage

I've torn out a lot more 1950's style cabinets than I have designed and built new, but this was a fun little project. The owners of this kitchen liked the original cabinets along the sink wall, but the kitchen was too small so we reconfigured things. We took out a wall and built some new cabinets with Formica countertops and backsplash, half-overlay doors and drawer fronts, and simple curved brackets--all meant to look original while functioning well for their modern family lifestyle.

Here is a link to an article about it on the blog, where I also got the image above.


Deck over Porch

deck over porch image.jpg

Designing a porch that looks just right isn't as easy as it seems. Scale, proportion and details all come into play. Add a rooftop deck above the porch and it's easy to end up with a monstrosity.

I've designed and/or built a lot of porches, decks and combinations of the two, and distill some rules of thumb in this Fine Homebuilding piece.

Gable Dormers

It's tricky to design gable dormers so they look just right on the house. Here is a piece I wrote for Fine Homebuilding magazine on how to design gable dormers, also known as dog-house dormers. As an example, we used the editor's own home, which is fairly traditional and called for traditional dormers. Two dormers looked too sparse, large dormers are very rarely a good idea, and a nice low-profile shed dormer didn't interest him. By keeping the dormers small and balanced on the roof, they bring in light without overwhelming the house. 

Read the article here.