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2018 MBIA Whole House Renovation Award


Harmony Pond Residence – Whole House Renovation

See project here.

Harmony Pond Whole House Renovation

The original structure, a log cabin kit built as a summer cottage, in 1952 had gone through several upgrades over its 66-year life.  These included the additions of a split-level bedroom wing to the northwest and a timber framed single level with vaulted ceiling kitchen & family room to the southeast, effectively bookending the original cabin.  The house’s finishes were dated and inconsistent from room to room but our clients responded to the soul of the property and decided to buy it in 2015.

Soon after the purchase, relative Jim Toole with R.A Hoffman Architects outside of Philadelphia was hired to create plans to actualize our client’s vision for their new home.  Once our crews started to peel back the layers of various improvements the list of challenges started to pile up.  Inadequate foundations, substandard wiring & plumbing and worst of all the original cabin, the soul of the house that endeared our clients to the property was deemed structurally unfit for modification.  After a several month period of redesign and repricing we deconstructed and salvaged the cabin and moved forward with a more extensive overhaul gutting the entire house to the studs, replacing all of the systems and almost all of the original finishes.

The re-envisioned home now has a consistent clean contemporary vibe while celebrating a number of the original details we fought to retain.  After the log cabin was deconstructed leaving the two former additions looking like two separate structures the core of the house was transformed from a cramped compartmentalized cabin into an airy open space with high ceilings and lots of glass.  The original foyer was removed and replaced with an enlarged space which includes a powder room, a laundry area off the bedroom hall and a portico with patio.  A breakfast nook was added to the northeast side of the home providing for a kitchen expansion and stronger connection to the backyard and pool area.  Some of the salvaged cabin logs were used as a wall treatment in the master bedroom and the original timber framed truss and rafters were retained in the family room and Kitchen.  Finally, the exterior of the home received a full makeover blending Hardi Panel, Hardi Plank and natural stone veneer with an entirely new window and door package.

What could have been a lost investment and horror story turned cautionary tale, turned into an incredible journey that ended with the home our clients could only begin to imagine when they first found the property. Though it wasn’t easy, through some clever problem solving and teamwork we helped our client revive the soul of their property and carry it into a completely redesigned home that married a sleek contemporary style with the rich rustic character of the log cabin structure they originally fell in love with.