OTB- September

We’ve presented preliminary designs to a few clients recently. The first two are new houses, and the third is a renovation.

This house is in Summerville, South Carolina. The client requested a modest sized house that is exceptionally strong. We are designing it to withstand 200 mph winds. The windows are protected by sliding shutters made of corten steel.

Next is this cottage, on Harbor Island. This is an upside down house- the main living areas are on the top floor and the  bedrooms are on the first floor. This enables the owner to enjoy the best views from the areas where they will be spending the most time. The lot has the beach on one side and the marsh one the other, so the views from this top floor are going to be incredible.

This small house is on a beautiful piece of property on Wadmalaw Island, in Charleston County. Our proposed design increases the area on the first floor by moving the exterior walls to the edge of an existing wrap-around deck. A dormer is added to increase space and light available in the loft. A swimming pool is added, along with a carport and a plan for a future guest house. A perfectly relaxing retreat!

New Layer Proposed First Floor Plan Proposed Second Floor Plan New Layer Existing First Floor Existing Second Floor

roof terrace

Long Cove Club Renovation

BIG changes at this Long Cove Club house on Hilton Head Island! Slide to see the before and after transformation.

 

The front exterior was refreshed by raising the existing porch roof, replacing the existing columns with new columns, all new windows, a new front door with sidelights, cable rail on the stair rail and new landscaping.

Stair before Before and After Hilton Head Island

The new stair rail, by Sean Ahern of Ahern’s Anvil is so much more elegant than the existing. And who wants the HVAC return to be the first thing you see when entering the house? Not us- relocating it definitely elevates the space.

Kitchen before Improve your home

The kitchen is much brighter and more open than before, with a huge island and beautiful cabinetry.

before fireplace long cove club

The old pine media center just screamed 1990’s. Here the shelving and fireplace are updated for the 21st Century. Large lift and slide doors bring lots of light in and connect the interior living to the exterior.

rear before rear after

This is where this family is going to be spending all their time! Hilton Head Living at its finest!

New outdoor living area with roll down insect screens, new brick fireplace, new roof terrace with insane views over the marshes of Broad Creek, accessed by a new spiral stair. The pool was redone, an outdoor shower added. Replacing the existing rail with cable rail really makes a huge difference!

The team and the clients are HAPPY! Thanks to Esposito Construction and to our FAB clients! What a fun project this was!

Sometimes people think that building a new house is the only way to achieve their dream home, but we are here to tell you, that sometimes a renovation is the way to go. It can be less expensive and more sustainable to rework an existing house. This Long Cove Club renovation is proof. Check out this major renovation on Fripp Island for another example of a transformative renovation.


master bathroom

Master Bath renovation

Before & After

Here is a master bath renovation that we completed a couple of years ago in the Shrimp Pond house. The Shrimp Pond house is at Spring Island, South Carolina. We designed the house in the 90's, then new owners hired us for the Shrimp Pond Studio addition and for a remodel of the master bath.

See the side-by-side comparisons in this master bath renovation:

Shower:

The addition of the round window in the shower and the new tile make it so much brighter and prettier.

Vanity:

master bath floating vanity

The floating vanity gives the space a contemporary feel. It's a cleaner aesthetic, and easier to clean too!

Tub:

free standing tub

The tub area is updated by swapping the drop in tub for a free standing tub, new tile and losing that dated brick accent wall.


On the Boards: St. Helena Island Renovation

The latest renovation on the boards is a 1950's ranch on an absolutely gorgeous lot on St Helena Island. The clients love the deep water dock & the extensive view over the Port Royal Sound, but the choppy plan of the house is not very functional. The entry is not well defined, the kitchen is tiny, the rooms are dark and choppy.

Here's the existing plan:

Here's our design solution, in plan view:

 

 

The new plan will allow the owners to enjoy their incredible view from more of the house (including the kitchen, which was not possible before). They will have more outdoor living space, with a screen porch. The main living areas will be much brighter and open to one another. The foyer moves to the middle of the house. The bathrooms and closets are reconfigured to increase functionality.

Here are the elevation drawings:

 

And a Building section of the St. Helena renovation project.

Our clients are excited to move to Beaufort, and we are excited to redesign their house! The renovation will improve the owners ability to enjoy the lowcountry lifestyle and the beautiful view from their house.


Do I stay or do I go?

Whether to renovate, rebuild or move in Beaufort County, South Carolina

The skills and expertise of your architect can help you in your decision to renovate, rebuilt or move. There are some great properties in Beaufort County with houses that are way past their prime and require such decisions. These houses often include; dated kitchens, small non-functional bathrooms with ugly tile, mean little windows overlooking a great view and rooms built below FEMA’s base flood elevation. Maybe you own one of these properties or are considering buying one for the view. Homeowners of older properties often come to the point where they have three options:

1. Renovate and/or add an addition to the existing house (and this might include raising the house),

2. Tear the existing house down and build a new house on the same property, or

3. Move.

     To help you decide whether you should stay or go, consider the following:

  •      Do you love the location?
  •      Do you have a great view?
  •      Is the house built above FEMAs base flood elevation requirements? If it is below you are  limited to spending 50% of the value of the house on the renovation or the          house has to be raised.
  •      Is the house built behind the current OCRM coastal or municipality river buffer setbacks? If your house is in the setback, you are not allowed to add any additional          square footage in the setback but you can keep what is there, which might be an advantage.
  •      Will current zoning laws allow you to add onto your house?
  •      Will you over-build for the neighborhood?

A few years ago, we had clients who owned a beach front house in Port Royal Plantation.  The property was in foreclosure when they purchased it at a great price, but it needed a lot of work. The question was should they tear the house down and build new or renovate the existing?

We listened to what they like about the house: besides the great location, they liked the feel of the spaces, the flow of the rooms and the relationship of the rooms to the ocean. Two other positive conditions were the first floor was above the required base flood elevation and the zoning allowed us to add the needed square footage. It was apparent that renovating the existing house and adding a small amount of square footage was the right approach. The project turned out beautifully.

Tearing down a house and starting over is a big step. The cost analysis of what is salvageable compared to the desired result is a good place to begin. Sometimes it is not obvious what the best path is at the beginning of a project or the conditions might change. For example, current Port Royal Plantation clients’ initial project was redesigning the windows in the great room. While documenting the existing conditions we discovered some structural beams in failure. In consultation with our clients and structural engineer we decided to reinforce the foundation.

Then Hurricane Matthew hit. There was water damage throughout the house; and the roof and foundation were compromised. After considering the amount of work to repair and renovate compared to starting over, our clients decided to build new. A big advantage in this project is the new house is placed to enhance the views of the Sound.

 


Before and After : Shrimp Pond Master Bathroom

After completing an addition to the Shrimp Pond House last year (see the Shrimp Pond Studio), the owners hired us again to renovate the master bathroom. We designed the original house about 15 years ago, so the bathroom needed a facelift! We think it turned out beautifully, here are the before and after photos.


Before and After

We've been enjoying sharing some before and after photos of renovation projects. The transformations in functionality and style of the spaces we renovate can be major! 

This 1950's ranch house was totally dated and uninspired, but the lot that it sits on has gorgeous views of the Beaufort River. Rather than tear down the original structure, we were able to re-purpose the existing building, saving time, money and resources. The finished product....

 WOW!
WOW!

We will continue to post before and after photos of current and past projects. Check back with us soon!