Fisher Group, LLC, Annandale, Va.
Project location: Mclean, Va.
Project cost: $260,112
The 465-sq.-ft. addition involved enclosing the space below an 18-year-old addition that had been built on brick piers. This are was enclosed to create additional space for a playroom, add space for the new bathroom and guest room expansion.
The dark, dingy basement plan was given a new configuration to be more family friendly, with updated function and finishes, increase light level, storage, ease of circulation and access to the garage and backyard.
To reclaim the space below the existing addition, it was necessary to install a new continuous foundation. This involved underpinning of some of the existing masonry piers, and working below an existing deck for the most difficult part of the foundation work. The desire to open significant portions of the wall and in two locations, to have upset headers at these openings presented a challenge. Existing pipes, wires and ductwork needed to be creatively relocated to maintain proper function. During demolition a major challenge appeared. The property had an abandoned septic field not noted on the plan nor known to the homeowner in the area where part of the continuous foundation was to go.
Creative engineering and mechanical design solved the problems in removing the back walls of the existing basement. The support of the existing 50-year-old traditional masonry construction floor system was “married” with the more recently installed addition framing, which had been hung off the outside of the masonry wall using a ledger type fastening system. Grade beams were used to bridge over the septic field. Reuse of bricks from walls that were removed and careful matching of mortar made exterior brick repair work appear to have never been touched.
Functional entry occurs from both the backyard and garage. Groceries are easily stored in the pantry, and muddy sports things are dropped in the laundry, giving this finished basement an easy and inviting living space. Sunlight now reflects through the basement rooms in a bright palette creating warmth to this Craftsman home.
According to the judges, it is a gorgeous space. “A wonderful balance of scale, color and materials,” they added.
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