Old farmhouses tend to evolve and grow with each generation contributing to the original shell of the house by adding their own personal improvements or additions. The same is true of the 200+ year old Bucks County farmhouse of John & Paulette R. The initial structure of their home can be traced back to the mid 1700’s around the time of the Revolutionary War. In 1813, as noted on the date on the house gable, the structure of the house was enlarged to the size it is today. Since that time many projects have brought the house up to modern standards. Being previous clients, and being impressed with the work performed when they had Gasper install a paver patio 15 years ago, John & Paulette decided to approach the Gasper team to design and install a new round of improvements to their beloved farmhouse.
I was happy to learn that Gasper had a full carpentry division to tackle my new addition, remembers John
The project involved renovating and enlarging an existing three season sunroom to make it usable year-round without losing all the natural light or the outdoor feel. In order to enlarge the building footprint, however, there needed to be some changes to the existing adjacent patio, which included relocating a large hot tub that had been seldom used in recent years. The design for the proposed sun room bumped it out past the rear wall of the house approximately 8 feet creating an opportunity to place a new covered porch on the back of the house. This was just wide enough for chairs along the house and a walkway. “The designer was able to marry the old and the new perfectly. You would never know that the new porch and sunroom is not part of the original farmhouse structure”, praises homeowner Paulette.
Details About the Project
The design of the new sunroom was not without its challenges however such as dealing with an old basement Bilco door right in the vicinity of the new construction and the complexity of connecting the old roof lines into the new porch. Gasper Designer Nick Lupinacci was able to bring creative and practical solutions to each challenge. A trap door, constructed out of Ipe, was built into the new porch floor to cover the Bilco door and the 3-D model was used to help review and confirm the roof design as well as to show the homeowners what to expect from the new construction.
Upgrades to the interior of the sunroom included replacing the old exposed beam and painted plywood ceiling with a prefinished wood ceiling (synergywood.com) and new energy efficient windows and doors (trimlinewindows.com). Furniture made out of reclaimed barn wood, old-fashioned hanging Edison–style decorative bulbs and wide-plank wood floors not only feel period appropriate but are warm and inviting. Practical details on the sunroom & porch such as wrapping all exposed wood with weather & rot resistant PVC are balanced with whimsical details such as replacing the traditional downspouts with copper rain chains.
During construction, Erik acted as the project manager and guided the project through the arduous permit process. He also coordinated with other design and construction professionals on site, such as the pool contractor and interior designer Liz Walton. “Erik was so professional and conscientious. He did a great job of managing our expectations as well as just getting everything done.” recalls Kelly. “I have worked with a lot of architects and designers, and I am very discerning. Gasper was very professional, they always followed through, and I am so happy with the end results. People can’t believe how much space is in the yard now,” she continued.
This is my new favorite room,” states Paulette, “I love to sit in this room and overlook the lushness of the yard. It is always a place of retreat from the hectic nature of my day.
The homeowners have been thrilled with the end result and happy with their decision to come back to Gasper for another project.
We have had 2 great experiences working with Gasper’s designers and crews. I would not trust anyone but Gasper to work on my house!