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Bi-Level Remodel

geoman's picture

Howdy,


I'm interested in remodeling/redesign references for bi-level style homes.  By no means exhaustive, searching the web using "bi-level remodeling" or bi-level redesign" didn't  result in much of use.  My home entrance is recessed between cantilevered 2nd floor living room on one side and cantilvered 2nd floor bedrooms on the other.  I'd like to extend the entranceway outward, so that the front door is flush with the 2nd floor exterior face.  (Am I making myself clear?).  It seems to me that it would be a straightforward little addition project.  However, I'm wondering if it would look weird and violate some architectural rule.


Anybody have any thoughts, photos or guidance on reference material I can use.


Thanks,


geoman

(post #103123, reply #1 of 23)

geoman - Good project.  I think there are literally billions of these houses out there crying out for aethetic renewal - or remake-al, since maybe they weren't very aesthetic to begin with!



A couple things occur.  Leave the door where it is, make a 2-story open portico that comes out another couple of feet from the upstairs plane, with a front-facing gable and big hanging lantern, to give a vertical emphasis to balance/contrast with the strong horizontal line of the cantilever. 


Maybe a new decorative window lighting the open area above the stairs. (Big neon sign of your favorite beer?)


If you do bring the front door out like you say, it might make the facade look "flat-faced" - definitely what it doesn't need.


I'll sit and study and think some more.  What styles do you like?  What styles do you hate?  Will you live there long?  What are other houses near you like?  What is you budget?  Is additional interior entryway space important?  For a coat closet, maybe?  Could you use the space upstairs?  Does this look infected?


Think of all the questions you can at this stage - this is the fun part.  What do the dogs say?


Forrest


Edited 1/21/2007 12:12 pm by McDesign

(post #103123, reply #7 of 23)

"If you do bring the front door out like you say, it might make the facade look "flat-faced" - definitely what it doesn't need."

That is why I'm thinking columns - if the add on is 8' of interior, a few more feet of exterior for the columns. Now we are talking something too big that overshadows the whole house and unbalances it, so maybe 67' of interior is enough - have to work with it...

BTW, thanks for re-sizing the monster. I would not have looked otherwise.

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #103123, reply #9 of 23)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/suffolk/content/images/2005/03/22/old_customs_house_400_400x300.jpg

http://images.dublintourist.com/wallpaper/1024x768/The_Customs_House.jpg

I think if it fit the neighborhood and the budget, I would take this sort of thing for inspiration, simplify it - drasticly so - and transform the entire facade

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #103123, reply #2 of 23)

Kind sir - this begs for your input.  Done anything similar?  I haven't, yet.


Forrest

(post #103123, reply #5 of 23)

I was just thinking that it could take a front portico that emulated styles lik eyou work on - the Georgian front with a dormer shedding to the sides, columns - or cornerboards from the Greek style to emulate columnated approach. High ceiling inside to gather light through adeecorative window.

But none of that really seems to go with those shakes on the garrison face. That would call for a new clap siding.

So he could use an extremely steep chalete style entry cover there instead. all depends what way he leans and what else is in the neighborhood...I like classical stuff

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #103123, reply #8 of 23)

<...I like classical stuff>


Yeah, now if I could just PhotoShop this on there!



Forrest


Edited 1/21/2007 2:11 pm by McDesign

(post #103123, reply #6 of 23)

"Kind Sir" indeed.

I oughter slap yer puss...

;)

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #103123, reply #3 of 23)

Hi Geo,

In Wisconsin this type of house is usually referred to as a "raised ranch" which you might try googling for design help. The sky is the limit and i think as long as you do something, anything, will help. These unimaginative houses have worlds of potential and I do like the tall portico idea; I guess I wouldn't recommend getting really outlandish if the neighborhood vernacular doesn't have a lot of variety or upscale houses but a few nice touches can do wonders for curb appeal.

does it have the stairway immediately behind the front door going down to basement and up to main level?

(post #103123, reply #4 of 23)

Where abouts in Kinnelon?

I'm up there quite often. grew up down Rt 23.

Glenn

(post #103123, reply #10 of 23)

Bringing the front door out flush with the contilevered second floor facades will the make the front facade extremely flat and unattractive. When you look at an elevation, there should be a very comfortable silent rhythym that you shouldn't even sense. If that doesn't turn you away from flattening out the elevation how about this. The front concrete stoop may or may not have a foundation beneath. If not, you'll have to pour a foundation down to fro$t line, depending on local requirements. Sure, you can cantilever the floor framing of the entry to try to avoid the new foundation cost, but how do you finish the underside to keep it from deteriorating from contact with snow, wet, etc? If you want to remodel the entry foyer and front facade, check what the setbacks are and do a larger front entry addition, make a statement. But, what's your budget? If you have no budget, leave the entry location as is, at least you have more overhang, and add a trellis canopy that comes out about 8' from the house. Height of the trellis should be about at 8' AFF +/-. Add a transom above the door to bring in more light into the foyer. And then spend some money on landscaping making the walk up to the front door an interesting experience. Try some evergreen shrubs, with some redtwig dogwoods intermixed and a small birch. Use some curves in the walkway or at least in the planting areas.

(post #103123, reply #11 of 23)

I agree - a trellis would be nice, and would fit well with the casual nature of the house.  Gotta be some appropriate climbing foliage in NJ.


Forrest

(post #103123, reply #13 of 23)

Yeah, ivy would be great.

And when he tires of that, he can make some napalm to eradicate it.

That's about what it takes.

Glenn

(post #103123, reply #19 of 23)

We could Fed-ex him some Kudzu.

The best reward for a job well done is the opportunity to do another.

(post #103123, reply #22 of 23)

Easy to plant - throw it down and run!


Forrest

(post #103123, reply #23 of 23)

FAST!!

The best reward for a job well done is the opportunity to do another.

(post #103123, reply #12 of 23)

No real advice, but around here that's called a split-level entry or just split level. The hot ticket at one time. Always struck me a little weird to be facing stairs right as you come in. Dozens, probably hundreds, of 'em around here.

PJ


Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

 

Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

(post #103123, reply #16 of 23)

Maybe regional, but around here those are called split foyers. Split levels or tri levels don't normally have the stairs off of a platform right as you walk in

Barry E-Remodeler

 


Barry E-Remodeler  

(post #103123, reply #17 of 23)

I'll bet it's different around the country. I found out when Googling that the likely "proper" term for our house is Raised Ranch...never heard of that before today...not surprising :)


 


PJ


Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

 

Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

(post #103123, reply #18 of 23)

You're most likely right. I've heard of raised ranches but never applied it to this plan

Maybe the OP can also get a few ideas by using "split foyer" as a search term

Barry E-Remodeler

 


Barry E-Remodeler  

(post #103123, reply #14 of 23)

Here's a project sort like McDesign proposes. Googled "split level remodel".


http://www.beforethearchitect.com/M-CS1.htm


PJ


Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

 

Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

(post #103123, reply #15 of 23)

Yeah!


Forrest

(post #103123, reply #20 of 23)

I did one of these years ago when I lived in Denville.  Still trying to remember where. 


1.  Removed front door.


2.  Framed in existing stairwell hole, matching the ext. cantilever and wall plane.


3.  Relocated door on main level.


4.  Installed a full staircase to basement elsewhere in house.


5.  Constructed new masonry front porch as wide as existing window locations allowed.


6.  Covered new porch w/ gable roof supported by large columns.


 

The best reward for a job well done is the opportunity to do another.

(post #103123, reply #21 of 23)

Check this resource out- its excellent

http://www.split-level.com/

Download the PDF Plan book it has great ideas for homes like yours

Good luck