The owners of this single-family home needed more space for their growing family and work-from-home needs. To address this, we replaced the single-story connection between the garage and the front of the house with a taller 2.5-story front addition. This addition accommodates expanded living areas on the ground floor, along with two offices, a bedroom, and a flexible loft space on the 1.5 stories above. We strategically added a dormer, skylight, and well-placed windows to maximize natural light while ensuring privacy from neighboring properties. The adjacent Living Room and Kitchen were also remodeled.
Since both the existing house and garage had slab-on-grade construction without basements, we designed the new 2.5-story addition with a Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation (FPSF). This decision allowed us to keep the new footings higher than the existing structures, eliminating the need to underpin both the house and garage. FPSFs are a practical alternative in cold regions with seasonal ground freezing and frost heave. They incorporate insulation to raise soil temperature and frost depth around and under the building, enabling shallower foundation depths. By choosing FPSFs, we not only avoided costly foundation work but also reduced excavation, concrete, and steel reinforcing, cutting costs and minimizing the addition's carbon footprint (concrete and steel are the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases in construction materials).
The resulting design not only saved costs and reduced the embodied carbon of the addition, but it also enhanced the overall functionality of the home. We added more rooms while maintaining an efficient building footprint, improving the curb appeal of the front facade in the process.