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Sunroom Addition in Bethesda, MD

An older couple, avid gardeners, had invested many years in landscaping their terraced backyard. Their property in Bethesda, Maryland sloped up in the backyard, making it difficult to see the efforts of their beautiful landscape and the wooded site from the interior of the home. The heavily wooded site also inhibited sunlight from entering the house, which the owners hoped to change with a home remodel.

Sunroom Addition

They loved their 1980s contemporary home but felt they needed to build a sunroom addition to enhance the sight-line views of their garden, remodel their living room with enlarged windows, and build a proper gardening storage area, next to the new sunroom, to store their garden tools and equipment.

Home Addition Project Details

Challenges

Many remodeling projects present challenges—but we love working to overcome them and meeting homeowners’ aesthetic and functional goals!

For this particular project, the upward terraced site presented design challenges from the start. In the existing house, it was necessary to stand directly in front of the window and gaze up to see the landscape and treetops. To create an enhanced view, it was decided that the new glass-walled sunroom would have a butterfly roof (Englert) that slopes up to provide a maximum sight-line and view. The sloping roof has a spring-line of 9 feet that rises to a height of 14 feet. Also, because the room addition required heating and cooling, and the home’s existing mechanical system did not have sufficient capacity, it was necessary to install a separate electric heat pump for heating and cooling. The thru-the wall unit is unobtrusively placed, and a small condenser sits outside, behind the garden shed, and ensures the new room has a comfortable temperature.

The existing roof deck/balcony over the living room, accessible from the master bedroom, also presented some concerns. The homeowners enjoyed using the balcony in good weather. Regrettably, an earlier remodel had included a pressure treated wood railing that did not meet the owners’ high standards and needed be replaced. To fit with the aesthetic of the upscale sunroom addition, we installed a new stainless steel cable rail; its minimalistic design allows for great garden views from the master bedroom and fits with the homeowners’ desired aesthetic.

The best garden views were looking to the back, along the patio. These views were enhanced by the tall corner windows of the new sunroom and the new 8-feet tall living room windows (from Quality Window & Door). The north-facing side of the sunroom provides less natural light and this became the perfect art wall as well as a shared wall for the storage shed.

Sunroom Interior

To make the room attractive, functional, and inviting year-round, we designed a pair of custom bookcases and built them to flank an existing masonry chimney. The chimney was concealed with drywall and a wall-mounted TV placed between the bookcases. The bookcases were designed to be less than full height so that the thru-wall heating and cooling unit could be unobtrusively placed above one of them (you can hardly tell it’s there).

The 14-feet-high, sloping ceiling is a prominent and pleasing feature of the sunroom. To embellish this soaring space, it was clad in wood. The wood ceiling provides aesthetic warmth and creates a ceiling plane that has visual interest. In design lingo, the wood ceiling plane mirrors the wood floor plane.

Sunroom Addition Bethesda

The New & Improved Home

The new sunroom serves several purposes. It is a quiet place to read, watch TV, or just sit and enjoy the garden views. The corner walls of glass provide more varied views than the living room views. From the sunroom, one can look across the flagstone terrace as well as up into the terraced hillside.

The couple is extremely happy and thrilled to show off the new addition to friends and family. They feel the project satisfied all their functional and aesthetic requirements and is a great improvement to their much-loved home.

Visit our online portfolio to see more pictures of this sunroom addition project—and contact us today if you want to remodel your home in the Bethesda area!

“ What appealed to the buyers…was the balance between the old and the new, the preservation of the original features of the house, set off by the new open and lighter look. A friend who showed the house to her cousin, an architect, told me that he liked the kitchen enormously and has used it to inspire his own designs. Highest form of flattery. ”

Susan, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
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