The Woodka Remodel: Planning Stages

The owners of the Woodka home have planned on renovating the home for quite some time; it was a perfect place for spending summers and vacations, but its new role as a permanent residence for the owners, as well as having room for their kids and grandkids, meant changes were needed.

Planning for the renovation began in 2011. In discussing their desires with the builder and designer, it became evident rather quickly that this would not be a simple job. Even before thoughts of a 'green' renovation came into being, the owners had definite ideas about what they wanted done.

The Woodka house was originally designed in the late 70s, built in the early 80s, and looked it. The owners wanted to update both the interior and exterior to reflect a more updated style. A sunken living room area on the main floor would be leveled, making the area easier to navigate. The entire kitchen area would be expanded by about six feet, adding much-needed space.

On the lower level of the house, a dated-looking bar area with track lighting would be removed. The upper level had a balconied hallway overlooking the living room below. The owners wanted to move this entire space back, opening up the living space below.

Exterior changes include a new porch running from the front of the house around to the back and new outdoor patio and decking in the back looking towards the lake. The new design also includes space for a future swimming pool.

Slowly, a new design came into focus; a new Woodka that would give the family the room they need, as well as a radical new interior and exterior that would bring the home into the 21st century, allowing the family to enjoy it as well as the beautiful lakeside views that in many ways were not available with the old design.

The original design plans called for a major extension of the garage area for vehicle and boat storage, with ample bedroom spaces over the garage area for extended visits from family members. The home is in an area with very strict setback and site line regulations to preserve lake views for homes in the neighborhood, and a variance to allow for this garage expansion would be necessary. Therefore, the decision was made to move forward with the renovation without the major garage addition at this time, so the renovation will fit inside the existing setback without the need for a variance.

Along with these major changes, the owners decided that this renovation would be the perfect time to give all areas of the house an overhaul to get it ready for its new role as a year-round residence. At this time, the entire design team began discussions about the importance of energy-efficiency and sustainability.

The owners of the Woodka home were very aware of the environmental drawbacks of their aging home; inefficient appliances, inadequate insulation, and an older heating and cooling system, among other areas. They knew that there had been incredible improvements in efficiency over the last few decades, and from the start wanted to make sure their home utilized some of the latest advancements in sustainable design.

The pieces were starting to fall into place for a massive green renovation of the Woodka home: a architectural designer dedicated to green design (ETHOS), a builder with the knowledge and experience in super-efficient construction, and motivated owners with the ability financially to realize the green home of their dreams. The only thing to do now was to roll up the sleeves, pick up the hammers and saws, and get here to follow along!

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