Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Addition to Our (Octagonal) House

Fig 1. Post & Beam Construction
Our West Virginia home is post & beam construction (Fig 1). It is octagonal and was purchased as a kit from Topsider Homes in North Carolina. The photo shows the inside of the house looking at the roof/ceiling. The house is 800 square feet with the front half being mostly windows and a door. We have nearly 180° views of Roaring Plains Wilderness to the south and Dolly Sods Wilderness to the east. The south and south-east sides of the house are deck, about 9' deep, which is suspended over the hillside in front of the house on 6"x6" posts.

Fig 2. South (l) & South-East Decks (r)
As we consider occupying the house full-time, we will need to expand the house to provide more living space. One aspect of the two decks is that we rarely use the south-facing deck other than for passage (Fig 2). The reason for this is its exposure. In the summer, it is in full sun for the entire day; in winter, the winds come in directly from the west, sweeping straight across the deck with 20-30 mph gusts. We primarily use it for bird feeders.

Fig 3. New Entrance.
So we came up with a plan to expand the house over the deck, making the space into a dining room. In essence, we would push out the front wall to the edge of the deck, and build two new side walls and a new roof. Entrance to the house would be off the far south-east deck via a sliding glass door built into the east wall of the addition (Fig 3). The existing south wall of the house contained two floor-to-ceiling windows and a door, so we planned the addition to make use of these two existing windows and to add two operable windows in order to preserve the view.

Fig 4. Nearly Complete Addition w/Front Wall
The original builder of the house, carpenter Shane McCauley, agreed to undertake the construction of the addition. He built a new floor on top of the decking, a completely new roof over the existing roof, and three new outside walls. The construction was made significantly more difficulty because there wasn't a 90° angle anywhere to be found.We put metal roofing on the addition and added two 40"x60" double hung windows to the front wall (Fig 4). The inside drywall is finished, the outside needs to be stained to match the rest of the house, and we will put in a heated tile floor.
Fig 5. Interior View w/Lucca

The addition will increase the floor space by about 150 square feet, and will be a perfect fit for our dining room table and china cabinet when we move them from Columbus in a few years.

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