It’s a simple gesture: put an addition onto the house for Mom and Dad to live with you, and design it so they have their own “home” and independence. In zoning-speak it’s an “ADU” or Accessory Dwelling Unit, and it will take some jockey around with some local board in order to get approval.
In some cases, the process can foster many design challenges driven by the amount of space physically available and by the opportunities to make the addition “fit” aesthetically. You want the integrity of the existing house architecture to hold up too, and the position on the property is paramount to smooth comings and goings as well as everyone’s privacy.
My clients have a fairly good size home with a three-car garage. In the wish list, there was a request for a fourth garage for the parents. By positioning the new addition with garage at the end of the existing driveway we could satisfy that request and also create a new entry for the home. The new living spaces take up a good amount of square feet so bedrooms would need to be on the second floor to keep the size of the footprint down. Two bedrooms and an office upstairs would make it flexible for future living scenarios. The office would be helpful to maintain their busy lives with hobbies and manage their significant volunteering schedules.
The exterior presents its own challenge: a two-level addition onto a larger home is problematic in keeping the scale appropriate for the neighborhood. Siding and trimming the addition with the current formal colonial scheme would render it huge! I chose to craft and cloak the addition as a carriage house or barn structure with board and batten siding, not unlike nearby homes that have detached barns and garages. There were many other precedents around town including many nineteenth century homes sporting wonderfully built carriage houses too. With the contrasting siding treatment, the massing is diminished. The wood board and batten siding will have a complimentary cool grey stain to make sure it reads properly as the main structure’s offspring.
In law Sweet