We Cut the Gas

  • Hero
    The island comfortably seats the family of five. A microwave drawer is located in the island, opposite the dishwasher. Move the scroll bar to see before/after views.
  • B4 Kitchen
    The old kitchen, from approximately the same angle as the previous photo. Yuck. The doorway in the back led to the previous garage addition. (This photo is a screen grab from our Matterport virtual walkthrough.)
  • Family Room
    The original dining room and kitchen were combined and bumped out 8’ (to the edge of the old screened porch).
  • B4 Family Room
    Original dining room with old screened porch.
  • Bath Side Exit
    The old breezeway/laundry was reconfigured into a mudroom and bath with a shower. (The bath was previously at the back of the house, blocking the view). Note our trademark two-tier shoe storage.
  • B4 Exit
    Old breezeway/laundry entrance including "cat/racoon door. "
  • HP & ERV
    HP & ERV: The oil and gas utilities were replaced by a Mitsubishi heat pump system, ERV (energy recovery ventilation), and a heat pump hot water tank. No more fossil fuels!
  • Priamry Bath & Shower
    The primary bath features a Room & Board vanity, Pottery Barn Vintage mirrors, Frey sconces, and Delta Trinsic faucets and shower fixtures in matte black. Open shelving is just out of view to the right.
  • Front Room
    The original living room became a formal dining room, with a sitting/music area beyond. We installed energy-efficient windows and filled the original empty wall cavities with insulation.
  • Pantry
    The fireplace was in an awkward spot near the entry. Since the chimney was no longer needed to vent gas fixtures we replaced it with a walk-in pantry.
  • B4 Top of Stairs
    The homeowners have three small children and were concerned about the awkward transitions from the stair landing to the primary bedroom and the kids’ rooms. We straightened the stair and put all the bedrooms on one level. (This also raised the ceiling on the den below to a full 8’.)
  • Laundry
    Straightening the stairs and shifting the hallway bath allowed us to add a window seat and laundry on the second floor landing. Behind the shallow linen closet is the bathroom storage closet.
  • Top of Stairs
    We duplicated the original stair balusters and added a safety rail on the opposite wall.
  • Front w_ramp
    A new walkway slopes gently up to the main entrance. The doors on the first floor are all at least 34” wide for accessibility. (We couldn’t quite fit 36”.) Bringing the mudroom door out to the front edge of the house improves the heat retention of the house.
  • B4 front
    Tova contemplates the challenge.
  • Rear
    The rear of the house features the new family room and a "folded" staircase. Below the family room is a bluestone patio and seating area.
  • B4 Rear
    The neighbors were happy to see the "red" go.

This project started off as a kitchen bump-out and cosmetic updates to the baths. We ended up completely changing the floor plan, adding a mudroom, straightening the stairway, and carving four good-sized bedrooms and two baths out of the warren of small rooms upstairs. All new windows, siding, and roof allowed us to improve the air sealing and insulation as well. Most importantly, we changed the HVAC system and hot water to heat pumps—no gas bill here!

We didn’t notice any issues with the heat pumps during the cold snap. We didn’t monitor any specific metrics because there was no need. Everything just … worked!