A Carriage House on Lake Champlain

A sort of homecoming

Recently we paid a visit to a client couple in Grand Isle, Vermont in their newly finished carriage home. Last year we worked with them to design their two bedroom 2,400 SF house (including a two-car garage). As part of our services we provided custom-tailored design and a detailed builder set of drawings. Nearly all done now, seeing the largely finished home warmed our heart.

Looking for land to build on for a while, well over a year ago, they found and purchased over four acres in the northern islands of Vermont with a couple hundred feet of lake frontage. The property had a natural homesite back off the shore a couple hundred feet. The general area was well suited to take advantage of the eastern views and elevated enough to capture the western setting sun.

Shawn and Mike asked if we could help them adapt a set of drawings to their own wants, needs, and home-site. Knowing Mike since high school, firm Principal, Stephen Frey happily obliged. One thing though, they lived overseas in Switzerland where Shawn taught in an American School and Mike taught remote classes at a Vermont college and also ran his tech. consulting business. They lived in Switzerland in a timezone six-hours earlier than east coast time and weren’t available to meet face to face at all.

The power of online collaboration tools

We offered to meet and work via Google Hangout which we learned was easier to do than any of us realized. Over the course of multiple design sessions we worked together by sharing my screen where we talked through site and building design options. During our calls I marked up drawings with adobe .PDF tools and designed live via the AutoDesk RevitLT software I use to design in 3D moving between plan design and quick 3-visualizations interchangeably.

About the design

Originally Shawn and Mike sought to build a main house and a carriage house with living unit above the garage on the site. However, the further we proceeded into design they discovered all they needed was the was the carriage house with its two bedrooms and open-plan living upstairs. So that’s what we stuck with through the finalizing of the design and creation of the builder’s set. (A builder’s set is a set of drawings depicting the building foundation, floor, and roof plans, key building sections, and framing plans) Mike and Shawn used the builder’s set to build from themselves, working with Mike’s Dad who had built homes before with Mike. Shawn, she did a wonderful job designing the fixed finishes of the interior, selecting colors, and developing the detail of the kitchen and two-bathrooms, upholstery and window covering selections and more.

With one guest-bedroom downstairs, another bathroom and laundry room, closets and the garage, the lower floor is model of efficiency. There is a partial basement with building services down there accessed by an internal stair off of the garage. That’s where the furnace, hot-water heater, water-softener and other infrastructure is found.

The main living area upstairs, reached by an internal carpeted stair, has an flowing open floor plan between living, dining and the kitchen area with a full island counter area. The master-bedroom suite lies at the end, accessed by a sliding barn-door a bath and his and hers closets. Off of the master, a covered porch extends the outdoor living space further with comfortable outdoor furniture for three season living. (Screens are coming!) An open porch on the other end supports entertaining with smashing lakefront views to the east and sunset views to the west.

To see more click on this learn more link to the projects residential in detail page.