It's been awhile since I posted an update on the Accessory Dwelling project in Charlotte. We've come a long ways and overcome some potential obstacles that arose. Here are some highlights...
As I mentioned in my last post about this project, the clients ultimately chose to go with a one bedroom floor plan and we made some adjustments to the original one bedroom concept.
We shifted the entry to being more centrally located and worked to find the right balance of space to fit the master bath, powder room and laundry room while keeping as much space as possible for the master bedroom and an open Living & Kitchen concept with the screened porch.
Both the kitchen and the master bath have undergone a few different revisions before we ultimately landed where we have... The kitchen will function and feel large even in such a small space, with ample counter space, a full height pantry, a large window for natural daylight and an eat-in island. The island will have shallower-than-normal cabinets in order to accommodate seating on both sides... In the master bath we have a walk-in shower and a built-in wardrobe, as well as a full height cabinet for towels and other storage.
There are a couple of niches, one in the bedroom for the couple's existing dresser, and a built-in niche in the living room that will host their media devices and provide some additional storage via cabinets and open shelving.
Right now we are in the process of identifying specific materials and finishes for the interior design package. The exterior is mostly settled and dictated by the design of the main house, especially being located in a historic district.
There are a couple of challenges/obstacles we've had to navigate, mostly they were matters of clarification and project scope to satisfy the historic district...
One was the lone tree in the backyard. The trunk itself straddles the edge of our proposed building envelope. Even if we adjusted our floor plan to keep the tree, we would need to prune/trim so much of it that it would look butchered. Ideally on all my projects I like to disturb the site as little as possible, but in this case because we need to build our maximum floor space - plus a screened porch - in such a relatively small back yard that we need to take the tree down. I met with a Certified Arborist who advised that it is a decorative species (dogwood), which means we can get historic district approval. As an offset, even though we aren't required to do this, we are going to plant several smaller trees as a decorative privacy screen between the main house and the ADU.
Another challenge we've had to overcome doesn't pertain to the ADU at all, rather to the main house. As it turns out, the contractor/house-flipper who renovated this house prior to the current homeowners purchasing it did several things without approval from the historic district. For some reason we don't know, they submitted design drawings to add a small porch on the side of the house into the laundry room and then withdrew or abandoned those plans, at least as far as the historic district is concerned. However, that work was done anyways. They also added a deck off the back of the house and the master bedroom, as well as french doors. All of this was done without approval from the historic district. They could have gotten that approval rather easy, but for whatever reason chose not to... Unfortunately this now falls on us to get a kind of retro-active approval for what was done. At the end of the day it isn't a major obstacle. We need to reduce the size of the side porch anyways to allow for the driveway extension, and the current homeowners don't like the doors off the master bedroom and we need to remove that deck anyways to make room for the parking pad for the ADU. All of this means we are going to roll this all in with the main project: the design and construction of the accessory dwelling.
More to come...