A Stone Terrace To Take Advantage of Views

A Stone Terrace To Take Advantage of Views
Remodeling House To Fit In Sylvan Setting
Before – The House Just Didn’t Take Advantage of Its Setting

This 1930’s home off Sligo Creek in Silver Spring, MD didn’t have an easy way to take advantage of it’s sylvan setting.  The nicest views were from the front but zoning set-back requirements prohibited adding on in that direction.  The massive stone chimney — that gave the house it’s character also limited the options for creating views without great expense.  The block and brick
construction further limited the possible cost-effective changes.

View from the Terrace
View from the New Terrace

We added a wrap-around stone terrace onto the front of the house and replaced windows with doors leading onto the terrace from two sides of
the living room.   The changes visually expand the home from the interior while adding a quite usable outdoor room to the front and side of the house.

View From the Living Room
View From the Living Room

The new doors fit under the original steel window lintels reducing the cost of the remodel.  The larger openings bring in significantly more light.  And psychologically, doors lend a sense of openness and possibility that you can’t achieve with windows.   The doors lead the family and visitors onto the terrace.

Stone Terrace
Stone Terrace

We could have saved even more money if we had simply added a deck to the front of the house.  But people don’t tend to feel comfortable on an open deck — just think of how exposed you feel when you walk onto an open deck that’s high above the ground.  While this deck is only 5 feet from the ground the steeply sloping front yard makes it feel much higher.

We chose to build a stone terrace to blend in with the substantial feel of the home.  The hefty posts, substantial beam and open rafters, provides the terrace more of the sense of being an outdoor room than would have an open deck.   The pressure treated wood posts and beam fit with the setting while the aluminum balusters provide a more open feel.  Just imagine the terrace in the summer with colorful planters in several of the “windows” formed by the posts and beam and a flowering vine growing up the corner post and across the rafters.
All images courtesy of Braitman Design/Build


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