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The Alley House

Seattle, Washington

With 3 growing boys the family of 5 was squeezed into a moderately sized home with 3 of the bedrooms and closet sized half bath in the remodeled attic. The goal was to create a true second floor which required demolition of the existing roof framing. The main floor remained the same with some minor changes to the lighting, refinishing the existing oak flooring and remodeling the existing west wall that provided visual and physical access to a beautiful back yard and a new large deck. The house also received a complete code update including fully insulating the new and existing walls, super insulating the roof and a complete seismic retrofit. The seismic retrofit required re-sheathing the ground floor and tying it into the new second floor for a more unified structure along with adding considerable metal seismic hardware to fasten the building to the foundation. The new decks were framed out of Alaskan Yellow Cedar for its natural resistance to moisture and insects while being able to carry the heavy loads; the decking was finished with salvaged and refinished barn wood giving the decks a unique and interesting contrast between old and new.

Project Highlights

  • 2 story entry and stair brings natural light into the main circulation hub while creating a striking experience upon entry.
  • Reclaimed and refurbished NW barn wood decking.
  • The anodized aluminum entry door and side-lite compliment the Western Red Cedar siding for a contemporary style without feeling too cold.
  • American Black Walnut handrail and window trim fillet provides a nice touch without being too ornate.
  • Douglas Fir windows and trim with metal cladding exterior provides a warm and beautiful interior while being able to resist the wet NW climate.
  • Double layers of R-38 roof insulation locates the insulation at the area of highest heat loss and is an easy yet cost effective method of saving energy and money.
  • Mini split heat pump provides efficient heating and cooling.
  • A heat pump water heater provides efficient hot water for additional energy savings.
  • An electric car charging station means that the house is ready for future changes and developments in how we travel.
  • Exposed Douglas Fir glulam beams frame the ridge top skylight above the stairs and entry.
  • Standing seam metal roofing is incredibly durable, beautiful and doesn’t require the asphalt based chemicals required in standard composition shingles. It also allows for rainwater harvesting as it won’t pick up the undesirable chemicals in composition roofing.