The client’s steeply sloping site has a rear yard that is nearly 12 feet higher than the main level of the home. The initial impetus to begin this project was their collapsing detached garage which was poorly built into the steep slope, and was about to come crashing down.

The client’s requirements were that the design would maximize the garage and storage space while providing some type of upper level outdoor covered porch or patio space that was more intimately related to the back yard. Additionally, their home is located in a historic district, adding another level of review and unique requirements that they found to be confusing and frustrating.

Research into the local historic codes and ordinances revealed restrictions on the area of detached buildings and required a more creative solution. Overall, what was to be an entire upper level enclosed for storage became a combination of enclosed storage and a large covered porch. The use of seasonal canvas type curtains on the covered porch would provide protection for outdoor furniture and the storage room would provide secure, weather proof storage for other items.

This creative design solution was realized through the collaborative process of quick sketching and brainstorming potential solutions with the client. Being respectful of the local requirements as the client’s ideas were brought to the next level of refinement, we were able to gain their trust and appreciation for the value we added to their project and home overall.