The Owner-Builder Network

Barrier Island House

Vero Beach  Florida  USA  –  Sanders Pace Architecture

Built Area:     2,400 sq ft  (222 m2)
Year Built:     2011

Great site and views and surrounded by friends and long-standing neighbours, the original intent was to refurbish the existing but tired,1950’s home. But as is so often the case, the economics of major renovation versus a new structure simply did not work.  It typically costs twice to renovate what it does to build new – assuming similar standardsIt typically costs twice to renovate

Renovate or rebuild?
Renovate or rebuild?

“The owners of this property approached our firm to provide design services for a site located on a natural canal leading to the intracoastal waterway. In recent years the couple has begun to spend the majority of their time at the property in Vero Beach, close to where Ms. Mitchell was raised. Living in the house it became clear to the couple that improvements to the 50+ year old structure had become a necessity.

We began the process by first evaluating the Client’s goals with their existing property in order to determine whether or not the existing single family residence on the site could accommodate their needs. After a visit to the site it was determined that any improvement to the existing residence would require the demolition of the original terrazzo slab on grade, perhaps the house’s best asset. Once the decision to demolish was made a series of design options were explored which maintained the scale and character of the original house while adding new exterior program to the site. A desire to preserve as much of the natural vegetation on the site as possible including many beautiful live oak trees meant containing new construction within the footprint of the original building. Improved efficiency within the footprint of the building allowed us to provide the same interior program within a smaller amount of conditioned space, again a nod to the scale and character of the original historic neighborhood. Materials used are also complimentary to the context and include white stucco, dark brick, and native cypress. Landscaping includes a combination of native palms and live oaks coupled with tall drought tolerant grasses against the building providing a screen for condensing units.”

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