Build Well, Live Simply


Connors Residence Saline, MI



This project involved the reimagining of a small 60 year old house to meet the needs of the Connors family. An addition with a new master bedroom suite and garage was added, and the living and dining rooms were expanded. On the exterior, the house was resided and a new front porch was added. The idea was to create a new home from the existing without having it look like a house with an addition added


Preliminary Design #1

The big challenge was fitting the addition into a too small sideward, with a steep slope to the rear. Our options here were really very limited. Placing the garage at basement level under the master bedroom suite is not really typical, but there was no other place for it to go given the steep slope to the rear and the limited side yard space. However, we got everything to work and the design really did look like a new house.


Preliminary Design #2

The owners were very happy with the first design, but when the final survey came back from the surveyor, we had a surprise. The property lines were not where we thought they were and the new addition was now inside the front setback. So we revised the design, pushing the addition back and adding a front porch (permitted in the setback). Actually, the front porch is a nice visual improvement, but it did add to the cost.


Construction Drawings

Once the design was finalized, I went on to the final construction drawings, which show in great detail how the house is to be built. A final set of construction drawings includes not only floor plans and elevations, but also cross sections, room and door schedules, interior elevations, structural design, mechanical and electrical design and specifications. This is where most of my work is, but if the construction is properly worked out on the drawings, the bidding and construction, the project will proceed much more smoothly, often at less cost.


Bidding and Construction

The owners sent the drawings out for bids to several contractors and selected Belanger Builders out of Brighton. Steve Belanger has built a number of my designs over the years and has done an excellent job. This project was no different.

Here's how I found out that Belanger Builders had been hired. I hadn't heard from either of the owners for a number of months after I had given them the final drawings, so I called up Hilary Connors. She very happily told me that they had hired Belangers Builders, and construction was proceeded quickly and smoothly, and the crew was getting ready to hang the drywall. Nobody had bothered to call me because there had not been any problems or questions.

This was one of those projects where everyone was happy at the end. Construction took about 5 months and was wrapped up late summer of 2011.


Connors Residence: Before (above) and after (below)


Preliminary Drawings: Version #1




Preliminary Drawings: Version #2


Construction Drawings (7 sheets)

(Sorry about the poor image quality, but the images have been reduced from 36"x24")








Finished House -View from sidewalk