Catherine and Duncan love their neighborhood that has great proximity to the DC Metro area.
They also love their home and the sense of history embedded in its frame. It is over 100 years old and originally was a one room school house. Interior walls and ceilings were added to the building in the 1920s so it could become a two bedroom, one bath residence.
But Catherine and Duncan now have two young children and they decided it was time to expand their small home with an addition. They googled “design/build contractors in DC” and T.W. Ellis’ name appeared, along with many positive reviews. So they reached out to us and made an appointment with Tim Ellis. “T.W.Ellis was more responsive and competent than the other contractors we spoke with,” says Catherine. “They inspired in us a lot of confidence.”
The challenge, from Catherine and Duncan’s point of view, was to figure out how best to attach an addition without the family members having to walk through someone’s bedroom to get to the addition. There wasn’t an obvious way to transition from the existing house into the new space. “T.W. Ellis was essential in coming up with the design,” explains Catherine. “They changed the purpose of our existing master bedroom, so it has now become a fun playroom/family room—a space we’ve really needed. And this room also leads to the addition.” Refer to the before and after floor plans for a visual of this amazing transformation.
Once construction began, T.W Ellis also ran into some challenges when we discovered that the original foundation for the school house wasn’t footed. We would have undermined the original foundation while working on the new addition. So before we started, it was necessary for us to underpin the existing foundation. Also, the gas line to the home was exposed in the area where we were digging for the addition, and it was very difficult to schedule an appointment with Washington Gas. It took them two months to get the gas line relocated. These kinds of circumstances caused the project to take much longer than we originally estimated. But we made sure the communication lines stayed open and kept up with our clients throughout the time. We’re very appreciative that Catherine and Duncan were so understanding!
T.W. Ellis opened up the floor plan, improved the traffic flow and created all kinds of rooms that our clients had not thought of.
For example, a dedicated home office for was designed Catherine who works from home. There is an adorable nursery for their 7-week-old baby. Novie also created a spacious master suite for Catherine and Duncan, whose original bedroom was so tiny there wasn’t even room for a bedside table. Previously, they shared their home’s one bathroom and single closet with the rest of the family. Now they have a large laundry closet, plus three additional closets, and a private master bathroom. In the master bath, an elegant shower niche in a marble baroque mosaic provides space for toiletries. Throughout the rest of the addition, solid Kempas hardwood flooring unifies the space. These project photos are must-see, check them out on Houzz.
“T.W. Ellis was wonderful in helping us meet our needs,” Catherine says. “In the past, we were all on top of each other, with the entire family using one bathroom. We love having a dedicated master suite! T.W. Ellis designed a spa-like atmosphere in our master bath that has created a sanctuary we’ve never had before. It’s uncommon to see a master suite in our neighborhood. This addition will add a lot of value to our home, should we ever decide to move.”
One of the things our clients really appreciate is the way T.W. Ellis maintained the character of their home’s interior and exterior.
We stuccoed the exterior of the new addition and matched the paint color so it integrates with the original stucco facade. The new addition blends perfectly into the existing home so that it is impossible to tell where the old meets the new. We continued all the details from the existing interior into the interior of the addition, such as the crown molding and door trim.
Our clients are very pleased with the process of working with T.W. Ellis, which included our helping them make product selections. They expressed to us that the process was seamless, easy and enjoyable. “We enjoyed working with Chris, our project manager,” Catherine adds. “He was very responsive through a long process. He was an easy point of reference for us.”
If your home feels like it is bulging at the seams and you’d like to build an addition, contact T.W. Ellis. We will work with you to design an addition that perfectly meets the needs and desires of your family. twellis.com 410.420.0740