Updating and expanding this historic home provided plenty of challenges for the team at Hopkins and Porter: The house had to not only meet approval from the National Capital Park and Planning and Historic Preservation departments, but also the town, which meant that there were additional constraints.

(Photo courtesy of Kai Tong of Hopkins & Porter)
(Photo courtesy of Kai Tong of Hopkins & Porter)

Kai Tong, head architect at Hopkins and Porter, says that getting materials to match the architectural structure of the house was a lengthy process. “We had to submit roofing samples that matched the lifetime architectural shingle on the main house. The siding had to be approved, and we were constrained with the windows.” The original manufacturer of the windows wasn’t available, so Tong had to custom-order windows that had the same look and feel as the originals from an independent manufacturer. Custom millwork was done to replicate the painted wood brakes on the roof overhang for the main house and addition. Furthermore, the team had to search through an architectural salvage warehouse to find cast-iron radiators that met the requirements of the existing radiators and boiler system.

Aside from materials, the biggest challenge was creating a second-floor addition that looked like it had been there all along and that wouldn’t overload the original structure. By opening up the old flat roof and adding new joints to the existing flat rafter, the team increased the depth and strength of the roof to make it capable of withstanding the additional load.