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This couple loved their neighborhood. But with three young children and just over 1700 square feet, they were on top of each other. The five of them shared one full bathroom and a small powder room. Their first floor felt chopped up and closed in and had little storage. One member of the couple worked from a basement office next to their oil tank.

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Speaking of that oil tank...

These clients were eager to go fossil fuel free. A landscape architect and residential designer passionate about sustainability, they were determined to make their home as efficient, comfortable and low-carbon as possible.

A large chimney lay at the center of these problems. Converting to heat pumps allowed us to remove the chimney and oil tank, gaining living and storage space while creating a more pleasant basement office. On the first floor, we also removed one full wall and replaced two others with half walls to create better visual connection and flow.

Before

After

A Suite Transformation

On the second floor, we built a small addition over the sunroom, transforming a cramped primary bedroom into a suite with walk-in closet and small sitting area.

Prior to replacing the siding, we added 2” of walls insulation, and we air sealed the exposed band joist area of the basement. These improvements allowed us to install a lower capacity heat pump system. Additional energy upgrades included a heat pump water heater, energy recovery ventilator, and 8.3 kw solar array.

Before

After

The result is a more functional, comfortable and low-carbon home with fewer drafts, lower energy bills, and less street noise—a home that will serve the owners well while their children are young, and will continue to serve them well over time.