Project Description

A complete remodel of a home perched above Green Lake


With hardly a foundation under it, this home perched above Green Lake was in dire need of a major renovation inside and out. The owners wanted to also incorporate a two-bedroom apartment in the lower level that could be rented to a tenant.

To accomplish this, the basic bones of the home were kept, but the entire house was raised a couple feet while the foundation was completely replaced. The basement was designed as a 900 square foot, two-bedroom ‘accessory dwelling unit’ (sometimes called a mother-in-law apartment). To give the owner as much privacy as possible, the entry to the main house was relocated from the west side of the home to the east (which had previously been the ‘back’ of the house). The floor plan inside was rearranged by moving the entry, stair, kitchen, and bathroom. An almost completely glass wall on the west facade takes in the views to Green Lake. Upstairs, the floor plan was rearranged to create a full master suite facing the view, two additional bedrooms, a bathroom and a laundry area. A new bay window was added to the master bedroom to visually expand the space and give the owners a quiet place to relax and enjoy looking out to Green Lake.

Project Info & Tips

  • Adding a lot of glass on one facade can be structurally challenging. In this house, we had to add a steel moment frame on the west facade to laterally stiffen the house (to resist high wind and earthquake loads)
  • Raising a house can be expensive, but can often make sense particularly when a house needs a new foundation anyway
  • Moving the stair is sometimes necessary to make a plan work. Because we moved the main entry to the home, it also made sense to move the stair.
  • Accessory Dwelling Units can make a larger home more affordable to own. Renting out the lower level helps offset mortgage payments. As rents rise over time, more of a mortgage payment will be covered by your tenant
  • To learn more, see our article on Whole House Remodels
  • This project was featured on and the Huffington Post
  • Level of Design Services: Full Services
  • How do I Estimate Construction Cost and Design Fees?
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