Join Us at the Northwest Remodeling Expo

live-work-play will be at the Northwest Remodeling Expo January 5th through January 7th.

Come say hello, we will be in Booth 424.

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Case Study: Aging in place in a split level

What to do when people love their home, their neighborhood and want to stay as they become older?

In this case, a couple are the first owners of their split-level home constructed in the 1970s.  They’ve taken great care of it and updated it from time to time.  Plus, they developed their garden spaces into a lovely bird haven.

Their classic split-level has an upper floor that includes the master suite, two bedrooms and a hall bath, kitchen, dining area and living room.  Downstairs, the layout is similar with a bedroom, hall bath, laundry, two car garage, and large family room.  The owners utilize both levels, although they spend most of their time upstairs.

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The owners knew from first hand experience caring for their own parents that figuring out a way to stay at home, especially with a private bedroom and bath for a caregiver, is a priority.

This case study started as only a master suite remodel, although the owners desired a mechanism to go outside and between levels.  With the existing stair configuration, a chair lift along the stair would not work.  We opted to add a Garaventa elevator with an exterior addition.  The elevator connects the downstairs garage interior with the upstairs office interior.  Since the lower elevator door is inside the garage, it is just a matter of driving into the garage, getting out of the vehicle and riding upstairs.

 

 

As they physically change, they decided to turn their master suite into an aging in place respite.   First, we widened the hallway and increased the width of the doors to 36″ at the master bedroom, master bath and office.

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At the master bath, we created a zero threshold shower with grab bars, fold down seat and hand shower that is controlled on the fixture.  Beyond that we relocated the WC, adding grab bars there and included a dressing table for resting while getting ready for the day—  all in finishes the owners enjoy.

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Plus, at the bedroom, we widened the room by a little and added a larger window to create a bird watching sitting area.  We created a comfortable walk-in dressing closet by combining a couple of closet spaces into one larger one.

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All of these changes:  wider doors, larger vestibule, accessible bathroom with grab bars, large dressing closet, and an elevator to go between levels mean that the owners can live here indefinitely, including with a live-in caregiver in the downstairs suite.

Contractor:  Mighty House Construction

Check out more images and information.

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Fall into DADU this fall! Come to our ‘Designing Backyard Cottages’ class at the Phinney Center, September 21, 7-9pm

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about creating a DADU in your backyard! You’re invited to come learn more with Sheri Newbold, Seattle’s DADU Guru, at our Designing Backyard Cottages class at the Phinney Neighborhood Community Center (Room #3) on Thursday, September 21st, from 7pm – 9pm.

Register here to attend this expanded class covering the why, what, which, where and how of building a DADU.

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Are your neighbors interested in DADU’s too? Does it make sense to collaborate with your neighbors to create an economy of scale? Bring them along.

Even more–what about changes to the Seattle Land Use code? What’s happening now?

Bring your address, property dimensions and if possible your sewer card. We will talk about as people’s property as we have time for. See you there!

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Greenwood Contemporary DADU is complete!

The Greenwood Contemporary DADU is complete and we will have an open house on April 22nd from 2 – 430PM.

Please send an email (sheri at live-work-play.net) to RSVP and for more information.

 

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DADU!! Creating a Backyard Cottage class at Phinney Center February 23, 7 -9 pm

DADUs!!!! Ever wanted to learn more about Detached and Attached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs)? Well, now you can! Come to our class on Thursday, February 23rd from 7-9pm at the Phinney Neighborhood Community Center Room #3 to learn about DADUs.  Please register here.

This is an expanded class on the why, what, where, which and how of creating a backyard cottage.

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Plus, are your neighbors also thinking of building a DADU? Does it make sense to collaborate with your neighbors to create an economy of scale? Bring them along.

Even more–what about changes to the Seattle Land Use code? What’s happening now?

Bring your address, property dimensions and if possible your sewer card. Bring a note pad and several colors of pens.  We will talk about as people’s property as we have time for.     See you there!

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Bringing in the New Year!

Happy Npna_homefairposter2017ew Year from live-work-play! We hope that 2017 is off to a great start.

We have some exciting events coming up this year, starting with the PNA Home Design and Remodel Fair. Come visit us in Room 6! Get ready for a day of local exhibitors and presenters including architects, contractors, suppliers, designers, landscape professionals, non-profit groups and permitting agencies all there to assist you with one-on-one help. The Fair is on Sunday, January 29th from 11am-4pm at the Phinney Center Blue Building. Tickets for PNA Members are $4 and $6 for the General Public. To find out more information click here.

 

Want to learn more about Backyard Cottages? Why, what, where, which and how creating a backyard cottage is right for you? You are in luck! Be on the lookout for our Designing Backyard Cottages Class on Thursday, February 23rd from 7-9pm at the Phinney Center Blue Building Upstairs in Room 6. You can register here. For more information click here (class is located on page 3 under Home & Garden).

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Proposed DADU/ ADU Code changes create new possibilities for your home!

If you are thinking of constructing an attached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or a detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU), you will find the proposed land use code changes explained in the Seattle City Council report “Removing Barriers to Backyard Cottages & Accessory Dwelling Units” useful.  By the way, DADUs are also known as backyard cottages, mother-in-law units or carriage houses.

Here are a few of the proposed changes that may increase feasibility for adding another dwelling to your property.  One is to expand the allowed DADU size so that it matches the allowed ADU size, which is 1000 square feet of gross floor area.  Another is to let backyard cottages be slightly taller and also to not count interior parking and storage as part of the allowed gross floor area.  These changes will have a big impact on your ability to convert existing structures, such as garages, to DADUs.

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Another change is to allow the minimum lot size for a DADU to be slightly smaller–3200 square feet instead of 4000 square feet, which will open up this possibility for more people.  The new changes remove the additional parking space requirement.  Often adding a parking space to the property is challenging, and simply privatizes a street parking space by adding a curb cut.

We are looking forward to the next steps for implementing these code changes.  We’re tracking the legislative process and will add updates to this blog!

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DADU! Creating a Backyard Cottage class at Phinney Center October 20th 7pm Room 3

DADUs!!!! Ever wanted to learn more

about Detached and Attached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs)? Well, now you

can! Come to our class on Thursday, October 20th from 7-9pm at the Phinney Neighborhood Community Center Room #3 to learn about DADUs.  Please register here.

This is an expanded class on the why, what, where, which and how of creating a backyard cottage.

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Plus, are your neighbors also thinking of building a DADU? Does it make sense to collaborate with your neighbors to create an economy of scale? Bring them along.

Even more–what about changes to the Seattle Land Use code? What’s happening now?

Bring your address, property dimensions and if possible your sewer card. Bring a note pad and several colors of pens.     See you there!

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Life Changes, so the House Changes

Often, residential design is about evolving a space to fit the family. Live-work-play transforms homes to fit the current needs of each family we help. Recently, we worked on three family houses, finding commonalities of space transformation: kids turning into teens, connecting to the outside and borrowing views of beyond. For the Northgate house, we added 770 square feet and a deck above an existing level, allowing each child to have their own space to grow to adulthood, plus their own game table and media space.  The added deck increases psychological and actual freedom of a space beyond, borrowing views of a nearby zen garden. It is an oasis of peace and quiet.

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Media and game table with deck beyond

The West Seattle project is phase two for the family. The kids are now older and need their own space as they become teens. On the main level of the house, we transformed the flow by adding space and relocating the dining area. This new placement enhances the views, increasing the long distance perspective. We added a new adult media area, giving the kids their own hang out room below. The teen hangout and Seahawks fan cave also doubles as the music room. There is now plenty of room for them and for their friends. Extending the space further, we converted part of this level to a ping-pong area and added much needed storage room. The new low maintenance deck capitalizes on the stunning views of downtown and the Cascade mountains, extending the horizon of vistas.

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Connecting the living, dining and media areas to the view.

For the Capitol Hill project, we focused on connecting the interior spaces to each other and to adjacent exterior space for a couple who recently added a child to their family.  Originally, the dining room and kitchen were not connected to the outdoors or to each other. We reconfigured the backyard space next to them by changing the awkwardly shaped and unusable garden, carving out a generous patio area with board-formed concrete walls. The garden now can function for entertaining and kids’ play. We brought views from the outside in by connecting the dining room to the outdoors through french doors and a covered area integrated with the house structure. The center of the house and the heart of the home, the kitchen, is now connected to the dining room and other spaces. New built-ins and lighting enhance this updated space. In the Pacific Northwest, it is important to enjoy the outdoors while we can and also to bring the outdoors inside through views beyond, so we can emotionally connect with it even with the weather is gray and drizzly.

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Connecting the remodeled kitchen and dining room to the new patio.

 

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DADU! Creating a Backyard Cottage class at Phinney Center May 26th 7pm Room 3

DADUs!!!! Ever wanted to learn more about Detached and Attached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs)? Well, now you can! Come to our class on Thursday, May 26th from 7-9pm at the Phinney Neighborhood Community Center Room #3 to learn about DADUs.  Please register here.

This is an expanded class on the why, what, where, which and how of creating a backyard cottage.

Plus, are your neighbors also thinking of building a DADU? Does it make sense to collaborate with your neighbors to create an economy of scale? Bring them along.

Even more–what about changes to the Seattle Land Use code? What’s happening now?

Bring your address, property dimensions and if possible your sewer card. Bring a note pad and several colors of pens.     See you there!

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