Happily no one was hurt in this fire and the homeowner was fully insured. The challenge for us here was to create a more open plan from a 1957 Rambler Walkout while increasing efficiency and staying within the existing footprint and claim budget. Another goal of the homeowner in this case was to create a second complete living space in the basement to anticipate the need for a live-in caregiver in the future.
We reconfigured and opened the space by moving the central staircase to the edge of the family room and replacing load-bearing walls in the basement with a steel beam. In the kitchen/family room area we took the newly open area and expanded it further by framing in a recessed tray ceiling and keeping sight-lines between rooms clear.
In this case we had the opportunity to rethink electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems fully; creating a dual-zone heating system with 95% efficient furnace, installing a high efficiency hot water heater, air exchange system and other major appliances and insulating all walls with high R value closed cell foam insulation. We were also able to install a complete new kitchen in the basement while staying within the insurance claim despite top-end appliances in the main kitchen by using a complete IKEA kitchen in the secondary living space.