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Jon Elkins, Owner

Bellevue Breezeway

We had the opportunity to work with a wonderful family in Bellevue this last year. They were looking for an additional room centered around the kitchen for them and their two-grade school children. We reviewed their wish list and then went through a couple of design concepts.

Their list included opening the exterior wall and adding a peninsula countertop that would extend into the breezeway for a complete kitchen remodel. We added a new half bath and updated the laundry room.

With this not being their forever home, they scaled back to their priority in getting additional space around the kitchen for their children to play and do homework rather than at the dining room table or tucked away in the basement. In the end, even with the delays due to Covid, they are delighted with the final product.

There was a breezeway (10x15) between this 1958 home and the garage they felt could be better used as interior space. One challenge was having to deal with the blue metal roof and not blow the budget. We used some of the existing framings that supported the four-foot eaves and utilized the existing roof. Then, to tie the new roof into the existing one, we framed it taller using a similar metal roof profile. It wasn’t exact and could have caused a leak if we attempted to lace the roof materials together. One of the benefits of doing it this way was that it allowed for a color variation to not be as noticeable (if my excellent roofer couldn’t source the blue as well as he did).

Another challenge is meeting today’s energy codes. There are two options for insulating the breezeway floor. The most cost-effective option was to remove the slab, install insulation, and pour a new slab at the proper thickness. This process also provided the best outcome and helped us lose 1” + variance from the kitchen finished floor height and the door to the garage. Option 2, which we decided was more complicated and not worth the extra money was to insulate the space perimeter on three (3) sides and include cutting into the garage slab.

For the exterior, we had to have the siding custom milled to match the existing. We added matching windows on the north and south sides, bringing in necessary light while keeping a level of privacy.

As far as finish goes, there is nothing eye-popping. The hardwood floor matches the dining room floor that carries throughout the home. The new hardwoods are the same finished floor height as the tiled kitchen floor. The stained trim and doors, including the front doors, match the home’s existing finishes.

Lastly, as a remodeler, we kept in mind that the future owners may resurrect that grand idea of removing the wall between the kitchen and pushing into the breezeway. Our remodeling work will not make that more of a challenge to future carpenters.

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