View Slide Show of the Dorothea Harwell House

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Photography by Jim Westphalen.

View slide show of the Susannah Kinicutt House

View Slide Show of the Henry Allerton Lake House

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Photography by Jim Westphalen of Westphalen Photo.

View a slide show of the Rebecca Leland Farmhouse

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Photography on slides 1-11 by Jim Westphalen of Westphalen Photo.

Article on the Rebecca Leland Farmhouse

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View a slide show of the Stewart Hamil Lake Cottage

View Slide Show of the Brian Grant Brady House

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Photography by Jim Westphalen of Westphalen Photo.

View our team crafting the exterior trim for the Brian Grant Brady House

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Georgian Inspired Farmhouse

Posted by Holly Kelton on Fri, Nov 13, 2009 @ 01:23 PM
  
  
  
  

Tucked away in Vermont, on a stunning hillside, is a house that looks like a restored antique farmstead. The home, completed in 2008, is brand new and was designed and mill-built by Connor Homes. The style is Georgian-inspired with an attached New England Style barn.

The homeowners had owned the land in Vermont for several years before building this house and used an existing cottage on the property whenever in town. When they decided to move to Vermont permanently they began work on the house plans. With a clear vision of the spaces and level of formality desired, the homeowners worked with the Connor design team to create a beautiful home that evoked both stately in-town elegance in the details and rural agrarian roots in the New England farmhouse massing.

The house is two-stories with a full basement and attached two-car barn with living loft. The style distinctly borrows from the Georgian period with details such as dentil mouldings and modillions, overhanging eaves, 12/12 windows, end chimney and high ceilings.

 

Exterior materials and finishes include vertical grain hemlock siding on the house and vertical pine board shiplap siding on the barn, red cedar roof shingles, pine exterior trim, Green Mountain double-hung windows and custom built windows and mahogany carriage doors from Connor Homes.    

The interior space is formal in its strict adherence to square rooms off a central stair hall. Ceiling heights on the first floor are ten feet and the second floor are nine feet. A beautiful staircase creates a focal point in the foyer that features an arch top window on its landing.

The kitchen is the heart of the first floor and is designed for a dedicated cook who requires an abundance of counter space and storage. Floor to ceiling cabinets, an oversized island and wall pantries were all custom designed and built at Connor Homes. Painted in white, the kitchen has a clean, open feel with views through a breakfast nook to the valley beyond. Green granite countertops, nickel knobs and pulls, white subway tile backsplash and a white farmhouse sink complement the traditional millwork.

Built-ins, wainscoting, chair-rail and crown mouldings are found throughout the rest of the house. Cherry floors were installed throughout the main living spaces of the first floor and wide pine flooring was installed in the second floor bedrooms.  

The second floor contains two guest bedrooms with a spacious shared bath. The master suite has its own bathroom retreat with stunning views of the valley beyond and a roomy walk-in closet.

The attached barn provides space for a useful second floor study. With a staircase that winds up from the mudroom, this retreat is made welcoming with pine floors and vaulted ceilings. French doors open to a shallow balcony for evenings spent enjoying the sunsets and great views.

We thank our homeowners for allowing us to play a part in their home and congratulate the contractor, Curt Benjamin of Ben Curtis Builders, for excellent execution on site.

To view additional photos and floor plans of this home please visit our Dorothea Harwell slide show on this page.

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The Susannah Kinicutt House

Posted by Holly Kelton on Thu, Oct 08, 2009 @ 07:15 PM
  
  
  
  

Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and a salt-water inlet and bordered by Rexhame Beach and South River Marsh is the Susannah Kinicutt House in Marshfield, Massachusetts. The site, a two-lot parcel with incredible marsh views, had been in the family since the early 1900s with a small outdated cottage on the spot. In 2007 the homeowners of the Susannah Kinicutt House decided to design and build a house to take full advantage of the two-lot parcel and incredible setting.

Arriving at Connor Homes with catalog in hand, the homeowners started with the Azariah Canfield floor plan and worked with the Connor Homes design team to dramatically alter the exterior facade while staying close to the original and very efficient original floor plan. 

The Azariah Canfield House is a saltbox found in the company's catalog originally built in Cornwall, Vermont. By changing the exterior facade to a full two-story colonial, additional space was created on the second floor, providing a bit more room for children and grandchildren. A fantastic space on the third floor was optimized by adding dormers to the roofline. Although just used as a storage space, the view from the third floor is well worth the trip up the stairs!

To take full advantage of the views and the salt air breezes, the homeowners added a covered porch along the front facade and a four-season glassed in porch on the side facade. Unusually, the front facade and formal entry door face the marsh and not the street. For the homeowners, the marsh is their front yard and they intended the entry to open to the wildlife and beyond. But for those visitors who come in from the driveway, a charming covered entrance on the rear facade is very welcoming.

  

Local flooding challenges for this house were quickly overcome. Because the marsh floods this area twice a year on average, the house had to be built on piers. The local code required the house to sit 18" above established grade which meant no basement and allowances had to be made for the water to flow under the house without risk to the structure or finish materials. Additionally, a one-car attached garage had to be accessible and so was raised the required amount on piers and then a wooden ramp was built for access. Off of the garage was the perfect place to tuck an outdoor shower for a quick rinse after a swim in the ocean.

Exterior finishes include natural eastern white cedar shingles on the facade and architectural asphalt shingles on the roof. The simulated divided lite windows by Green Mountain Window Company are provided in a 12/12 grille pattern and the porch railing is made of cedar.

 

The main living space is designed to feel open but still provide a few corners to create intimate gatherings. The kitchen / dining space is light and open and French doors invite occupants to experience the spacious 4-season porch with views of the bay. The 4-season porch, which runs the entire length of the side of the house, has plenty of room for enjoying a meal in the evening after conversing in comfortable chairs. While a paint finish has been applied to all interior woodwork, the porch trim was left natural.

In the living room, windows open to both the covered porch and the 4-season porch and the focal point is a gas fireplace with a beautiful Connor Homes pine mantel. A set of open balustrade stairs that lead to the second and third floor separate the living area from the more private first floor spaces of the study, bath, laundry and mudroom.

 

The second floor contains two wonderful guest bedrooms with a spacious shared bath. The master suite has a gas fireplace and its own bathroom retreat with wonderful views of the marsh on two sides.

For now the Susannah Kinicutt House serves as a summer and weekend retreat but may just eventually become the full time residence. We thank our homeowners for allowing us to play a part in their home and congratulate the contractor, Mark Stewart, for an excellent building job on his first of what we hope are many Connor Homes.

To view additional photos and floor plans of this home please visit our Susannah Kinicutt slide show on this page.

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The Henry Allerton Lake House

Posted by Holly Kelton on Sun, Jul 26, 2009 @ 03:01 PM
  
  
  
  
Building a new house in the midst of a deep rooted, 100-year-old association on Lake Champlain to meet stringent national LEED guidelines presented an exciting challenge for passionate homeowners.

This 3,883 square foot house was designed in the summer of 2006 by Connor Homes with local Vermont systems consultants, a Vermont Landscape firm, Efficiency Vermont and a local general contractor, Matt Laberge. The integrated project team and the involved owners consulted during various project phases to ensure site protection, house design, energy efficiency and local materials were considered inside and out.

The house was designed with two strategies in mind. First, make the house as naturally energy efficient as possible before mechanical systems were employed. And second, allow the inside and outside to integrate harmoniously. The house was sited for maximum solar exposure during the winter and shading overhangs were designed and calculated to keep the house cool in the summer. In addition, these overhangs protect doors and thresholds from weather for longer durability. The beautiful high energy efficiency French doors and windows grant views of the outdoors in every room and bring the interior and exterior together. Screen and covered porches, covered entries, a balcony and an open deck allow many ways of bringing the two environments together.

The site was a previously developed lot with an existing cottage. The cottage was donated to the local fire department for training purposes after materials were salvaged to be recycled where possible. The site's characteristics had many favorable aspects for rebuilding. It was not in a FEMA defined flood plane, it was not identified as habitat for threatened or endangered species, it was not within 100 feet of wetlands and it was not former parkland or farmland.

Existing topsoil on the site was stockpiled and protected from erosion for reuse. All disturbed soils were stabilized, runoff was controlled with site fencing, swales were used to divert water from sloped areas and storm sewer inlets were protected with straw bales during construction. More then 40% of the 1.44 acre lot was left undisturbed during construction.

The house was panelized and pre-cut at Connor Homes in the fall of 2006 and delivered to the site in staggered and bundled loads. This method of construction, as sited by a NAHB study, can save as much as 26% on wood materials and 37% on-site labor time. The reduced construction duration and the concentrated footprint of building the home in a factory reduces the impact on the environment. The solid wood construction, exterior wood materials such as pressure treated southern yellow pine wood shingles and vertical grain clapboards were chosen for long term durability so that this house would not have to be donated to a local fire department for 150 years or more.

The house is insulated using two methods. The poured concrete foundation is insulated on the inside walls with 2" rigid foam board. The remainder of the house, including the attached carriage barn, is insulated with closed cell icynene spray foam insulation. Foundation walls were insulated at R-13, above grade walls were insulated to R-33 and R-39 and attic and ceilings in both house and carriage house were insulated to R-52 and R-59.

The heat source is an Electric 8.5% HSPF Air Source Heat Pump with a 15 SEER central cooling system. The hot water system is a stand alone electric .84 EF water heater. Energy Star Rated appliances were used such as GE Profile Spacemaker II Microwave Oven, Jenn Air Electric Downdraft Range, Amana Easy Reach Fridge, U-Line Undercounter Fridge and Whirlpool Front loading washers and dryers. Energy Star Rated exhaust fans were installed to meet ASHRAE Standards in baths and kitchen.

The landscape, designed by a certified Vermont firm, was tolerant to Vermont drought levels and would not require irrigation. Permanent storm water controls were used to manage water run-off. 15-gallon trees, 5-gallon shrubs and drought resistant turf seed were planted to shade hardscapes, aesthetically root the house to the site and minimize soil erosion. The mature tree stands along the road and lot hedgerow were protected to serve as shade and buffer zones. The rear portion of the lot was left to wild grasses as a transitional habitat environment between the house and the woodlands.

The house was completed by August 2007. Finish materials included poplar interior trim, locally harvested brown maple and cherry cabinets and millwork, locally harvested oak floors, locally produced lighting fixtures and low VOC paints.

The house is Vermont's third LEED certified house, qualified for Vermont EPACT Energy Efficient Home Tax Credit, received a Vermont Residential Building Energy Standards (REBS) certificate and a 5-Star Plus Home Energy Rating certificate from Efficiency Vermont. During the LEED for Homes durability checklist, this home exceeded IECC requirements for climate zone, went through an Energy Star Thermal Bypass inspection, pre-drywall, and thermal image scanning to test thermal performance of envelope. As well the house exceeded Energy Star for Windows requirements with U values of .320. Windows and doors use glazing that blocks the most destructive UV radiation. The house passed a blower door test for air infiltration.

The Henry Allerton Lake House won best national panelized house from 2,400 to 4,000 square feet as awarded by the National Association of Home Builders Building System Council.

Finally, the house was designed and built to be timeless and beautiful. A beautiful house on the landscape, well sited and designed by borrowing from local vernacular styles, is a home that will be cared for and passed on from generation to generation.

The house was completed by August 2007. We thank the owners who came to us for this project. It was an enjoyable experience. Thank you Dick and Margo.

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The Rebecca Leland Farmhouse

Posted by Holly Kelton on Thu, May 21, 2009 @ 06:05 PM
  
  
  
  

In the fall of 2005, a young couple and their son and daughter began talking to us about building a home in Columbia County, New York. Utilizing meetings at our offices and communicating via phone calls and numerous emails, they worked closely with our in-house design team to complete the design in less than two months. With the Emmaline Gabrielle Farmhouse as the starting inspiration, the home was slightly enlarged to accommodate a larger mudroom and larger second floor master suite bathroom. An attached barn with future loft studio space defined a courtyard feel around the front door.

The starting design, the Emmaline Gabrielle, is a farmhouse inspired by Federal detailing. An asymmetrical front entry and fireplace, generous overhangs, 12/12 window patterns, and a 10/12 roof pitch are some of the federal influences felt in this farmhouse. While the original inspiration had a wrap-around porch, the porch was only carried along the north side to protect the entry doors. On the other sides the glass and doors were exposed to take full advantage of the sun's path.

The homeowners had already purchased their land when we began working them, so we worked together to site the house for maximum solar gain as they planned to utilize both passive and active solar energy. Because of their distance from us, we worked with site maps and photos to best understand the setting. Just off a county route, the drive follows a mature hedgerow of trees and empties into the field in which the house sits. The chickens and ducks who will greet you as you leave your car complete the picture of a historic farmstead!

Excavation began in late November and we framed the house in our shops in the first days of January, 2006. The family came over to our shops on one of the framing days so the children could watch the walls of their house being built. As their ICF insulation foundation was being installed the walls of their home were being built, and this would ensure that the minute the foundation was completed the house could quickly be erected in the winter months of upstate New York. Tim Holk of Columbia County Historic Homes was the general contractor for this project. Tim has built many Connor Homes over the years and so took command from day one on the site.

Exterior trim finishes included energy efficient Green Mountain Windows, insulated glass doors, vertical grain hemlock siding on the house and vertical board pine siding on the barn, a covered porch that protects the main entrance as well as the mudroom door, Everseam standing seam roofing and a louvered Connor Homes cupola.

The interior was a mix of materials. The homeowner found salvaged wood floors from Antique & Vintage Woods of America and reclaimed light fixtures to usr throughout the house; many fixtures were heirlooms from their families. The builder provided the cherry kitchen cabinets and a custom library milled on site from locally harvested cherry. Connor Homes provided stairs, doors and interior trim.

The homeowners chose many ways to create sustainability in this house. As mentioned earlier they utilized both passive and active solar heating. Expanses of glass provided by large double hung windows and triple French doors with transoms above flood the house with light and warmth. There are two types of solar panels on the southern roof exposure providing solar heating and solar domestic hot water. The house has grid-tied photovoltaics, Lifebreath heat recovery ventilation, radiant floor heating, a Munchkin high efficiency propane boiler, low flow toilets, energy efficient appliances and an insulated ICF foundation that along with Icynene foam wall insulation makes this a super insulated and super efficient farmhouse. The house is Energy star certified with a Five-star rating. Now those are not descriptions we usually find associated with up-state New York farmhouses.

In addition, the homeowners took care to choose recycled and reclaimed materials wherever possible. Reclaimed lighting fixtures, flooring and landscaping stones help keep waste from our landfills and bring touches of old charm into this new farmhouse. The same features that makes this house so tight and energy efficient also convinced the owners to use all non-toxic and low VOC finishes for healthy air quality.

This house is a unique example of green technologies with classic New England design appeal. The process, in which homeowner, builder and Connor Homes worked together to create this beautiful one-of-a-kind home, is one we cherish.

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The Stewart Hamil Lake Cottage

Posted by Holly Kelton on Sat, Apr 18, 2009 @ 04:15 PM
  
  
  
  

So what do you do if you already own a Connor Home and a Connor Barn...or two?

With a quiet private bay location on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain, the question was not whether to build, but what to build? At first the homeowners looked at building a lighthouse-inspired getaway and preliminary plans were drawn up. But eventually they settled on a cottage idea drawn by a local designer and the homeowners came to Connor Homes with these early plans. The Connor Homes design team further worked with the couple to refine the plan in order to pre-build the cottage kit. The end result is a charming and unique cottage that makes use of every square foot of space.

Exterior finishes included natural eastern white cedar shingles on the facade and custom built sliding barn doors of solid pine with a flared shield above to protect the entry from snow and ice. The simulated divided lite windows by Green Mountain Window Company are painted a deep forest green, fitting in this setting.  

The main living space is open and centered around a wood stove with dining space on one side and a family room on the other. Adding to the open feel, French doors invite occupants to experience the spacious screened-in porch with views of the bay. The porch, which runs the entire length of the back of the house, has plenty of room for enjoying a meal in the evening after conversing in comfortable wicker chairs. While a light wash finish has been applied to all interior woodwork, the porch enjoys a natural look. Connor Homes built the porch trim components out of locally harvested pine and it was left natural to reveal the characteristics of the rustic knotty wood. White cedar shingles are used for the porch interior wall finish, matching the exterior facade shingles.

 

The kitchen lies just off the main living area and is a study in efficiency, detail and beauty. The Connor Homes farmhouse-style inset cabinets with their beadboard fronts are painted a clean white. This is beautifully offset by the custom mahogany counter top, also built in the Connor Homes cabinet shop. Stainless steel appliances and a beadboard backsplash and ceiling treatment finished with a light wash convey elegance in a rustic setting. Upper cabinets extend all the way to the ceiling and a floor to ceiling pantry defines one edge of the kitchen while a curved overhang to the counter leads the eye back to the living spaces on the other edge of the kitchen.

Where this cottage really shows off its use of space is in the private rooms. A first floor bedroom with a full bath is tucked to the side of the house. This bath is shared by both the main space and this cozy guest room. Bookcases lining the hall to the bedroom and a coat closet tucked under the stair allow for creative storage space. Walk into the bedroom and you will find a vaulted ceiling with pine beams. A nook above the bedroom door is a stolen display space and occasionally a children's hideaway. French doors leading to a stone patio outside make this a great place to be a guest.

The second floor contains the master bedroom, a dressing room and closet, a second bedroom (or office), a large full bath with claw foot tub and tiled shower, a laundry closet and the utility space. The master bedroom, with a full wall of glass doors, opens onto a railed balcony overlooking the bay. Another custom Connor Homes sliding pine door serves to close this room off from the rest of the house creating a retreat for watching sailboats during the day or stars in the evening sky.

For now this cottage serves as a weekend retreat but may just eventually become the full time residence. We thank our homeowners for allowing us to play a part in this and past adventures and congratulate the contractor, Matt Laberge, for managing and building another wonderful Connor Home.

To view additional photos and floor plans of this cottage please visit our Stewart Hamil Lake Cottage slide show at the top of the page.

16 Comments Click here to read/write comments

The Brian Grant Brady House

Posted by Tabby Connor on Wed, Apr 08, 2009 @ 08:35 AM
  
  
  
  

In the summer of 2006 a couple came to Connor Homes with a program for the design of their retirement home that was compelling.  The house was to sit prominently, yet simply in an open pasture and represent the elegance and style that was obviously characteristic of these clients.  It was equally as important to them that the house serve as a place to host the many guests they enjoy entertaining as it was to provide a comfortable home for them and for their family of whippets.  The clients expressed their love of Georgian style architecture and their wish to include such elegant forms, proportions and details in their design.  They particularly cited Westover at Virginia's James River Plantation as one of their favorites and enjoyed the harmony of the Georgian house with the gambrel wing to the east.  The house would be located in the small town of Delanson, NY, coincidentally named for the Delaware and Hudson Rivers which surround it in a similar fashion as the way the James River Plantation is surrounded by the James and Chickahominy Rivers.  The couple made it clear that the house would need to stand alone in the pasture and little if any landscaping was to be installed around the house.

The Connor Homes staff worked meticulously with the clients through each detail of the home to assemble a design that would meet and exceed the clients' expectations.  The result is an efficiently sized home, under 2,400 square feet, that exhibits late Georgian and early Federal features in order to create a presence found more often in homes of a much grander scale.  The house sits proudly on the site with a welcoming posture and would appear to have rested there for generations.  The massing of the house is eloquently simple with only the gambrel garage set off of the body of the home. 

The exterior boasts a symmetrical facade with a projecting center gable framed by fluted pilasters and pediment.  The front entry is cased with a custom fanlight and ornamental surround.  Above a custom Palladian window opens the second floor hall to the easterly views and the projecting pediment, dons an ornamental elliptical window.  Fluted pilasters on the corners support a heavy frieze, dentils and decorative cornice at the roof which is capped by red cedar shingles.  A stone clad foundation anchors the house naturally to the terrain and strengthens the perception of an old home.  In a shift from the home's Georgian roots a single chimney was pulled to the exterior of the southern end of home in order to support fireplaces in both the living room and the screen porch.  Quarter round fan lights flanking the chimney, six over six light patterns in the double hung windows and arched top garage doors at the north end of the gambrel bring the style of the home into the early Federal period.

The interior of the home is finished throughout with plank pine flooring up to 16" wide installed with traditional square cut nails.  Edge beaded casing trims out all windows and doors and elegant crown moulding is installed throughout the house.  The foyer is adorned with painted raised panel wainscot with a cherry cap rail that leads up the stairs and back to a large dining room where a hipped bay provides dinner parties with sunset views to the west.  A custom turned cherry newel highlights the staircase which extends up from the foyer maintaining the contrast of the wainscot detail with painted balusters contained by a cherry rail and cherry treads. 

A full depth living room extends front to back on the south end of the home which enjoys natural light throughout the day and leads out to the screen porch providing a pleasant indoor outdoor space.  Built-in book cases and custom mantel provide beautiful display spaces in the living room for books and treasures that the couple has collected throughout their travels.  Opposite the living room is the cozy study finished throughout in raised cherry wall paneling, and cherry crown moulding, window seats and bookcases.  The cherry millwork continues into the powder room located off the study.  The study backs up to the private kitchen complete with custom cabinetry and all the high end appliances needed for entertaining large groups. Utility spaces located off the kitchen, in the gambrel wing also contain custom millwork and a private secondary stair giving direct back yard access from the master bedroom, a requirement of the whippets.

An elevator was installed providing convenient service from the basement to the second floor where the cherry chair rail continues from the main stairway around the hall to the elaborately trimmed Palladian window.  Two guest bedrooms and a large master suite configure the second story which includes a private den extends over the garage.  Walk-in showers are constructed in both the master bath and the guest bath and a clawfoot tub enjoys the westerly views from the master bath.

All the framing of the project was delivered to the site in the form of pre-cut floor systems and roof systems as well as panelized walls which were then ready for immediate assembly by local contractors.  All exterior and interior trim work was pre built to the highest reasonable level allowing for quick and seamless installation and resulting in a construction timetable that was greatly reduced compared to what was possible with full on site construction practices.

This moderately sized home not only makes a statement larger than its scale, it also serves as a highly functional and livable space providing a balance of grandeur and coziness that make it a beautiful and comfortable home.

For more photos and floor plans see link to the left or visit The Brian Grant Brady House on our Website.

 

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