sustainable and affordable


Built in the 1950s, this rambler had a small ‘U’ shaped kitchen typical of homes build in that era. The kitchen, which was in its original condition and included such elements as dark plywood oak cabinetry and vinyl flooring, was in need of updating and expanding. The home also lacked exterior space where the homeowners could enjoy their nicely shaded and semi-private back yard.


creating space

The space constraints were overcome by adding 140 square feet onto the back of the kitchen, creating an ‘L’ shape layout with a small island. The space for the adjacent informal dining area found in the original kitchen was maintained and the finishes were updated to match those in the kitchen.

a new view

New windows were installed, as well as two full view doors leading out to a small above grade deck. A concrete pad at grade was added adjacent to the deck with the intended use of supporting a hot tub.

going green

This project was part of the MN GreenStar Pilot Program. Therefore, it incorporated a number of green features and building practices. The home’s existing plumbing and electrical systems were upgraded to make them more water and energy efficient. This included installing a grey water heat exchanger. Advanced framing techniques and spray foam insulation were used.

replacing and reusing

The kitchen’s original cabinets were reinstalled in the basement to be used for storage and the relatively new refrigerator was reinstalled in the new kitchen. The exterior was clad in fiber cement siding and trim and low VOC paints were used throughout. All waste from the project was sent to Atomic Recycling to be sorted and recycled if possible.