Latest From the Blog


Framing the Lake House Remodel - Blog #3

Deep into our construction at the Lake House Remodel, we've straightened and supported the house (see blog #2 - Behind the Scenes), so we can now begin to implement our design. It was extremely important to make sure the house was level before we started our next phase: framing, electrical, and plumbing. We do this because an improperly framed house, or a house that has uneven settling, can lead to terrible problems down the road when it comes to drywall, furniture and cabinet installation among other structural issues. With it cleared up, we can move onto framing. dfgngsafld;kfg One of the more exciting parts of this new phase is the completion of the floor framing for our owner's attic "creative space". Beams and ties were needed to be put in place to jack up the roof from its current sag, so we used that as an opportunity to create a (quaint) 4th floor with

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Behind the Scenes: Lake House Remodel - Blog #2

CTA Design Builders is in the midst of a 3-story home remodel on Lake Washington belonging to a wonderful family with four kids. The home was originally built in Kirkland and was transported by barge to it's current location by it's previous owner, who also added a large addition. This would be an example of what we call "mismodeling", and we began our work undoing the stylistic changes made to the home, and surgically demo-ing the rest. Usually in the case of a remodel, we have good bones to work from, but in this case, and likely due to its transportation and settling, walls were not plumb, floors were not level, foundations were leaking and ceilings everywhere were scribed to the uneven floors. In the photos to come, you'll see where we have new joists, beams, and studs (not just the carpenters!) in combination with the existing structure. At this point we bring up the question, is

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Bainbridge 1

Bainbridge Island Farmhouse - First Sketches

Tucked away behind Manitou Beach on Bainbridge Island is a large grove that has belonged to our clients' family for several generations. As our clients move into retirement, they're looking to build a modest home for themselves and their family to enjoy, borrowing from the island's rural vernacular. Bainbridge has had a deeply-rooted Japanese-American cultivation history since the 1800s, and although lessened, the tradition still exists today amid the many newcomers to the island and so we've begun our schematics inspired by the simple farm house. Humbly nestled on the sloping site, the island home will resemble many of the island's traditional farm styles, with a gable roof and light monitor running along the length of the building. Subtle window and elevation details will allude to the spaces and forms happening on the interior, with a single bump-out at the master bathroom. Our preliminary studies above show our original intent in both form and site, and on the right you can see our cleaned up

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Bunker - North View

Design Behind the Lake House Remodel - Blog #1

CTA Design Builders is in the midst of a 3-story home remodel on Lake Washington belonging to a big, energetic family. The home has a unique history: originally built in Kirkland in the early 1900's it was transported by barge to it's current location by its previous owner, who also added a large addition - but which grew into a rabbit warren of rooms.  Our remodel efforts have been fueled by the owners' desire for space that's more open and communal; they want to be able to eat, play, and live seamlessly between the water, yard, and interior... to blur the boundaries between inside and out, and to do away with level changes and stairs between their living areas and the water's edge. Eschewing normal architectural layouts, we mixed-up the floor order! The garage and front door/entry areas remain at street level, but once inside, the house will dramatically open up on the upper level of a 2-story space looking down to open living/dining/kitchen areas on the lower lake

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