10 Jan This Old House Project Highlights
Landscape Creations is proud to have teamed up with This Old House® on several projects along the Rhode Island coastline. We’ve always appreciated the trusted information and expert advice that the brand provides to home enthusiasts across America, so our team was delighted to weigh in on the landscape construction issues and opportunities that consumers face. Following highlights two projects from our involvement with the This Old House® team during 2018.
The Staycation Idea House
For our first project, we were invited by Sweenor Builders to help them create the 2018 Idea House in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Each year This Old House® assembles a team of industry professionals to construct a home that brings the latest technologies and features that top consumer wish lists. This home epitomized what most buyers were looking for at the time: a modestly sized home that would live large in a tight neighborhood, with multiple entertaining spaces including an easy-care backyard with luxury amenities designed for “staycation” living.
The backyard makes the most of a small space and offers everything you would need for entertaining and summer enjoyment. Designed as a series of outdoor rooms and gathering areas, our scoped touched the construction of an outdoor kitchen, soak pool, outdoor shower, multiple seating areas including a dining terrace, and a custom firepit with a pergola swing. At the back of the lot, a lush play lawn invites kids to run wild. Even better, low-maintenance material and plant selections allow homeowners to spend more time enjoying friends and family. Little did we know how prescient the project’s theme would be in the years to follow!
The project earned Gold Best in American Living Award from the National Association of Home Builders.
The Net Zero Home
Another highlight in our partnership with This Old House® and Sweenor Builders is the transformation of a 1920s Rhode Island shingled cottage into a net-zero house for the 21st century.
Designed by Union Studio Architecture & Community Design founder Donald Powers for his own family, the renovation project doubled the home’s footprint with a 1,000-square-foot addition, resolved asbestos and environmental issues, overhauled mechanical systems, incorporated sustainable building products and technologies, and restored the charm that had been lost after two mid-century renovations. It was gratifying to see leading edge building science principles applied to re-imagine a 100-year-old cottage into a charming, energy efficient, healthy modern family home.
In collaboration with landscape architecture firm Ryan Associates, our scope introduced ecologically minded landscape features that would coexist and support the surrounding natural environment. The lawn, as one example, features a micro-clover sod which requires less water, less mowing, and uses no pesticides or fertilizer.
The team’s efforts both inside and out earned the project the Platinum Award for Green Entire Home Remodel from the National Association of Home Builders Best in American Living Awards.