News & Politics

May Renovations: Growing Up—and Out

As their family grows, a Chevy Chase couple add on to their starter home.

Howard and Tricia bought what they thought of as a starter home in Chevy Chase. Then came the children, who turned into teenagers, and before long the 1929 Colonial—with only one full bath—was bursting at the seams.

“I had reached the point where I had to have my own bathroom,” says Tricia, “And we had to do something about the small ‘Chevy Chase’ closets.” Howard wanted a front porch.

The family wanted to stay in their neighborhood, but the available homes for sale were too big and too expensive. Howard and Tricia decided to renovate.

A large side yard allowed for a substantial two-story addition. Chris and Ethan Landis, the sibling architect/contractor team of Landis Construction in DC, specialize in just this type of residential project—and in trying to renovate a home without driving the homeowners crazy. “They did the external part, which was about 60 percent of the work, before touching our existing living space,” says Tricia. “It only got tough when they got to our bedroom.”

At the first floor, the addition provides a large family room and study. The open plan is informal, but the details are traditional. “Landis did a great job blending the old and new,” says Tricia, “You really can’t tell where the old part ends and the new part begins.” Upstairs, Howard and Tricia finally have a comfortable master suite with a large bath and dressing room.

“The only problem,” says Tricia, “is that the kids want to use our bathroom. I charge by the shower.”