Family room kitchen home addition blends with the 1920s Rockville Log Home

Family room kitchen home addition blends with the 1920s Rockville Log Home

Kitchen family room addition interior view looking out to the 10th hole of Manor Country Club

Kitchen family room addition interior view looking out to the 10th hole of Manor Country Club

New Kitchen with high ceilings and original back wall of log home

New Kitchen with high ceilings and original back wall of log home

Prime views of Manor Country Club Golf Course

Prime views of Manor Country Club Golf Course

We’re almost complete with out addition and renovation of a 1920s log home.
See more project photos of this major home addition and renovation here

The home is located
on the 10th hole of Manor Country Club in Rockville, Maryland.

This Whole House Renovation project was very challenging from a design perspective as well as a
construction perspective.

I first met our future clients at an open house they attended at another award winning project of
ours in Rockville. During our first conversation, the owners described how they had a very unique
home. They told us that house was a log house originally built in the 1920s with additions added
on over the years. And adding to the unique nature of the project, the home was located on the
10th hole of Manor Country Club in Rockville.

They went on to tell us about there long journey to find an architect that was up to the challenge
of creating a design that would blend with the existing 1920s log home architecture. And the
risk was high since the project would be highly visibly to every one that played on the golf course.
So their challenge was finding someone that could create a design that they’d be proud of and that so many
others would see while they were playing the golf course.

Not only were the owners a bit worn out trying to find an architect, but they also needed a builder
capable of handling the engineering required to modify a log home with huge timber walls and roofs.

Luckily, the project that they met me on was equally challenging, and they were impressed enough with
our work that they retained us to help them solve their design and construction problem.

So our primary design goal was to blend their new addition design into the existing architecture of the
1920s log house. And along the way, we wanted to create as many walls of glass to capture the breathtaking
views of the “back nine” at Manor Country Club as we could.

So we added a two story master suite and bedroom above as a wing on the left side of the house
and a one story family room and kitchen addition on the rear. The master suite addition also had a
new screen porch attached to it and the family room – kitchen addition had a new
single car garage built underneath. We also designed a beautiful stone patio with a bar-b-que grill
and a decorative water fountain outside of the family room – kitchen addition.

To capture the absolutely phenomenal views of the golf course we had to create some new, larger
openings in some existing log walls. We also designed a 20 foot tall bank of glass in the kitchen- family
room addition to create dramatic views of the golf course.

One of the challenges for us was finding a craftsmen that had experience patching log walls and
filling the joints between each log so it looked perfect. Since we removed so many huge bearing
interior log walls and inserted steel beams to hold up the structure, finding the right person
was critical to making the job look great. Luckily, we didn’t have to search too far because the
owners had been using an old craftsmen for years on their house. So he was happy to help us
out and I think he enjoyed the challenge dealing with more than the maintenance work he had been
doing in the past at the home.

We many structural challenges working with the log home that we had to overcome. And the design
we created creatively compliments the old style log house while bringing in a sense of modern architecture.

See more project photos of this major home addition and renovation here


Traditional style architecture
Carderock stone
Woodmode cabinets
5 inch clear cherry wood floors custom stain color
Custom architectural millwork
Master suite on first floor
Expansive 360-degree views
Hardiplank vertical siding with battens
Pella Windows

Listen to home design and building tips that will save you money and headache if you are designing and building a new home:


This new home in McLean Virginia won Best New Home of The Year.
You’ll see that the design details are sharp, clean and crisp.
Take a look now:

Wheeeew…it’s over – – we had over 200 guests visit our Bethesda Open House yesterday!

I want to thank everyone for attending and I hope you liked what you saw.

First, I want to announce the winner of the Flip Mino Camera Drawing – the winner is…

…Mary H. (we’ll be contacting you today and sending out the
camera) – Congratulations!

Second, I apologize for not being able to meet with everyone individually and answer your

So I wanted to give you a quick FAQ below to answer some of the
most common questions and least technical (which I’ll answer in future emails – like,
does the $6500 tax credit apply to building a new home, can you really get tens of thousands
of dollars in tax credits with a tear-down and how do you obtain a “Green” LEED rated home?).

Here you go:

Q: Did we create the architectural design and perform the construction of the new home on Berkley Street?
A: Yes. We are architects and builders. Kevin is our on-staff, full-time architect.

Q: Is the home for sale or did we build it for an owner?
A: The home is not for sale, the home was built for the owner.

Q: Was the home design from our Paramount Portfolio Plan Book or was it custom designed?
A: When the owners were checking our references, they visited and met the owners of
our Belmont Model and fell in love with that home. However, given the owners unique needs
and wants and given the unique characteristics of the lot on Berkley, we created a custom design for
the owners.

Q: Do we charge a premium for creating a custom design vs building a home plan from our Paramount Portfolio
of over 80 New Home Plans?
A: Currently, we do not charge anything additional to create a custom home design.

Q: Was there an existing home on the property that was torn down?
A: Yes (we had many questions about the potential tax benefits of tens of thousands of dollars associated with the
tear-down, and a subsequent email will detail the benefits and how that works)

Q: What was the price of the Berkley home and what was included? What was not included?
A: Price was in the $600K +/- range and was all inclusive – demolition of existing home, excavation, permitting,
blueprints, engineering, surveying, utilities, custom selections, etc.

Q: Do you take on home additions and home renovations, as well as new homes?
A: Yes. Currently we have six projects of that type in process.

Q: Do you take on small remodeling projects – $50k to $200K?
A. No, but given the demand, we are considering accepting a few projects on a very limited basis.

Q: I want to build a new home but I don’t have land. Do you have land or lots? Can you help?
A: Yes, we have about 10 lots in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Mclean and N. Arlington.

I hope this helped.

I’ll be sending out another FAQ in the next few days on some of the more technical issues brought up
and we’re working on a video series that will answer many questions at an even deeper level, which will
come out in the next few weeks.

Again, Kevin and I really appreciate your interest in what we do and please feel free to email me at or Kevin at or call me at 301-370-6463
with any questions you have.

Building Green is something that we incorporate into our designs


There is a alot of new home activity inside the beltway of Washington DC. The values of residential real estate in a variety of zip codes in Montgomery County Maryland have maintained value. In fact, there are several zip codes that have probably increased in value. We find that mortgage interest rates are relatively low combined with excellent prices on the direct costs which go into new custom home projects, make this an ideal time to be acquring and building.

Real estate should be looked at as a long term investment. We do not try to purchase real estate and “flip” houses. We believe real estate is a long term investment. Our financial models hold the assets for a minimum of five to seven years.

With this approach, we think real estate in the Washington DC area is an excellent long term asset. An asset which you can create real long term wealth.

Considering how fragile the economy is right now and how timid banks are to loan money for new homes I thought I’d share my experience with saving money on new home construction. It wasn’t that long ago when getting loans was really easy and building large homes was the trend. Today banks are less likely to fun new construction because of the premium costs associated with new construction.

In most real estate markets today you can purchase an existing home for quite a bit less money than a comparable new home. Because of this banks are much more likely to focus their loans on very good customers with plenty of equity (skin in the game!) and homes that will hold their value in this turbulent real estate market.

Having said that if you’re really set on building a new home there are ways you can keep the budget down and the banks more likely to fund your project. Here are my top five ways of saving money on new home construction.

1. Square footage is the name of the game. No matter how you slice it every square foot you add to the footprint of your new home is going to cost money. It affects every aspect of the construction from the foundation all the way to the finish coat of paint. I tell customers to start off with a floor plan that has everything they want and all the room they want. Then you need to take the time to analyze each and every room and see if you can make them smaller and keep the functionality. If you take a simple 30 foot wide home and remove 2 feet of length you can save 60 square feet. 60 sq. ft multiplied times an average cost of over $150 equals $9000. Now you might be saying $9000 is nothing….but I say that will pay for over half of your flooring. So if you want to be serious about keeping costs down then always keep the square footage to a minimum.

2. Choose a home that is 2 stories if at all possible. This concept is pretty simple yet some people never realize how effective it can be. Let’s compare two homes; home A is a 2000 sq. ft. ranch style single level home, home B is a 2000 sq. ft. colonial two story home. Both homes have 2000 sq. ft. so you might say they would cost the same. I would argue the opposite and heres why. House A has a foundation that is twice the size as House B. House A has a roof twice the size of House B. This simple example can easily save you $10,000 to $20,000 yet you end up with the same livable space.

3. Instead of having an attached garage you can save a large sum of money if your house lot topography will allow for a drive under garage. In this scenario you use a portion of your basement for your garage and you can easily save $15,000 to $25,000. Now this option won’t work well for level lots or areas of the country that build home on flat slabs but it’s still a great money savings idea.

4. Ask your builder if there are any simple, safe construction tasks that you could do to reduce the costs. Many customers end up doing their own painting, cleaning or even final landscaping. These tasks could save you anywhere from a few thousand dollars up to tens of thousands of dollars.

5. Another recent option is to consider using certain Energy Star appliances, furnaces and air conditioning units. By using some of these products you may qualify for substantial government tax credits that can help offset some of your construction costs. My only word of caution on this item is that some banks are still trying to figure out new technologies like geothermal heat or solar panels. So they may be less interested in funding these types of products.

There you have it my top five money saving ideas for new home construction.