Tag Archives: Renovation

Renovation is the process of improving a broken, damaged, or outdated structure.

Stone House Addition

This Saucon Valley stone home dates from the early to mid 19th century. Artefact was retained to design renovations and an addition to the home in two separate phases. The first phase included a small rear addition, the renovation of the kitchen and the conversion of several rooms into a master bedroom suite.  The second phase addition included a wood and glass conservatory- connector and a stone wing that houses a library, office and guest suite. The stone work was meticulously matched to the existing home.

Touchstone Theater

This abandoned historic firehouse in South Bethlehem was resurrected as a 72-seat community theater. The low budget renovation could not restore the original elegance of the 1876 building, but it creatively adapted the firehouse into a theater with the removal of a section of the first floor level and the construction of a double height dramatic space for performances. A rehearsal space stacks above the theater space and a two story lobby connects the two floor levels.

Some years after the renovation of the firehouse, Touchstone acquired the adjacent house and renovated it, creating an integrated facility that includes the theater, new wing space, a two story lobby, two rehearsal spaces, a suite of offices, café, workshop, and storage. The conjoining of the buildings created many structural and organizational challenges, but the result was a welcoming, historically sensitive, logically organized home for Touchstone.

Bucks County Outbuildings

A series of ad hoc, attached outbuildings located on the property of a renovated Bucks County farmhouse were reconstructed to create more substantial and useful buildings. The uses of the new buildings are residential and agricultural, providing space for guests, entertaining, and implement storage. The buildings were constructed with timber framed structural components and structural insulated panels to create a highly insulated, energy efficient building with expressed structural system. The cupola in the main space provides passive cooling during the warm weather and brings daylight into the center of the large room.

Northampton County Courthouse

In the fall of 2009, the County of Northampton received an Energy Efficient Community Block Grant of approximately $2,000,000. The County allocated the entire amount to the renovation and restoration of the Historic Northampton Courthouse, the oldest portion of the County Governmental Center.

The original proposal called for the replacement of all 163 windows, including the monumental windows, roof repairs, gutter and downspouts repairs, and various façade repairs. Artefact’s response proposed that it might not be necessary to replace all the windows and that a closer inspection might reveal that a simple restoration of the windows would produce comparable energy savings to the savings produced by replacing the windows.

As a result of a three day lift inspection as well as an individual evaluation, the final proposal included the restoration of all the paint and glazing compounds of the monumental windows. In addition, aluminum interior storm windows were installed to improve the overall energy efficiency of the assembly. All other windows were retrofitted with new double pane 1/2 inch insulated glass.

In addition to the window work, Artefact proposed a new energy-efficient roof and gutter system. As part of the overall analysis, Artefact worked with a Paint Analysis Specialist to research the original colors of the building.

You can read more about the project in Architect Magazine.


Neo-Victorian Estate

This residential project began as a simple living room addition and matured into a full-blown renovation and new construction project.  The client had purchased an ordinary Colonial Revival style house built in the 1980s.  The front porch and two-story tower were awkwardly detailed with Victorian bric-a-brac made from a palette of vinyl products.

The scope of work gradually increased to include the complete renovation of the existing house, a garage addition, a backyard pool, and a large pool house with a wine cellar and a second floor guest suite.  A comprehensive landscape design encompassed exterior terraces, a gazebo, and a new driveway.

With approximately 19,000 square feet of finished space, the new homestead accommodates the owner’s family with 8 bedrooms and 9 baths.  The home’s exterior has been completely redone with an emphasis on natural materials.   Cedar shingles and stone adorn the walls while hand-split cedar shakes and copper grace the roofs.  Aluminum clad wood windows, painted wood trim, and stained and painted wood doors provide the finishing touches.