Home & Design

Before: front

After: rear

Before: rear

After: front

Before + After: Remodel

Architect Paul Gaiser takes a dated dwelling in Kensington’s Chevy Chase View neighborhood from faded to fabulous

"The trifecta of good design, outdoor living spaces and landscaping create a continuity that’s hard to beat,” observes architect Paul Gaiser, who now works with Landis Architects/Builders. He reimagined the home’s exterior with architectural flourishes—from dormer windows in front to a two-story bay in back embellished by a white-railed deck.

Then Now
Built in 1940, the house had become dingy, with rundown front and rear façades. The contrast between brick and white clapboard was jarring and unattractive. Small windows with multiple grids felt dated. Gray-painted HardiePlank siding covers both brick and clapboard. Larger windows with fewer grids create a more modern sensibility. Dormers enhance the front façade.
The home’s flat front lacked interest and dimension, and the front door conveyed no sense of arrival. The dilapidated stand-alone garage was too small. A porticoed entry with a mahogany front door welcomes guests. A porch with a standing-seam metal roof and a shallow front addition to the right of the door add interest. A new, enlarged garage is elevated by matching mahogany doors.
The backyard had no landscaping or usable space for entertaining. A two-story rear addition spills out to a patio complete with a built-in grill. The addition is enhanced by Palladian windows and a bay.

Renovation Architecture: Paul Gaiser, AIA, Paul Gaiser Architects, Bethesda, Maryland. Contractor: Precision Capital General Work LLC, Takoma Park, Maryland. Landscape Design: Susy S. Altmann, CPH, Susy Altmann Studio, Rockville, Maryland. Photography: Pak Cheung.

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