North Mill Pond View


The homeowner is an engineer and worked in framing during college, so he is more than capable and very thoughtful about the construction process acting as the GC. He and his wife bought the 1900 2.5 stories, New Englander, with 1,534sf in 2012 mostly for the large, beautiful lot located right on North Mill Pond in Portsmouth, NH. In the years since they have had three little girls and she has started her own business. We started working together in October 2019.


Located on a dead-end street the lot size is huge for the city of Portsmouth at .87 of an acre. It is actually a very strange shape with wetlands and water on one side and a narrow strip of access to another cross street on the other. With the size and shape of the lot, there were many options of what can be done on the property even though all of it would require approval from the Conservation Commission and Board of Adjustment in the City of Portsmouth because of the water proximity.


The clients were clear that they wanted to do an addition off to the left side of the existing home to expand the first floor. Since there was an existing garage on that side of the house closer to the water than what we would be proposing, I was pretty sure that would pass with the city. On the right side of the house, there were several options from building a detached ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) to attaching a garage.

Through the schematic phase of design, we ended up with an addition off the left that would become a Great Room that is stepped down into to accommodate the difference in floor joists for the finished second floor to align with the existing. This Great Room will become a dining and family room with a fireplace and amazing water views.  The first floor is also renovated to a new large kitchen, living room, and powder room.

The right side of the first floor will be a garage and mudroom connector with access to the backyard.

The second floor will be two bedrooms while the existing bath and front bedroom get renovated to become a larger bathroom and small office.

The third floor was already the master suite but the windows just needed to be edited to accommodate the roofline of the addition.


After working their way through all the boards they finally received approvals and permits to start construction. Since the homeowner is framing this on his own, he is using specific materials knowing that it will sit out in the elements for a while (you know, he has a full-time job and all). We are working together to come up with a plan of attack of how exactly he will frame the second floor and rooflines so that it is easier and blends well with the existing house.

We did step the addition in 12” on the front and the back. This and the dropped Great Room floor height allow for “grace” as the new addition walls will land into the old walls and floor system.

Once the framing of the left addition is done, they will pour the garage addition and start framing the right side while subs are working on the left side then they will flow into the right side.


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