Teamwork converts a barn into dwelling


Project: The owners, an architect and a builder are nearing the end of their joint effort to create a Monkton showplace.

August 18, 2002|By Lisa Wiseman | Lisa Wiseman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For almost two years, Tim and Tami Satterfield have dreamed of transforming their turn-of-the-century Amish barn in Monkton into a modern home for them and their two children.

The family will make their deadline of having all the work complete by next month, said Jay McCardle of McCardle custom homes, the builder. By last month, nearly all major renovation and construction was complete, and McCardle and his crew were doing some finishing touches, such as painting and removing Tyvek paper used to protect exposed wood beams during renovation.

Paul Pare, the couple's architect, figured out the best way to turn an old barn into a showcase of contemporary style and historic charm. "This was the most difficult project I have ever done, but it's also the one I am most proud of," Pare said.

It also was a new experience for McCardle. "It's been a lot of work," he said.

Often, when his workers and the subcontractors had left for the evening, he would stay. When the family went on vacation, the crew worked nonstop. But, like Pare, McCardle feels that the project has been unlike anything he's ever worked on. "I'm definitely proud of what I've done here," he said.

Everything is coming together well, the couple said. Still, even with having the home almost finished before their eyes, it still seems a little unbelievable.

"It's awesome," Tami Satterfield said. "I'm so impressed. This is real now. It was a dream for so long, and now it's here."

Outside, the house looks transformed. The Satterfields were concerned that with all of the modifications, what they liked the most about the building - its rustic charm - could be lost in all of the additions and modernizations. But with their architect's design and McCardle's suggestions, the couple feel that they have kept the architectural integrity.

The original barn structure and the garage add-on have been covered in vertical board and batten synthetic siding. The wide planks, which resemble wood, are painted red to further create the appearance of an old barn, and unlike wood, the board and batten won't rot or need frequent replacement. Anything added to the barn, like the third-story bump-out, is painted a shade of cornmeal yellow. Windowsills also are yellow.

Inside, the house has its walls finished, the plumbing done and wiring completed, including full-house audio, an intercom system, computer and telephone lines and, as a last-minute addition, a central vacuum.

In the home's main entrance - a foyer between garage and house - one can see the barn's original pale yellow siding at the stairway to the main living area.

McCardle uncovered the siding while installing windows and suggested using it as a way of showing where the building originally ended. The Satterfields liked the idea. "Jay has been able to recycle a lot," Tim said.

Instead of tossing out old beams that needed to be removed or couldn't be used as support, McCardle incorporated them into other rooms.

Although the beams are solely for aesthetic reasons, McCardle installed them before the drywall was put in to give the appearance they have been there all along. Another beam serves as a mantel on a two-sided fireplace. Originally, the Satterfields planned a standard drywall fireplace and traditional mantle.

McCardle suggested a stone fireplace. Real stone couldn't be used, as it would be too costly and too heavy for the nearly three-story high chimney, but the faux stone looks like the real thing. It also "belongs" in the home more so than plain drywall, the couple said.

McCardle suggested little things that the couple would have never thought of themselves, they said, such as the light switch in the master bedroom.

McCardle knew the couple planned to put their bed along a side wall beneath a large window. So he put a switch that would turn on the outside lights within arm's reach of the bed. That way if someone heard a noise outside, either could turn on the lights without leaving the bed. It sure beats going down two flights of stairs.

While some homeowners might balk at the thought of having a builder offering design tips and changes, some builders may wonder why a builder would create more work for himself by giving the homeowner more options. But the Satterfields say they don't have the typical homeowner-contractor relationship with McCardle or Pare.

"We had the idea of a team approach," Tami Satterfield said.

The Satterfields are hands-on type people and have done some of the renovation work. Tami Satterfield designed the vanity in the master bath. Tim Satterfield proudly shows where he applied six coats of tung oil to the wood ceiling.

"It's an ideal situation when clients are involved in the design process," Pare said. "It shows they are committed."

McCardle agreed. "I like it when customers come to me and talk and ask questions," he said.

"We appreciate it that they allowed us to be very involved," Tami Satterfield said. "They embraced our ideas."

The next major undertaking for the home will be installing the wood floor and finishing the mission-style kitchen.

"We're going to have a kitchen table made out of old beams," Tim Satterfield said.

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