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A Captivating Cape Cod Transformation

Using master planning, a modest-sized Cape Cod home in the Water Hill Area of Ann Arbor gets transformed via a two-phase interior and exterior remodel that takes advantage of the beautiful setting and the client's love of their home.


Our clients purchased this 1170 FT2 home in 2012. The attraction was the neighborhood and the setting - perched on a hill overlooking a beautiful park right across the street. Not having kids at the time, they envisioned a home where they could start a family and entertain family and friends - a big undertaking for a not-so-big house!

Like most first-time homebuyers, our clients knew that their budget wouldn't allow them to do all the projects they had in mind at once. So coming up with a master plan to do it in a step-wise fashion was of key importance in their planning.

The Team

Lead Designer:  Jimmy Bevilacqua

Project Manager:  Meadowlark Project Management Team

Photography:  Sean Carter 


Schematic Design

Our clients had a vision for making the home their's. Their hope was to add some modern craftsman flair to the existing aesthetic of the home along with updating the tired interior and exterior spaces. Given the home's modest size - they were also looking to add more functional space as they were expecting their first child.

Built in 1952, this cape-cod charmer had some not-so-charming issues with the exterior. The exterior siding was rotted and the entry steps and railings were falling apart and unsafe. While our clients had big ideas on how they wanted to update the interior and add more space, their first priority was to shore up the exterior to prevent any further damage to the structure.  

Their wish list included:

  • A large, useable front porch to enjoy the beautiful open spaces and greenery of the park across the street
  • Update the curb appeal
  • Remodel the kitchen and add more storage and a larger dining area
  • Connect the home to the garage 
  • A mudroom to manage the transition from indoors to out

Design Development

Phase I, completed in 2016, was an exterior facelift that was driven by the need to replace rotting exterior cladding and to add a useable front porch. Hardie lap siding and shingles were used for the new siding which are not only beautiful, but durable and easy to maintain. A new front porch addition sweeps the entire front of the house and adds the craftsman aesthetic. 

For Phase II the clients were looking to renovate their kitchen to add storage and function. They also wanted direct access from the garage into the home with a mudroom (a welcomed addition for our Michigan winters!). Our design team worked their magic and came up with a truly unique design solution that checked off all their wants and needs and added square footage to their garage and kitchen. The addition of another garage door from the garage to their backyard also created the perfect set up for great backyard tailgating parties. 

By extending the garage forward it created a new garage bay with direct access into the home and the opportunity to extend the kitchen area and add a much-needed mudroom. The existing garage space is still there…just accessed through what is now a single-car garage area in front of it.

Features include:

  • A unique 3-car garage with rear garage door to patio
  • Counter-to-ceiling penny-round tile from Olympia Tile used on kitchen backsplashes
  • Hardie cement fiber lap siding and shingles used on exterior
  • Aurastone quartz countertops in Paragon 
  • GE Profile Series range hood
  • Delta faucet in Champagne Bronze
  • Custom metal screen insert in pocket door to mudroom by Detroit Metal Elements

The Results

A two-phase remodel and addition using master planning techniques has added form and function to this charming home in Ann Arbor. Adding 139FT2 to the interior allowed our clients to expand their kitchen giving them a larger dining area and added a mudroom to help with the transition from indoors to out. A garage addition connects the home to the garage and an exterior update adds an idyllic front porch for enjoying the beautiful setting.

Do you have a home building or remodeling project you're thinking about?

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