Here is a pretty great story of a house on a river and the folks who have chosen to live there and the changes we have been employed to make. Every house has a story. And each of these stories has chapters. And each of those chapters adds the story of each of the people who have chosen to live there, the changes they choose to make, and how all of them accrue. We at Wolfworks tend to meet these people when their story and the home as the setting for that story is ripe for change. 

The chapters of our lives in homes of our own begin early, most often modestly, and most likely small. The first big step is from an apartment to the first home we can afford. From there many of us domesticate. We form families and hopefully, as our careers develop we become capable of raising those families in appropriately larger homes equipped to accommodate all that life. By the time our families have matured we contemplate a next chapter, requiring less space, but perhaps more richly equipped to sustain the lives we intend to enjoy. A well feathered empty nest!

Our clients for this project had contemplated this last move. They loved and lived an outdoor life. Ready for this next chapter they wondered. Should they move to the mountains. Maybe closer to the sea. After a long and satisfying life in Simsbury, including a robust appreciation for the pleasure of rowing and paddling the Farmington River, they concluded that what they longed for was right here in their own backyard.

Recognizing this immediate bounty, when an otherwise plain home on the Farmington river came on the market they made the purchase. When we first talked we both reached the same conclusion. It was time to recognize that this house was facing the wrong way. The river was the real “front yard.” It was time to turn this house around. The design we pursued is based on this premise. Now what was the rather boring back of the house is the living heart of the home.

But that is not all. They recognized, and we encouraged, the opportunity to transform an energy unconscious home of the past into an energy conscious home for the world we are eager to create. We applied our experience to the transformation of the building’s structure to reduce the energy load of the building by 80%. The project is included as a pilot project by energizeCT to demonstrate the potential for this level of energy reduction in an existing home.

We hope you are inspired by the choice they made and the potential to turn a house like this around, literally and figuratively!