Outdoor Escapes: Life Aloft

The trick on this project was not to hold the roof up but to anchor the roof down, to keep mountain storms from lifting it straight off. “Sixty-miles-an-hour winds could turn this roof into a parachute, We reinforced everything with steel; the whole frame is anchored straight to the bedrock.”
– Jay Caughman, Caughman+Caughman

LifeAloft2When the homeowners decided they wanted a covered outdoor space for their beautiful woodland cottage home, they turned to Jay Caughman to create it. The unique challenge of adding on to an old structure with such a pure and elegant form is to create an addition that appears as if it has always been there. “You don’t want the addition to take center stage, which takes some restraint,” Caughman says. “And you don’t want the roof line to appear out of proportion.” The finished product expands in a magnificent canopy of ipe from the back of the house to the overlook and valley below. The deck framing is reinforced with steel and heavy timber trusses were laid across the top with steel gusset plates and steel through-bolts. Once the steel “bones” were in place, everything else was planned around view and access. Yards of ipe were used to create the space, which includes a screened in patio, deck and stairs. “Ipe stays forever,” Caughman says. “It’s so dense, you have to pre-drill before driving the screw in.” All the stone is constructed of mountain stone and matched to the original stone on the house. The new covered area also has a slate roof matched to the original roof.

Architect: Jay Caughman, Caughman+Caughman Architects
Builder: Henley Brothers | Steel: McGill Steel | Stonework: Steve Ellis
Fireplaces: David Debtor Masonry | Lumber Supply: Brainerd Lumber Company