This design problem will focus on specific renovations and additions to one of the 1923 series of the Sears Modern Homes. The model selected is the Americus, a six bedroom, one bath, two story home in the Italian Revival Craftsman style.

A unique aspect of this design problem is that the existing Americus home is located in one of the suburbs of Washington, DC. The couple that currently owns the home is interested in making renovations and additions to the structure and is working with the Architectural Renovation event manager. The details for the design statement have been developed and finalized.

Pictures of the existing house and a site plan are posted below, along with this problem statement.

  1. This year’s house, the Americus model, was part of the 1923-1928 series of mail order homes sold by Sears Roebuck.
  2. The house is situated on a double lot, located in a northwest Washington, DC suburb.
  3. The current owners (4th owners) of the property are a married couple with two children.
  4. The couple is interested in adding a two story addition to the existing house.
  5. The house has a covered front porch, where the front door is located. Entrance through the front door is directly into the living room.
  6. The couple does not wish to alter the design and room arrangement of the front portion of the house.
  7. Specific considerations for designing the addition are:
    1. an enlarged kitchen and eating area
    2. additional informal family living area
    3. a mud room with storage off of the back of the house
    4. a master bedroom with an en-suite bath and closets
    5. an enlarged stair landing area on the second floor
    6. an outside entrance to the basement (which already has been renovated)
    7. an alternative entrance from the front side of the house to access the enlarged kitchen and family living area.
  8. The house, as it exists now, has three bedrooms (all on the second floor) that share one bath.
  9. The two larger bedrooms (at the front of the house) would become separate bedrooms for the couple’s sons.
  10. The couple is interested in adding a garage/storage building with an attached in-law/guest suite.  There is a parking pad on the property where this addition can be built.
  11. A mature magnolia tree located near the right back side corner of the house must be preserved. Selective pruning of this tree is an option for consideration, if necessary.
  12. There is new pergola with wisteria vines located in the middle of the side yard that is to remain.
  13. The couple wants the addition/renovation to remain true to the historical character and integrity of the existing house.



  • Week #1 = come up with your own designs & begin to draw them on the computer, once you’ve sketched your ideas
  • Week #2= finish your drawings on the computer
  • Week #3= create your drawing plan set & print it out on the 11 x 17 paper
    • Page A. Floor Plans
    • Page B. Elevations
    • Page C. Cross Sections
    • Page D. Rendered 3D Views of each room
    • Page E.  Specs on any part that you wish (bath room, kitchen, porch, etc…)






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