Since my family and I are “the client”, so to speak, I took the back of the house, off the sunroom, as a space to showcase our own "something meaningful". My wife and I met on Nantucket, and we were married there. Nantucket has been a special place for us since childhood, and now it’s even more special together. To honor that, I wanted to give the back of the house a modern Cape Cod look so, I chose white trim and Cedar shake shingles to help make this backyard our own little Nantucket oasis.
The view from the alley is often forgotten about. It's usually just a place to park a car, roll out the trashcans, or build a garage. As you can see from the “before” picture, the backside of the house was no different here. The existing shingles were falling off. The windows and doors were old, small, and needed replacement. Paint was chipping and there was rot. Many years of renters changing cable and phone services left a rats nest of non-essential cables leading to the house. It was an unconsidered area and called for a total overhaul.
To get the most from the solar qualities that hit this side of the house I chose windows and doors from Windsor, supplied by The Sanders Co. Double in-swing patio doors are a great opportunity to bring the outside in, and screens will keep the bugs out but let the breeze flow through. Floor to ceiling casement windows let in light and can also be opened for fresh air. They have a different UV and thermal rating from the front windows to take advantage of solar heat gain in the winter. See the Windows to the World blog entry for insulation and Low-E rating information.
I am choosing not to build out here because I place a heavy importance on keeping or renewing greenspace. We will landscape, but I want to leave it an area for family and friends to gather outside and enjoy their own little safe haven. We will still be able to park a car here, if we choose, but we’ll probably just have a lot of kick ass barbecues!