Project Description

Wellesley’s Suja Ramnath has lived in her 1920s-era colonial home since 2000. A couple years ago, she decided that while she loved the charm, she needed more elbow room and an updated interior.

Based on a recommendation from co-worker (and Custom client) Kevin Harrington, Suja contacted us to discuss her vision. The end result – a two-story addition – created the space she wanted and blended in seamlessly with the rest of the house.

“Kevin had always spoken so highly of Custom, and I could see the quality of their work when I visited the Harringtons,” said Suja. “Plus, when it comes to remodeling projects, it seems you always hit bumps in the road. I felt it was important to work with someone who could recalibrate when those issues came up. In talking with [president] Bill Farnsworth, I trusted that he could be flexible and creative in those situations.”

As it turns out, Suja’s instincts were right on.

Dealing with Zoning Issues & More

When planning an addition, our first step is to determine if it will create any issues with regard to zoning or setbacks (how far you must build from the property line without needing a variance). Another issue is lot coverage – how much square footage is covered by the home vs. open space.

The original plans were fine in terms of lot coverage, but the proximity of Suja’s attached garage to an abutting property made it necessary to acquire a special permit. We eventually were able to secure the special permit, but that added months to the planning process.

Next, we worked with Suja to finalize a floor plan and set a budget range to which we could design. The final plans called for a large two-story addition with a renovated kitchen and new family room on the first floor and a new master suite on the second. A smaller one-story section of the addition structure would consist of a half bathroom and entryway from the garage.

Visualizing the Master Bedroom

Suja and Custom designer Nikki DeFelice collaborated to come up with an open kitchen plan featuring a large island, granite counters, white painted cabinetry and more.

“The kitchen is over the moon – it’s fantastic,” exclaimed Suja. “I actually don’t cook at all, but I wanted a top-of-the-line kitchen, and that’s what Custom gave me.”

Upstairs, Suja struggled with imagining what the master bedroom would look like. Fortunately, lead carpenter Bryan Lamoureux was able to provide the necessary guidance.

“Once we had the space gutted and ready for re-framing, we took a deep breath and Bryan worked closely with Suja to lay out the room in a way that met her approval,” said Bill. “Sometimes, no matter how good it looks on paper, clients have a hard time visualizing from the plans, so a site layout becomes the best way to get them what they want and the confi dence that they’re making the right decisions.”

Quality People, Quality Work

Suja is thrilled with her addition, especially with how well it integrates with the original home. “The most important thing to me was for people to not even notice I had new rooms,” she said. “And when you come into the house, they look like they’ve always been there. That’s a real compliment to Custom.

“I don’t have enough good words to say about Custom. I’d recommend them to anyone.”

Suja must really mean it. We’re now in discussions to replace her sunroom and add a full front porch next spring. We look forward to starting the design/build process in January!

Project Details

Client The Ramnath Home
Location Wellesley, MA