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STYLE / HOME RENOVATION : California Hybrids

June 07, 1992|BARBARA THORNBURG

With the cost of new construction starting at about $100 a square foot and soaring to $250 on Los Angeles' West Side, many Southern Californians are keeping their existing homes and adding on only the space they need. Retaining the "footprint" of the house saves money, while not worrying about old matching new guarantees some unique architectural hybrids amid an already eclectic mix. Here are five home expansions, plus the hows and whys of choosing a partial renovation over a total redo.

We wanted to have a beautifully designed space and were willing to wait on the furnishings," says Bryan Duggan of the Venice home he shares with his wife and 10-year-old daughter. Los Angeles architect Barton Phelps left their modest 1920s beach bungalow intact and built a three-story, 1,900-square-foot addition that contains three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, a small study and a two-car garage. Phelps painted the exterior Masonite siding celadon and fashioned a redwood stair rail that leads to the master bedroom at the top.

Money-saving ideas include the use of inexpensive oriented strand board, commonly used as subfloor, for the finished floor and stairs. And custom-built, single-pane windows were used instead of more costly, factory-fabricated units with insulating glass.

Happy with the first half of construction, the owners will wait a few years before tackling the second half--replacing the original house with a two-story, sound-stage-like structure. Says Duggan: "We need a little period in between to enjoy what we have."

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