The homeowners, a couple with a teenage boy, approached the architects with the request to create an in-law residence on their property for his aging parents. Having previously worked with the homeowners for the renovation and addition to the main house in 2011, the architects were very familiar with the family and the existing property. The modest sized living space would be an extension of the main house and embody the values of the family in its design, quality, and material palette.


After reviewing the site and zoning requirements, the existing two bay garage structure with attached tool shed was chosen as the site of the in-law residence. The area of the existing structure was slightly smaller than the maximum area allowed by zoning for an in-law residence (1,000 sq.ft.) and met the requirement that it be connected to the main house by wall or roof. The location of the south facing structure offered wonderful unobstructed views across the landscaped yard and down to the Pettaquamscutt River.
A new garage and tool shed is to the west of the in-law residence. This new garage location is better suited for the existing driveway and allowed the removal of the pre-existing paved parking area by the main house and its replacement with landscaping and entry walkways enlarging the current yard.


The new garage architecturally extends the “wing” of the main house through the continuation of gable form roof profile that begins over the home office. The wing, measuring 117’ in total length, is broken into three related yet distinct program masses – garage/tool shed, in-law residence, and home office. Zoning setback requirements dictated that the garage/tool shed be a separate structure from living areas with a gap of 5’. The existing cross gable roof was also removed from above the open breezeway between the living area and home office creating the second gap.