Fine Homebuilding on a Tight Lot: Keeping Traditional Character

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Written By Jim J Neal


The owners originally wanted to buy a historic home near downtown Saratoga Springs. However, they found a lot that was already being developed in an area with great walkability and decided to build a new house instead. Although initially unsure about the feasibility of building a home, a garage and a pool on a narrow site, the owners were eventually convinced by Balzer & Tuck’s design. It not only maximizes the use of the lot, but also reflects the character of the area, thus achieving two important goals.

The main residence is located at the southeast corner, so there is plenty of room for a driveway or detached garage to the north. The large rear yard was sun-filled and included a private pool as well as a granite firepit. The architect took inspiration from Northeast traditional farmhouses to create an elegant main house. The property reflects the personality and style of its owners, with the steeply sloped dormer and the kitchen island made of salvaged doors.

The home’s heart is an open living/dining space that faces the back yard. It is flanked by a large kitchen with a chef’s island. A vaulted screen porch anchors home’s primary circulation, and a wood-burning fireplace is clad with reclaimed brick. This home also has a strong connection to its historic surroundings.
Architect Balzer & Tuck. balzertuck.com Builder Teakwood Builders. teakwoodbuilders.com Saratoga Springs. N.Y. Photos Scott Bergmann Photography

Fine Homebuilding #309: “New Build with Traditional Character”