Cameo’s Urban Treehouse

Name: Cameo
Location: Durham, NC
Square Feet: 550
Division: Tiny

Synergy transformed an unfinished workshop at the top of a 1927 Tudor style home in downtown Durham, NC into an open, light-filled one-bedroom apartment. Every inch of the 550-square-foot plan was meticulously laid out in order to maximize space.

The Urban Treehouse was featured in an apartmenttherapy.com contest in 2016! Check out the article here.

Ready, Set, Construction!

07inplace02                             Some say the journey is more important than the destination. If you are the type of person who prefers the process over the product, then this blog post is for you! Check out our construction gallery below, a compilation of works-in-progress.                  

Complete Transformation of a Family Home

In August, 2013 Synergy responded to an inquiry for a proposal to renovate this existing home in Durham. The initial aim was essentially to stop the current deterioration. This family home was approximately 3200 square feet big, was built in 1978, and had served the family that built it for 36 years. None of the family members were currently living in the area, but they had a vision of returning to the family homestead. There were numerous issues to address. Water intrusion problems, termites, structural concerns, and a great deal of updating was needed. PICTURE Use the existing description under this picture, and then go on with the existing pictures and descriptions as they are currently. At the end of this we need to add a series of new pictures.....and I will fill in the descriptions once the pictures are deteremined.

Renovate for Family Gatherings!

The aim in this renovation was to create an energy efficient home where family gatherings could occur. The existing garage was transformed to a living space. A two story addition made room for a new garage and exercise room, as well as a bedroom and bath, with a sun-room. A local architect, and engineers, were able to work with Synergy to develop the plans for the project. The challenge was draining, which needed drastic improvement. A a new french drainage system was installed on the house perimeter, along with waterproofing to protect the crawlspace and living areas. The roof was patched, and surrounding soils were re-contoured to protect the house while new roof structures were built.  Two catch basins were formed across the front of the house to direct drainage away from the structure. A larger opening was cut for a PVC crawlspace access enabling the installation of a new HVAC system in the crawlspace. Interior framing was corrected, and ceilings would be raised to 10 feet on the first floor, with 9 foot ceilings on the upper level. Threatening trees were removed from the immediate area of the new house. The exterior was completely renovated. Old cultured stone was removed, and a new look was added to the front entry, along with roof areas.  

Cat Rescue, Cattic!

Starting a new home  on a 12 acre parcel in Timberlake, North Carolina. With help from a local designer, plans were made for a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house, with an open floor plan and vaulted ceilings in the family room. Prior to pouring the slab,  there was a lot of clearing  for the house and new septic field. The house, carport, and porches were all built on a monolithic concrete slab.   We thickened the slab where interior support walls go,  installed a 6x6 wire mess for added concrete strength,  and insulated the floor for the conditioned areas by installing 2" of rigid foam before pouring the concrete. After the slab was down,  the framing went up fast!  The walls were framed with "Advanced Framing" techniques to minimize thermal transfer, and maximize space for the spray foam insulation. Energy efficiency was a high priority in the construction  of this home.  In addition to spraying foam on the entire envelope of the house and attic area , the appliances were energy star approved, and a high efficiency HVAC system was installed.  (LP Smartside) provided a structural sheathing and siding all in one.  Combined with 5/8" drywall throughout the  house and carport, the structure was not only well insulated, but had enhanced fire rating,  and improved sound deadening between areas. Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) was used for the kitchen, entry area,  utility, and bathrooms.   It is a very durable floating floor product that can look like hardwoods,  tile, brick, etc. The owners of this home participate in a program to rescue stray cats, and decided to use  the large attic space where the cats were separate from the family dogs,  for their home.  The attic area soon became known as the "CATTIC"!   It was drywalled, and floored with standard plywood sub flooring.  Since it was already foam insulated under the roof deck,  HVAC vents were extended to condition the space.  A screened in opening in the main entry hallway (top right) allowed the kitties to see the family below!

Flooring included high end carpet and padding in living areas.

The carpet and tile were chosen by the owners,  with help from the staff at Frazee Carpets & Interiors in Durham. The cabinets were purchased from Ikea, and assembled by Synergy.