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Sunday, May 23, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

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AIA Open House
Ranch remodel designed to floor you

By Elizabeth Rhodes
Seattle Times staff reporter

The Seattle Times/AIA Open House features a remodeled 1950s ranch-style home at 4540 45th Ave. N.E. Tours will be from noon to 4 p.m. today only.
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The house: A one-story 1950s North Seattle ranch house, it was extensively remodeled and a second floor was added. This doubled the square footage and raised the living, dining and kitchen area to the top floor, where views of Olympic mountains were gained. The old main-floor living room became a master suite, and the old kitchen and another bedroom were combined into a mother-in-law unit.

The architect: David Foster of David Foster Architects. Working with a tight budget, he had to figure out ways to minimize costs. One major budget-stretcher was keeping the existing house's footprint. He also used such cost-savers as simple melamine plastic cabinetry.

The owners: Mike and Laurie Hilton. Their wish list included relief from low ceilings, narrow hallways and small windows. They also wanted a loftlike ambience, which the new second story provided. It has 12-½-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows.

The contractor: Hilton Construction.

David Foster
Judges' comments: "The project's exterior stands out and calls for attention, which is the weakest part of the project. Once inside, the interior spaces are beautifully finished and detailed."

The size: 3,103 square feet.

Project cost: $538,000. (This figure represents what the project would have cost if the owner hadn't also been the contractor. The actual cost, excluding sales tax, was $472,000.)

Tour hours: noon-4 p.m. today only.

Address: 4540 45th Ave. N.E. Seattle.

Driving directions: From I-5, take the Northeast 45th Street exit. Travel east on Northeast 45th Street to 45th Avenue Northeast. (Do not bear left as Northeast 45th Street becomes Sand Point Way.) At 45th Avenue Northeast, turn left and go half a block to the house.

The Seattle Times/AIA Open House program began in 1954. Projects are selected by the Seattle Chapter, AIA Open House committee.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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