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Red House Architects

Robert Braddock
1612 N. Fillmore St.
Arlington Virginia 22201

Q: From an architect’s perspective, what unique challenges does the Arlington market present?

A: A large part of the existing housing stock in Arlington was built in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. These homes served their purpose with dignity, and vast numbers of people raised families in them. But, as products of their time, they were usually modest, with small, separated rooms. They were only nominally insulated, heated with a furnace and did not have air-conditioning. Storage was at a minimum. Basements were not considered habitable – most were not dry. Many Arlington homes were built on small lots, for working-class families. Expansion normally meant enclosing an existing porch.

On the plus side, they were often built with 8- or 12-inch-thick solid masonry walls. And the wood framing that was used came from old-growth forests and was much stronger than the same size lumber used today. Small and sturdy – that’s the starting point.

Q: What services do you offer your clients?

A: As a residential architect, I am most often called upon to expand and remodel homes for growing families and also address the existing shortcomings. Today, we can open up large spaces with engineered lumber spans. We can bring in light with insulating windows and doors. We can combine robust insulation, draft-stoppage and new HVAC technology to heat, cool and maintain comfort, while minimizing energy expenditures. And we can build with materials that have been reclaimed, recycled or diverted from the waste stream. This allows us to create beautiful and comfortable spaces that match the owner’s lifestyle and needs.

We specialize in harmonious and complementary work that blends seamlessly and proportionally with your existing home.