The New American Home 2007Third LevelBy BUILDER Staff Photos: James F. WilsonThe architect used what was left in terms of the home's allowable height to blow the third level to a 10-foot ceiling, making this space the most loft-like of the three living areas. It also has the advantage of mostly unencumbered natural light, which the design leverages through extensive windows on opposite elevations and an accordion-style patio door out to the balcony.Photos: James F. WilsonThe arrangement creates a true entertainment space to serve not only the family's daily needs, but also enable intimate in-home cooking demonstrations and classes or wine tastings in a comfortable, contemporary setting that overlooks the neighborhood and respects the modern urban lifestyle.Photos: James F. WilsonThe open floor plan also creates an easy flow through an eating area into the kitchen. An adjacent office niche buffers a powder room serving the third floor.HIGHER GROUND: The third-floor balcony provides a unique, private view of the neighborhood and Lake Eola, akin to those available in the mid-and high-rise condos around the lake. The deck of the balcony is a layered drainage scheme that supports an ingenious stormwater management and retention system, including a slab concrete base, two filter mats between a plastic drainage grid, potting soil, and both brick pavers on the covered area and artificial turf on the open-air end of the deck.LIGHT WHERE YOU NEED IT: Awning windows from Andersen throw natural light from the east elevation through the kitchen's backsplash, supplementing a general and task lighting scheme from Progress Lighting. The windows also provide ventilation for the kitchen, as well as views to the pool deck and garden below.SOFT EDGES: Cantilevered planters along the south elevation on the second, third, and roof levels soften the rectilinear lines of the house, break up its three-story mass, and provide welcome shade for the southern exposure. They also serve the water runoff and retention system with a passive drip system.PRODUCT SPECSWINDOWS AND PATIO DOORS: The 400 Series Woodwright double-hung, fixed, and casement windows and Frenchwood hinged and gliding patio doors from Andersen Windows feature reliable composite wood frames and aluminum exterior cladding. The company's proprietary low-E4 glass is, on average, 41 percent more energy efficient in summer and 35 percent more energy efficient in winter than standard dual-pane glass. The glass also offers an exterior coating that, when activated by sunlight, helps reduce dirt buildup and water spots.WASTE DISPOSERS AND HOT WATER DISPENSERS: The kitchen features a pair of InSinkErator's Evolution Excel food waste disposers and HC100 instant hot water dispensers. The waste disposers offer quiet, multi-grind operation.APPLIANCES: KitchenAid's stainless steel trash compactor complements the main appliances, while a pair of dishwasher drawers conveniently operate independently and feature multiple cycles and settings. The major appliances are from Sub-Zero and Wolf, providing the owners with restaurant-quality performance, capacity, and convenience. Broan provided a sleek, framed-glass hood over the island cooktop.CABINETS: Throughout the house, but most prominently in the kitchen, the Polo Club series cabinets from Canac Kitchens (a Kohler company) are finished in Maple Espresso. The kitchen and niche areas feature the cabinets with Cosmopolitan glass doors for a contemporary yet comfortable look.COUNTERTOPS: Solid surfacing from Formica finishes off the counters and other surfaces in the wet bar, morning kitchen, mudroom, bathrooms, and laundry areas. The company's proprietary resin formula creates a rich color and a deep, translucent quality with stain resistance and other high-performance benefits.FOLDING DOORS: Accordion-style folding patio doors from Nana Windows & Doors create wide-open access to the balcony, extending the living space. When closed, the wall of glass maintains the view.OUTDOOR GRILL: The Fire Magic 36-inch Monarch barbecue grill from the Robert H. Peterson Co., a member of the Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association, provides high-performance grilling capacity and flexibility. 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