Friday, May 2, 2014


What do you do if you want to build a three-story house, but the local planning only allows for a two-story?

That's the problem we faced when a local planning department determined the building we've been designing can't be taller than 33' with a sloped roof and 28' with a flat roof. The 28' height limit prohibited a third floor and a sloped roof on the top of the third floor would exceed the 33' height limit. What a conundrum! Everybody pretty much gave up on the third floor.

But where there is a will there is a way and we are very willing people here at PTE.

The answer: an accordion roof!

We created a motif of ridges and valleys slightly offset from one side of the building to the other side to achieve proper roof drainage, so the roof has the required 4:12 slope, but doesn't extend more than 3' above the plate line of the third floor, thus staying below the required 33' height limitation. A little more expensive, but the more dramatic design gave the owner the desired third floor and the planning department took lots of time to scratch their heads, but finally had to approve the concept!

Think of it as another crowning achievement of PTE.

Re-posted from our newsletter originally sent on 4/25/2013