The New Rooftop Deck of This 100-Year-Old Leschi House Combines Tech and Creativity

Take a look around this decked out remodel

By Sheila Cain May 14, 2018


This article originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the May 2018 issue. Click here to subscribe.

The “before” photos of the recently remodeled 1906 Leschi Craftsman left a lot to be desired. “It just didn’t work for us,” says Heath Ward, one of the owners who bought the home in 2012.

The home’s aesthetics had been improved in a 2006 update done by previous owners, but the overhaul didn’t go quite far enough for the new occupants. “Our goal was to modernize the home and make it more efficient and functional,” says Ward, who recently started his own software development company.

The new owners lived in the 2,400-square-foot home for two years before embarking on a remodel, giving them time to create a wish list that included a web of home automation systems that would turn the Jetsons green with envy. Highlights include sensors that control indoor temperatures, automatic fans that activate during showers (and run for 30 minutes afterward) and even a program that reminds the homeowners to water the Christmas tree. The remodel also covered the outdoor space, adding a rooftop deck with 360-degree views and 22 rooftop solar panels. 

Photograph by Alex Crook. From the master suite, the homeowners can access the upper deck via this custom Tred-designed spiral staircase

While the deck is now a popular destination for the homeowners and their friends, it emerged as an option only after the owners finalized a design that expanded and optimized the upper-level master suite. “It wasn’t part of the plan when the roof came off,” says Ward, “but we saw this as an opportunity.”

Rather than creating a gabled roof to cap the entire home, husband-and-wife designers Lee Edwards and Megan Tremain of Seattle-based Tred Architecture + Design stopped the pitch at the ridge of the halfway point, then went flat to allow for a modest deck above the master suite. The 200-square-foot area is big enough for a handful of friends to gather for twilight cocktails and dinner, and includes a built-in bench around the perimeter angled just enough to repel standing water, but not so much that drinks and plates slide off. Winter’s chill is not a deterrent when it comes to a quiet escape to the rooftop. “I’ll go up with a blanket and watch the sun set,” says Ward. “It’s one of my favorite spaces in the house.”

Photograph by Alex Crook. A second smaller deck is located just off the master suite, offering enviable views 

A Tred-designed custom spiral staircase connects the rooftop deck to a smaller, 60-square-foot deck off the master suite. With a minimalist design, the staircase doesn’t distract from the view, and LED lighting under the individual steps helps with wayfinding after the sun sets. 

A new standing seam metal roof—in red, for visual pop—is the base for solar panels, essential for the eco-conscious owners. By using Washington-made panels and micro-inverters, the owners were able to take advantage of rebate programs that allow them to significantly offset their monthly power bills and claim a “generation credit” at the end of each year, making this home remodel, one of style—and substance. 


Follow Us

A Light-Filled  Oasis

A Light-Filled Oasis

Mercer Island residence embraces natural beauty by drawing it inside

When Kent and Lisa Sacia decided to put a bow on their latest remodeling triumph, they turned to a trusted collaborator, Sander Groves Landscaping President Dan Groves. He was more than happy to take on the project, a reimagining of a 1972 Northwest contemporary by a noted Mercer Island architect. “I am in a position to…

Living: The Lightness of Seeing

Living: The Lightness of Seeing

Challenging ‘Lopez Lookout’ project places a premium on spectacular scenery

The regulators and nesting eagles weren’t the only ones peering on with interest. The third largest of the San Juan Islands at 30 square miles, Lopez is home to about 3,000 year-round residents known for friendly waves at about anything that moves. Islanders are also known for their intense interest in protecting their remarkable environment….

A History Museum at Home | Sponsored

A History Museum at Home | Sponsored

Creating your own mini galleries with art, photos, and objects you love

  Everywhere you turn in Brendan’s home is a piece of history with a compelling story. A small delicate piece of metal stamped with a man and lion sits inset against a vibrant red matboard. “This is a gladiator fight ticket from the Colosseum in Thracian during the slave uprising in Rome. The time of…

A Poetic Quality of Light

A Poetic Quality of Light

Portage Bay floating home embodies a feeling of spaciousness

Suzanne Stefan rides a housing bubble that bursts many times each day. Stefan, a cofounder of Seattle architecture firm Studio DIAA, combined light, sound, and materials to create a bright, 650-square-foot floating home on Portage Bay (the eastern arm of Lake Union) that reverentially reflects its idyllic surroundings. Bright, but not dazzling, as glare, contrast,…