Guest Post: Mark Scott of Mark IV Builders

Having just left a brick colonial in DC’s close-in suburbs, I can relate so well to what Mark Scott of Mark IV Builders does every day, expanding those tiny prewar structures for families that need more space. So I was thrilled when he offered to write about a renovation his company just did in Bethesda.

Who says you can’t turn a little Cape into a modern home? Take it away, Mark:

Mark Scott, founder of Mark IV Builders

Mark Scott, founder of Mark IV Builders

Anyone living and working in the DC metro region knows that the neighborhoods are made up of older colonial-styled homes. If you want to live near a Metro stop or within a short commute to downtown DC, you’re probably not getting a large, open and spacious home flooded in natural light.

This small Cape Cod was the quintessential example.

markiv - contemporary before

The family loved their neighborhood but were living on top of one another. A previous addition did not afford much more elbow room. They came to us in hopes of a modern space that would still fit in its quaint surroundings.



All photography by Greg Hadley

Passersby have no idea what lies behind this traditional Cape. All they can see is a cute little brick house. From all appearances, it looks no different than the other structures in the neighborhood.

But walk down the path on the right, and it’s a different story:


We designed and built a contemporary addition that opens up the entire back of the house. A glass wall floods the interior with natural light by day and affords a beautiful view of the golf course behind the property. An extended roofline protects a portion of the deck from direct sun and rain.



The new addition meant the family could finally have a real kitchen with space for more than just one cook. A wall of cabinets in the dining room provide additional storage, and because of the openness of the space, feels more like an extension of the kitchen as opposed to a separate room.



The choice of a glass-topped dining table fits perfectly with the contemporary feel of the space. Clean lines and glass are elements that repeat throughout the addition.



The addition meant the owners had the space for a family room. To maintain a cozy feel within a stark space, they chose traditional furniture. Since the front of the house is Colonial in style, this arrangement makes perfect design sense.



Space is at a premium in a Cape Cod home. Custom shelving lines the hallway for storage and display. We used a glass wall in the original living room to take advantage of natural light and to make the space feel larger.

A little about Mark Scott: Mark was one of the first home remodeling companies in Cabin John-Bethesda, Md. to embrace design-build as a residential application. Even though design-build principles have been applied to new construction for thousands of years, it gained popularity in residential remodeling more recently. When Mark founded his own company, MARK IV Builders, almost 30 years ago, he incorporated his structural engineering and new construction experience into remodeling, including design-build.