In early 2020 when the pandemic began shutting down the nation and world, Kelli and Mike Zban of Landisville, Pennsylvania saw an opportunity to convert their underused single car garage into a home office for remote work and a hub for entertaining. The garage is a separate space from the rest of the house and has its own entrance.
Kelli said, “Our house is small and has always had to perform more than one task.” While designing the multi-purpose space, she saw a gas strut window on an HGTV makeover and thought it would be a good fit for their project. Kelli found the ActivWall Gas Strut Window online, and the Zbans were connected with a local ActivWall dealer in their area, Overhead Door of Lancaster.
Kelli and Mike worked with Jim Adam at Overhead Door of Lancaster to order a custom built 96″ wide and 36″ high ActivWall Gas Strut Window for the space. The American-made window is constructed with thermally broken aluminum, insulated glass, and a raised sill to make it incredibly energy efficient. They chose to add ActivWall’s optional nailing flange to the product for easy installation and the window is finished with white powder coating and a two-point locking system.
Kelli’s go-to contractor Cliff H. and his helpers Jerry C. and Andy Mumma installed the Gas Strut Window. Kelli said, “My contractors are fearless! They had never seen nor heard of this type of gas strut window before but took on the job and did great installing it.”
The window faces out onto the garden and patio area, complete with a fire pit for cool evenings, and the sturdy gas struts on the window allow it to open up and out 90 degrees to create a perfect serving bar.
Kelli and Mike hired Indoor City of Lancaster, PA, to install a counter under the window that serves as a sitting area inside and an entertaining area outside. They worked with designer Jessica Tyson to select a hard marble for this space called Fantasy Brown.
Kelli said, “After 5, the workday is over, and we love the idea that we can travel outside to a ‘bar’ without incurring any risk (at this time of COVID) to enjoy our favorite beverages!” She added, “My husband is a cyclist and has enjoyed a few after-ride drinks with fellow riders.”
The Zbans noted that this office renovation has provided their small house with entertainment opportunities beyond the face value. Kelli explained, “The gas strut window transforms [the space] from day to evening, and we can even sit inside and watch the drizzle while the window is open.”
Later on, the Zbans plan to install a pull-down projection screen on the built-in shelving wall for movies. Truly a versatile space, this renovation project has created many opportunities for togetherness and enjoying the outdoors.
Story by Jennifer Doss. Photos by Kelli Zban. Technical Guidance by Nikki Compton. Gas Strut Window by ActivWall. Featured Dealer – Overhead Door of Lancaster. Marble by Indoor City.