Considering building an addition or remodeling your home? Is your house bursting at the seams, or do you just need more room for enjoying life? You may simply be interested in making the space you have more functional and pleasurable.
The layout of many homes does not integrate well with contemporary living and technology. A family may have a new baby on the way, or growing children needing more room to just be children. A couple who love to entertain might like their home to be more conducive to larger gatherings. Perhaps you’d like to have an artist’s studio, hobby room, or workshop. Home theaters and home offices have been a trend in recent years and may require special considerations.
Today there are compelling reasons to make our homes the best they can be rather than selling and moving on. In many situations, building an addition or remodeling might make good economic sense. You may love your neighborhood or may not be able to find the right house in the area you would like to live. Land is becoming scarce in many areas and localities. Whatever the reason, building an addition, converting an attic, finishing a basement, or making any significant alterations to your home is a major decision and requires careful thought and planning.
WHERE TO BEGIN…
I frequently suggest starting your project with a wish list identifying your objectives and dreams. Also helpful is to generate an idea file with pictures and articles from magazines, books, newspapers, and online sources. Create a list of “must haves,” and make sure these are planned according to their priorities. Think about where in your home or on your property the new space might be most functional and fit best with the existing plan. Objectivity and good design advice may bring about some surprising solutions.
Because there are so many possibilities, the idea of building or remodeling might seem a bit daunting. How will the new space affect the flow and function of the existing layout? What is the access and circulation? Can it be large enough to be comfortable and functional yet spatially efficient and cost effective? How will the design integrate aesthetically? What are the structural and construction considerations? To avoid potential costly changes, these very important questions need answers during the project design stage.
Some of the easiest spaces to renovate or convert are those areas that are already a part of your home’s basic construction. Perhaps enclosing part of your attic to become a home office or play room would be a good solution. Sunrooms or porches are sometimes fairly easy additions on the back or side of a home and can bring in natural light and capture new views to the outdoors. A garage can be converted to a nicely sized family or recreation room. Basements offer great opportunities for found space but require specific planning and must be waterproofed with particular care.