Monday, March 09, 2009
Rearrange existing space or add on to create master suite
By Ann Robinson and Annie Schwemmer
Some of the most sought-after simple pleasures of life are realized with remodeling a master suite.
Finally, the bathroom you don't have to share with the kids, the convenient double sinks, a separate shower and luxurious soaking tub.
At last, the coveted walk-in closet with enough space to spread out whatever was crammed in your former mini-closet.
That alone could change your lifestyle.
A well-designed master suite turns the main bedroom into a getaway.
Typically, there are two ways to transform a master bedroom into a master suite: rearrange existing space or add on (or in some cases, a combination of both).
We just finished a creative master suite remodel that was a hybrid of rearranging and adding on.
Gineal Davidson (the same homeowner featured in last week's column) turned her carport into a master suite. She added a new two-car garage behind the house, and she re-purposed the carport space attached to the home.
She says she loves everything about her new room and the lifestyle that comes with it.
"My master suite is just comfortable," she says. "But a walk-in closet — now, that changes your life."
With all the little luxuries of her new space, she also added French doors opening to a small, private patio.
Because the patio is on the front of the house, we added a privacy wall. "I had the idea to turn the carport into a master suite, but I never would have thought of all the little things, like the privacy wall," she says.
"It all fits very well together. I don't think like a craftsman, so it was nice to have someone take my ideas and make them work."
This is the first house Gineal has owned. She says with the new remodel she finally has it all.
"I thought of moving to the west side to get more home for the money," she says. "But now I have exactly what I want in the neighborhood I wanted. And I came out owing about the same as if I bought new. But this one has my signature on it."
If you want to create a master suite, the easiest approach is to rearrange your existing space. If you have room in the vicinity of your master bedroom (often a smaller bedroom you no longer need — or a carport!), it can be captured and used to reconfigure the space to provide the master bath and closet.
To create the typical master suite, you need a bedroom large enough to fit a king-size bed, a couple pieces of furniture and possibly a sitting area; a bathroom with a separate shower and tub, two sinks and a toilet (often within its own room); and the master closet, which is typically a walk-in closet with built-in organizers.
All this will require about 400 to 800 square feet and will cost about $150 per square foot for a remodel and about $220 per square foot for an addition. The cost per square foot for a master suite tends to be higher than in other parts of the house (except the kitchen) because it often includes more luxurious fixtures and finishes — from a jetted tub and granite-lined steam shower to a private fireplace to cedar or mahogany closet organizers.
On the other hand, a master suite helps resale value so you may eventually get much of that money back.
Of course you don't have to go all out with your master suite if your budget won't allow, but you will want to add at least a few touches of luxury.
After all, a master suite should be a place you can unwind and reward yourself — even if it is only in the form of a bath time that doesn't involve bath toys and splashing kids. As always, we welcome your home architect design questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.