Friday, July 29, 2005
Home Additions: Small home addition can make a remarkable difference
By Ann Robinson and Annie Vernon
In last week's column we explained that when it comes to home additions, bigger is not always better. We presented some less-expensive yet effective alternatives to large room additions.
Today we'll discuss another alternative to a "big box" addition: adding on just a few feet. Small but well-designed room additions can give you exactly what you need at a fraction of the cost. They also create minimal change in the exterior appearance of your home. Small additions are especially effective homes needing more space in bathrooms, living rooms, dining rooms and kitchens.
For example, a couple in Holladay came to us wanting a larger shower and closet for their second-story master bathroom. Rather than making a large room addition, we simply added a 2-by-4-foot bay directly above a bay window that already existed in the dining room below the master bath. This created a perfect spot for a new jetted tub, which freed up space for a larger, separate shower and a bigger closet. The overall configuration of the space was also much improved.
A couple in the Avenues had a living room that was only 11 feet wide. We designed a 2-by-6-foot bay window on one side of the living room. This minor addition allowed them to include the additional furniture they wanted to use — a coffee table and an extra chair.
Adding bays in living rooms or dining rooms also creates an attractive focal point in the space while increasing the rooms' natural light and views to the exterior. Bays also allow for the inclusion of window seats, which are both functional and aesthetic. They can offer additional seating, create a cozy niche adjacent to a larger space and provide storage space under the seat.
In a kitchen, adding just 2 feet to one side allows you to put in extra cabinets while maintaining the kitchen's open floor space.
If you're interested in making a small addition to your home, keep the following structural aspects in mind:
- It is possible to have a small addition, such as a bay window, jut several feet out from the wall of your home, eliminating the need to pour a new concrete foundation.
- You can "borrow" a few feet from a room or space adjacent to the room you want to enlarge. For example, you can capture the space from a closet to add to a bathroom, which would allow enough space for a new shower or bathtub.
- If you have a large roof overhang of 2 to 4 feet, you may be able to tuck an addition under your existing roof. If you don't have such an overhang, you will need to build a new roof to cover an addition.
Correction: The floor plan pictured in last week's column was incorrectly identified as the existing plan. The drawing represented the new floor plan. As always, we welcome your home architect design questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.