Small, well-designed additions — just adding a few square feet here or there — can create sufficient space to change the way your home functions without having to construct a “big box” addition.

  • We have talked about reconfiguring and repurposing existing space to change your home and life without doing a large addition the past few weeks. Sometimes in such a reconfiguration, a homeowner may need to consider small additions to make the space function the way he or she may want.Small, well-designed additions — just adding a few square feet here or there — can create sufficient space to change the way a home functions without having to construct a “big box” addition. Small, thought-out room additions can give exactly what may be needed at a fraction of the cost of a major addition. They also create minimal change in the exterior appearance of a home and don’t compromise the existing yard. Small additions are especially effective in homes needing more space in bathrooms, living rooms, dining rooms and kitchens.

    Adding bay windows, which is a series of windows that project outward, in living rooms or dining rooms also creates an attractive focal point in the space while increasing the room’s 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 to 3 feet to one side can give the kitchen enough width to add an island, providing extra counter and seating space in the room.

    If you’re interested in making a small addition to your home, keep the following design considerations in mind:

    It is structurally possible to have a small addition, such as a bay window, cantilever over the existing foundation, 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 a small addition under your existing roof. If you don’t have such an overhang, you will need to extend a portion of roof to cover an addition.

    Depending on your goals, you may need a large addition, but sometimes you can accomplish your objectives by reconfiguring your existing layout or with smart, well-designed smaller additions. Having an architect assess your house and discuss your needs and wants can help you determine what type of remodel will be required to successfully impact your daily lifestyle. Remember, bigger is definitely not always better.

Annie Schwemmer and Ann Robinson, Deseret News

http://www.renovationdesigngroup.comAnn Robinson and Annie V. Schwemmer are the principal architects and co-founders of a residential architectural firm focused on life-changing remodeling designs. To learn more, visit RenovationDesignGroup.com or contact ask@RenovationDesignGroup.com.

Small, smart additions to your home can replace expensive big ones