Designing a Home Addition, Part I:

So I mentioned a few times recently that we're knee deep in planning a home addition.  

It's taken us a long time to figure out what is important to us, and how to design an addition that best meets our needs as a family.  My father in law is a structural and civil engineer and his company helped us out in a HUGE way by designing and drawing up the plans for our addition.  

Our house is small--around 1200 square feet (when you include our sunroom which will be removed in this addition).  As it is right now, our house works for us.  In fact, I really like living in a small house.  The hubby and I debated back and forth whether we should even decide to do a home addition for that reason, because it's really not like we feel like we need the space right now.  

In a lot of areas, it would make more sense to move to a new house rather than build onto the one we already have if we needed more space.  Here though, housing costs are really expensive.  We paid about $380 a sq ft for our house.  It's cheaper for us to build on than buy a new house, even if you don't consider the hefty real estate fees.  We bought our house for the neighborhood we are in too, so even if we were to move we'd be mostly looking to staying in our same neighborhood. 

Alright, ready for a long old post?  Keep reading below for all of the details:

Eventually, we decided to take the plunge to build for three reasons.  

1) We need to deal with some house issues, and it's better to just get it all done at once.

We really need our pipes replaced.  We needed to get rid of our pool (or fix it).  We needed to fix some code issues. Doing those things would really change how we use our house.  Planning these things in with a home addition allows us to get a house that is more what we want for the long term.

2)  The housing market here is crazy right now.  

This means we have some equity to draw out of our house.  We are going to finance a part of our project, so our homes appraised value is important.  We hope that the changes that we are making to the house will add value over all--and value that we'd see if we decided to sell the house.

3) We love our sunroom...but....

I mentioned earlier that we have a small (approximately 80 sq ft) sunroom.  It's off the kitchen and it's the perfect playroom for my kids.  We also used it for Lu's tea party, here:

We just wished it was a little bigger.  We think about our addition as being a larger (4x bigger!) sunroom space.  

That get's us to the addition again, and how we're planning on using the space.  

The addition will be a large space off of the kitchen, which for now we'll probably use as a playroon for the kids.  We also see it as a space to set up more flexible dining space (hello Thanksgiving!) or even a second sitting area.  

To the side will be another "bedroom" which we'll use as an office/crafting space.  It will open to the main areas with pocket doors.  I like to think of the pocket doors as opening up something like this or this, probably surrounded on each side by bookcases.

Now let's talk doors:

There will be two sliding glass doors and two windows on the back side of the addition.  I wish I could say that French sliding doors were in the budget, but they aren't.  We're hoping to sacrifice those for 2 skylights in the kitchen....I love natural light!

Now let's talk about the roof.  Our family room has a raised and slightly sloped roof.  We'll be matching that slope in the addition:


What does this mean in terms of the roof line?  Well it means that we'll basically be creating a new roof on top of the old one.  
Which means that our old chimney has to go. (No complaints here, we've never used it!)  We'll be taking out part of the fireplace, capping the bottom part, and inserting a fireplace insert.  At one point we thought about removing the fireplace entirely and opening it up the kitchen space.  We couldn't decide though if we really wanted the space to be that open though, so we decided to maybe revisit that idea later on, maybe when we have a larger budget.

Since fireplace chimneys are one of the most likely things to fall during an earthquake, I'm excited to have it gone.  

So what's this plan going to look like from the front?  Something like this:

The roofline is going to look a bit funky, so I really hope that this doesn't bother me later on.  I'm hoping that I can draw focus away from the roof by adding shutters, potted plants, etc. later on as budget allows.  

Alright, there's still a lot to talk about, but this post is already super long so I'm thinking that I'll mention more in my next post.  More about numbers and landscaping coming soon, in part 2 of this post!


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