Designing a Home Addition, Part II:

In addition to building onto our house, there are big changes coming to our yard!  I mentioned that we'll be filling in our old pool.  We just don't use our pool enough to really make it worth it (it's cold here in the SF bay area!), plus it needs a lot of work.  We'd have to put a lot of money into the pool to heat it and repair it, and ultimately we just decided we'd rather live without it.  We'll be building on only a portion of the pool (what is now the steps to the shallow end).  The part of the pool that is being built on will have to be dealt with differently than the rest of the pool, which will be filled in just for landscaping. 

And that brings us to...landscaping. Yikes!  We thought it'd be useful to think of our landscaping needs in phases.  For now, we'll be doing the limited amount to make it functional, and then hope that in a few years we'll be able to finish it more like we'd like.  

Here's our phase I plan:

The area within the dotted lines is new grass that we're going to have to add grass.  (This is where the pool currently is.)  There will be a small landing and small patio off of the office that we'll be filling in with pavers of some sort.  (We can't decide if I'd like a more cobblestone type or traditional brick).

The whole backyard is going to have to be regraded, which means that it will slope backwards to the fence where there will be drains to bring the water out.  Currently the backyard slopes towards our house, which is totally no bueno. The drains will be a few feet from the fence.  Behind the drains will be a slightly raised area where we'll have grape vines or Espalier fruit trees.  Currently this area houses our planter boxes, but we've decided that we'll be moving them to the right side of the yard.

For phase 1 we'll keep most all of the trees currently in our yard:  the mature apple tree which will provide shade to the small patio off of the office, the lemon and nectarine trees which will flank the edges of the grass, and the huge Italian cyprus trees that edge the left side of our yard and provide lovely afternoon shade.

Eventually though, we hope to be able to  change the left part of the yard, putting in a pergola, grilling station, and patio table area.

Here's a closer look at our phase 2 plans.  I can't quite decide if  I'd like the solid surface to be filled in with pavers or instead something a bit simpler and more modern like this.  No need to decide on those details right now though, as it probably won't happen for a while.  It's good to have a phase 2 plan though, because it helps us think about details like designing the paths for our sprinklers.  The phase 2 patio will be covering an area that is currently lawn and covered with sprinklers.  In phase I, we'll work on making a sprinkler path that will cover the rest of grass area, but we'll leave the other area alone (so we can get rid of it when we decide to cover the area with a solid surface without disrupting the rest of our yard plan.)

What do you think?  Does it look like a good plan to you?  We feel like such novices here!

Finally, let's home addition talk numbers.  A few people have asked me how much something like this costs.  Since I had such a hard time getting concrete numbers, I thought I'd share in case this helps someone else.

We're looking at paying about $200/ sqft (This does not include flooring or painting.  We're opting to do the painting ourselves, and we haven't picked out our flooring yet.)  This is for a slab addition with absolutely no plumbing. In reality our project will be a lot more than though, because we'll be doing a lot of other things at the same time.

We'll be doing a complete re-pipe (changing our house's galvanized steel pipes to copper piping), eliminating a half wall between the family room and kitchen, and getting rid of a good piece of our fireplace.  We're also opting for a completely new composition shingle roof.  Originally the plan was to just go to a salvage yard and try to match our old shingles but ultimately we felt like it was worth springing for a new roof.  Our current tile roof is already brittle, plus tile has roof angle restrictions which made it difficult to get the roof line that we wanted.    A composition shingle roof also has lots of advantages one that it is much lighter--something that is important in our earthquake prone area. Then of course there is the pool fill in costs, followed by all of the landscaping that will be required as a result.

We have places in our budge where we can costs if need be (such as skylights and flooring choices), especially if we have "surprises" pop up during construction. I'm not going to be happy if we have to cut some of these "fun choices" but the hubby and I both view this as the beginning of making the house more of what we want for the long term.  There's lots of things that we may have to put off for now, but I'm hopeful that eventually, as time goes on, we'll be able to add them.  It just might mean we have concrete floors for a while ;-)

So I guess that's it for now.  I'll be updating every once in a while with some updates of our project, which we're hoping to start soon!

PS:  Did you miss my first post on designing a home addition?  You can find it here.

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