Is your house jam-packed? Maybe adding on is the solution. Many homeowners walk through their front door at the end of the day only to be greeted with eclectic piles — soccer cleats, a rawhide bone, backpacks, sweatshirts, a lacrosse stick, some junk mail and three nonmatching socks. Wait, that’s not truly eclectic — that’s the mess that comes from living with kids and pets. If it was just you and your husband or wife, you might have some clutter, but not as much, and it would be a different kind (kicked-off heels, man bags, coffee cups and papers, papers and more papers.
When you run out of room, you have two choices: get rid of some stuff or find a place to put it. Even if you could get rid of some of the stuff, you’re pretty much stuck with the kids and the pets, and likely they are continuing to grow every day, so you need a place for them. You don’t want to move, because you love your neighborhood and your schools. You’ve tried reorganizing and installing Elfa closet systems everywhere, but it’s not enough. The solution is to build more rooms.
Add-on or Bump-out
When the kids are small and you live in an old colonial or ranch house from the 50s, you’re kind of stuck with boxy, little rooms (they didn’t have as much stuff in the 50s). What many families opt for in a situation like this is adding a room or a bump out at the back. This gives the family that central location where everyone can gather in a space that’s big enough to play, eat and relax.
If you’re living a suburban existence and you’re trying to avoid covering your tiny plot with house (and building codes won’t let you anyway), a two-story addition is a good idea. These often go at the back of the house, but they’re sometimes built onto the side as well. With this type of addition, you get twice the room while taking up only half the space. These rooms can be used as bedrooms for the kids, guest rooms, home offices, formal dining rooms and more. They’re generally not big — if you’re thinking of adding on a great room, you need more space (and lots of money).
Porch or Sunroom
If all you need is a quiet place to get away from it all, a nice area to put your plants and have a cup of tea, you can save money by either converting an existing porch into a room or, if you don’t have one, adding on a sunroom. Many older homes were built with what were called sleeping porches — screened areas where occupants could get fresh air or retreat to when it was hot. Now that we have air conditioning, the sleeping porch has become moot.
What to do with the space?
Turn it into an office, a playroom or a personal retreat. One important consideration: If you live in a climate where it gets cold, spend the extra money to insulate this area instead of merely throwing walls up where the screens used to be. Otherwise, your room won’t be good for four seasons. Your options for sunrooms are similar, so discuss with your builder what would work best for you.
Here at Falk Construction, Inc., we have been building additions and homes from the ground up for many years. If you are considering an addition to your home, give us a call and our experienced professionals can meet with you for a free consultation.