Room additions are a very poplar way to increase the size and value one’s home in the
First let’s think about the value of a home. Homes are typically priced based upon their size, the quality of construction, finish materials, number of bathrooms, size of the kitchen, and often most importantly the location. But size in any location is the final determining factor. When adding on sometimes the prime consideration is the cost of the new space. An advantage in this area is that the new space can be a type of space that adds substantially to the size and therefore the value of the home while at the same time being the least expensive space to build. Let me explain, the most expensive spaces one can add are bathrooms and kitchens, any thing involving plumbing and household appliances. So it fallows that if
Of course there are many other factors influencing one’s desire to remodel or add space, not the least of which would be the desire to have a nicer bigger kitchen, or perhaps a beautiful master bathroom. These items when one considers value do not generally give a full payback when one sells the home, but of course they do make it much easier to sell at full market value.
What are some of the additions that people tend to make to their homes. I will talk about a few of them. As in the above example simple spaces can be added to make
Finally we can talk about the idea of adding a separate or semi separate apartment. These can take many forms. Perhaps one is just anther bedroom with a space for a small kitchen unit and a bath room. It could be a space where an elderly relative can be independent but still living within the main family home. Or one can add an apartment that is totally separate, maybe above the garage or in the back yard. Of course this apartment would have a multitude of potential uses, form being a work studio, to a rental unit or an apartment for an adult child or grandparents.
There can also be a big overlap in the area of energy consumption. When artificial lighting is improved the light fixtures used can be those that consume less. If windows are added or increased in size they might also reduce the need for artificial light during the day and they might also contribute to passive solar gain for heating purposes. Adding shutters to the exterior of windows can reduce the energy loss through the windows if the shutters are functional and closed, particularly during the night. Replacing carpet with tile can provide an energy storage base. High density materials like tile and concrete absorb heat and radiate it back during cool periods. Windows placed in an area where sunlight can heat the tile during the day makes this work. Shading devices over windows and exterior walls that can be adjusted or operate naturally during hot months can save on cooling costs or just help in providing a cooler interior. Landscaping functions here as well. Deciduous trees provide shade in the Summer and let the sun shine in during the Winter, if placed in front of South and West facing walls. Then there is of course the option of adding insulation. It’s most easily done in attic areas but can also be added to walls.
Finally one might wonder how does one accomplish any of the above changes and who should one ask for help. The simple solution is to hire a competent architect. One might think well I don’t really need an architect to do most of the above. I could just hire a contractor who will do the work or an interior designer, or maybe just go to a cabinet company to design my new kitchen or bathroom. There are two major reasons why the architect is the best source for all of this. The first is that the architect works for the client and only has his best interest at heart, he or she is not trying to sell anything other than services to the client. Sometimes the interior designer can fill this role but here often the designer is making his money by selling stuff, furniture, flooring, etc. and therefore profits most by selling lots of stuff. The other reason for hiring an architect is that the architect is trained by schooling and experience to be the most qualified person to see the overall picture. That is what architects do. They understand, planning, traffic flow – how spaces are used and connect to each other, construction, uses and functions of materials, peoples needs and desires for their living and working spaces, and they have a general understanding of mechanics, heating cooling, electrical, appliances, lighting, solar energy, etc. In general the architect is the one who can put all the pieces together. The architect may not do all of this himself, but he or she, knows enough about to be able to know when another expert, consultant, contractor or designer is needed and can coordinate all of their efforts.