Home addition ideas are highly sought-after every calendar year, but 2020 has people seeking them out more than most. With offices closed, events canceled, venues shut down, and vacations postponed, we’ve had plenty of time to get brutally acquainted with our homes’ flaws, especially lack of space. How tantalizing it is to think about what you could do with all that extra square footage…
Here’s the thing, though — you might already have it. There are some instances when an interior remodel can be just as effective as a home addition to open up the extra space you’re craving. As always, it’s a function of your home’s architecture, your property, and what you can afford.
Open concept floor plans
Is it just you, or is it the floor plan? In interior design, it is the perception of space that matters most. We may not be able to physically create more space, but we can create the feeling of more space. This is why “open concept” will forever remain a buzzword for homeowners both current and prospective — by breaking down walls and combining spaces (most traditionally the kitchen, dining room, and living room), you allow for freer movement, easier communication, and a better passage of light and airflow from end to end.
Before you (or more advisably a professional contractor) go to town with a sledgehammer, there are a few very important things to keep in mind.
- Is the wall you’re removing load-bearing? If so, you’ll need something to replace that supporting structure, such as a partial wall, column, or flush beam.
- Does the wall contain any wiring, plumbing, or ductwork? If so, that will need to be rerouted.
- Is your house one story or two? Knocking out a load-bearing wall becomes trickier if it is also supporting an upper level.
Other things you can do to enhance your sense of space might include alterations to the room’s lighting (such as recessed), storage and organization system, or simply rearranging the furniture and applying a fresh coat of paint.
Is your basement an afterthought to other home addition ideas? Perhaps it shouldn’t be. That graveyard for the misfit and miscellaneous items of your life could potentially be a home theater, studio, family room, man cave, or even at-home sports bar. There is so much you can do with a finished basement that it’d be a shame if you did not explore that option. It has the functionality of a home addition at a much lesser cost, and it’s right beneath your feet.
Ideas for building up
Finally, there’s the option of constructing something entirely new to expand your living space. There are two ways we can go about this — building up (a second story addition) or building out (ground floor addition). Adding a second story is usually the more economical of the two, because you do not have to factor in the costs of excavation and pouring a foundation. It’s also less likely to be a hassle in terms of zoning requirements, as your contractor will be working with your existing footprint.
Be aware, however, that structural elements may need to be retrofitted to support the weight of addition and that most municipalities set limits on how high a residential home can stand. Caveats aside, there are again limitless possibilities for that extra space.
Second floor laundry room
The second floor laundry room has become a popular commodity in recent years, and for good reason. It may not reduce the amount of laundry, but it can make each load seem a little lighter by reducing the distance it has to travel, putting the washer and dryer on the same level as bedrooms and bedroom closets. The possibility of a skylight or window could lighten your mood, too, making the task seem less like a chore — remember context is everything!
Studio over a garage
Practice your craft, whether it be sculpting, painting, or music in a distinct and discreet space, where you will neither disturb nor be distrubed by your home’s cohabitants.
Family and friends visit often from out of state? A dedicated guest floor with its own bathroom can prevent home dwellers and home visitors from stepping on one another’s toes, especially during hectic times like the holidays.
Ideas for building out
If you have the kind of budget and the property to properly accommodate a ground floor home addition, your creativity can truly take flight. Ideally, it should integrate seamlessly into the existing layout as if it were a natural extension of the home rather than something tacked on. Of course, if you’re thinking of adding a mother-in-law suite for an aging parent or relative, remember to account for their/your privacy as well.
Here are a few more ideas to get your inspiration flowing.
Giving a home office or study its own separate wing of the house is a great way to enhance focus and productivity, whether you’re working from home by choice or by necessity.
For the active family, a mudroom is a great place to stow away recreational and sporting gear between outings or between seasons in order to keep your main living area as clean and tidy as possible. Before designating part of a home addition for this purpose, consider whether you can utilize the garage for your mudroom instead.
Are you a passionate hobbyist or collector? Incorporating a hobby room into your home addition gives you a prime location to proudly showcase your rare items and memorabilia without cluttering the main living space.
Plan ahead on your addition with Ayars
Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as home addition ideas go! Tell us what you’re after and we’ll tell you if we’re a good match.