Nov 20, 2012

Do you remodel or rebuild?

Your home has curb appeal, but the floor plan behind it has grown stale. Do you have to scrap the entire design and start over? The expense, the challenges with permits and the length of time needed will all be factors. If your constraint is time or funding, redefine the existing plan within the same (or close to the same) footprint. My client wanted to tear down the house and rebuild at a cost of nearly $300,000.  But re-designing the layout in the same footprint, saved over $120,000 from a plan to tear down and restart. The original floor plan had too many jogs and corners, a small and inefficient kitchen, and a master suite that looked out onto a small side yard. The entrance was non existent but the overall space works for the lot.  It was very divided and the spaces were not conducive to togetherness. Some other details to note: Because the laundry was a cut-through from the garage, the space had no storage or counters.  The patio was shallow and tough to furnish, and access to the interior living spaces was awkward.  Closets in the master bath made it difficult for two people to use at the same time.  It's visibility from the foyer wasn't ideal for privacy.  
By rethinking this plan’s master suite and communal areas a new layout improved the home on several levels. A revised plan creates view corridors, frees up space for a larger, more usable rear patio, and trades an isolated formal living room for a multipurpose area in the heart of the home. Located just off the kitchen, this new space provides a room for laundry, homework, computing, and art projects. It can be public or private.  The resulting floor plan opens the home, making it appear much larger. Using the same roof structure yet creating an outdoor porch really helped in reducing costs. That freed up dollars for exterior upgrades and nicer finishes throughout the home. It's always best to spend money where it can be truly appreciated. The finer points of the plan:

  • Focusing more on workstations than a work triangle, the revamped kitchen provides room for several cooks.
  • The original laundry is replaced with a mudroom, pantry space and electronics chargers.
  • Courtyards and patios now accommodate a seating area.
  • A laundry/hobby room encourages shared chores and family bonding.
  • The new master bath trades the big tub for a level entry shower and a better defined dressing area.