Change Your Floor Plan Instead of Adding On
Another way of saying it is to renovate instead of adding square footage. In the last few decades, there has been a trend to increase the size of homes by adding a den, playroom, bedroom, or enlarging the kitchen or living area.
In the near past, we’ve seen a trend toward downsizing. Homes are getting smaller and more efficient, both to cut the cost of the home and to reduce the expenses for utilities. One trend that’s relatively new and catching on for singles, couples, and even small families, is the tiny home. These are in the 250 to 500 square foot range in size, and they’re the ultimate in downsizing and living very efficiently.
Baby boomers have been downsizing as well. Their children leave home and make their own way, leaving unused space. If you’re not into leaving your home, and you don’t need more space as much as you may need a different use of space, consider a renovation to change your floorplan.
A term used in real estate for decades has been “functional obsolescence.” It means that the floorplan of a home isn’t up to date and tough to sell due to poor layout. Sometimes, it’s multiple rooms accessed only by one hallway. Or, it could just be a tiny kitchen or other characteristic that today’s buyers do not like.
If you don’t need more space as much as you would like to make better use of the space you have, a renovation that removes walls, moves them, or combines rooms could be the answer. Take some time to think about how you use your current rooms, how you’d like to change them, and devise a plan. It will almost always be less expensive than adding space.
Entertaining at home has changed over the years, and people like larger living areas, kitchens adjacent to living areas and group activities watching TV and eating in open areas. Look at your current floorplan to see how you could merge living area with a kitchen for a large new area for guests and entertaining.
If you have several smaller bedrooms and you no longer need them all, could combining two of them into a master suite give your home a whole new feel? Sometimes adding a deck off the kitchen can help, especially if you can roof it for outdoor enjoyment. Technically, it’s an addition, but it’s not livable space that costs much more to construct.
Perhaps you have a porch, especially one off a living area, that would make a great area for enjoyment if you roofed or enclosed it. Open up access to the kitchen or great room, and you increase your entertainment area for more activities and enjoyment.
As you do some sketches and plan for knocking out some walls, don’t get too excited until you check with someone with experience in construction. You need to determine if walls you plan on removing are structural support walls. If they’re supporting part of your structure, you may be able to remove the wall, but you’ll have a support post in your new area. It can be a really nice post, but you’ll need it. One way to make it better in a large entertainment/kitchen area would be to make the support part of an island for eating, or a bar.
Make the most of what you have in your home and change it for more livability and that “new home” feel.