A Winning Upstairs
Family harmony is almost guaranteed in the new and improved upstairs living space, which provides a second walk-in closet for Greg and Liz and separate bedrooms for their sons, Jon and Joe. The double gable on the side of the addition created interior space for two baths--a master and one for the boys to share. Both baths have huge skylights that flood the areas with sun during the day. The dormers in the boys' bedrooms were designed to be large enough to accommodate a bed or desk. Otherwise-wasted space under the eaves contains built-in dressers. The boys' rooms are identical, so they can't complain about anyone being a favorite," says Greg with a laugh. This peace of mind is another intentional and smart idea in a well-designed addition.
- Plan a realistic budget. This should be based on both the amount you can afford to spend and the amount you should spend. While most renovations increase a home's value, the return may not be 100%.
- Be wary of overbuilding. If your house is already one of the largest and most expensive homes in the area, you may not be able to recoup the full cost of the project. The quality of the design will also affect the return on your investment.
- If possible, keep load-bearing walls intact. Removing them or relocating them can be expensive. In kitchen and bath renovations, try to keep sinks and major appliances in their original locations. This is particularly important if your house is built on a concrete slab or has a finished basement below. If your house is built above a crawlspace, it will be easier to get to any pipes that need to be moved.
- Try to reuse what you have. Existing cabinets can often be refinished, repainted, or moved to another location. Plumbing fixtures and appliances are easy items to reuse, as are door hardware and light fixtures.
This article is from the May 2005 issue of Southern Living.