I have renovated and added to my own home for many reasons, including the fact I hated the existing kitchen.  I added a porch and a bedroom because I love porches and my oldest daughter needed a room of her own.  Many people renovate a home because no one thought to incorporate light or views in the original design.  Sometimes the existing home is outdated, dark, too small, poorly laid out, or all of the above.

In any case, some of the additions/renovations, which we and our clients have found to have the greatest impact for the dollar, are as follows:

1.  Kitchen and Breakfast Room

The kitchen is the heart of most homes.  No matter how hard we try to direct family and friends to other parts of the house, they always come back to the kitchen.  A breakfast area or bay window is a natural accompaniment to the kitchen.  Again, this is the opportunity to increase the light and views in a part of the house where we spend a lot of time.

Kitchen

Kitchen

Breakfast Area Off Kitchen

Breakfast Area Off Kitchen

2.  Master Bath/Master Suite

My master bath had low ceilings and was poorly heated, so when we renovated it, we included tall ceilings and radiant floor heat, there is now a huge difference in the way we feel about a room we use every day.  The same is true when our clients renovate an entire master suite.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Shower and Sink

Master Shower and Sink

Master Tub

Master Tub

3.  Porches

One of the additions, which provides the most impact for the least cost, is a porch.  I can’t wait for the spring when I can drink my morning coffee on my porch and sip a glass of wine in the evening with my wife,  listening to our favorite music while swinging on the porch swing.  You can include many bells and whistles on a porch or make it quite simple, either way, they are a lot of fun.  Don’t forget screened porches.

Screened Porch

Screened Porch

Back Porch with Swing

Back Porch with Swing

4. Garage/Studio/Guest Bedroom

While a separate garage with living space above is not technically part of a home, the overflow space and storage created can help the rest of your homework better.  When building a garage there is a real economy in adding useful space above since you already will have a roof and foundation.  Plumbing and mechanical systems can be added at a later date if you want to phase the expense.

Garage with Space Above

Garage with Space Above

Garage With Connector

Garage With Connector

5. Mudroom

Over the years, we have designed many mudrooms.  Sometimes they are designed as a room dedicated to getting the mud off of kids, pets, and everyone coming into the side door of the home.  Other times they serve light duty as entries with coat hooks and a place to sit and take off or put on shoes.  What they all have in common is that they change the way we live.

Mudroom With Slate Floor

Mudroom With Slate Floor

Simple Mudroom Cubbies

Simple Mudroom Cubbies

Minimalist Mudroom

Minimalist Mudroom

Photos by Rob Karosis

 

 

 

 

By Published On: December 8th, 2018Categories: Miscellaneous3 Comments

About the Author: James Crisp

James M. Crisp has been an architect for well over 30 years. His architectural firm, Crisp Architects, designs projects throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In April of 2007, Taunton Press published 'On the Porch' by James M. Crisp and Sandra Mahoney.

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3 Comments

  1. Peggy December 13, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Mr. Crisp – I have followed your work for awhile now and I must say that I am so impressed with what you did with your home. I love the mud room (I have Gordon Setters) and I love the lounging tub, the porch and master bedroom with all the light and windows!!

    Thank you so much for sharing your own project.

    Your work is simply outstanding.

    Celebrate everything,

    Peggy DaValt

  2. James Crisp December 13, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    Thank you so much!

  3. Helene Robbins December 14, 2018 at 12:34 am

    I am renovating an old barn. If you want to see and keep the old wood on the onside… what is the best way to insulate?

    Thank you in advance.

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