Adding a room to your home is a major undertaking, but the results can be amazing. Not only can an extra room add value to your home, it can provide you and your family with that certain space you've always wanted. When you finally decide to take the plunge, however, make sure you think the project all the way through. The last thing you want after suffering through weeks of construction and spending your hard-earned money on supplies is doubt. These top five room addition projects, if planned and executed with care, can help turn your house into a more spacious and fun-filled home.
The reemergence of the great room in recent years came from the novel idea that families want to spend more time together. A great room can help you achieve this by tying your eating, living, and recreational spaces together.
If you own a home with a more traditional floor plan, adding a great room could involve knocking down a wall or two. Since interior demolition can be a dangerous undertaking, you may want to consult an architect with experience in structural design. They can tell you how to properly remove a wall or an inconvenient column without causing damage to the rest of your home.
Once the major stuff has been squared away, take time to think about the details. Remember, you and your family will spend a great deal of time in this room, so minor touches such as hardwood floors, crown molding, or built-in shelves can make all the difference.
Redesigning your bedroom area allows you to personalize the most intimate part of your home. Make the most of it by inviting everyone in, at least for the planning process--find a local contractor, talk to an interior decorator, consult a professional organizer. There are so many good ideas out there--his and hers showers, custom closets, breakfast nooks--that you'll want to flood yourself with options before settling on a plan. Make sure you never have to think, "Hey, we should have done that in our bedroom," after the construction dust settles.
A home office is a room addition that can help you de-clutter your home, relieving counter spaces of bills and other paperwork that you need to get to…at some point. It can also make telecommuting, working from home, or schoolwork easier by providing a designated work space free from the distractions you'd encounter if you simply set up your laptop at the kitchen table.
When designing your home office, keep the room's purpose firmly in mind. It's a place to do work, so functionality--not aesthetics--should be your primary concern. An antique desk might be sexier than a built-in desk and shelves, but a having a work space designed for efficiency can help you to finish your work more quickly. What could be sexier than that?
Similar to a home office, a media room should be functional, not just pleasing to the eye. For that reason, a media room is often ideally suited for less-than-ideal areas of your home, such as the basement or the unfinished space above your garage. However, if you're stuck on where to put your room addition, find a contractor who can help you pinpoint where and how to maximize your media experience. For example, no windows means no glare on the TV. And the tighter the space, the easier it is to achieve perfect surround sound.
Since your media room will be a place where you watch movies, channel surf, or spend way too much time on the Xbox360, furnish your new space with lounging comfort in mind. A soft couch, game chairs, and even a beanbag can make your media room a haven for electronic entertainment.
A place for everything and everything in its place. Ask anyone who has added a garage to their home and they'll likely tell you they don't know how they ever lived without it. Suddenly, items that never belonged in the house--bikes, golf clubs, gardening tools--have their own place, and the extra storage will make it feel like all your closets have doubled in size.
When planning your garage addition, remember to be very generous in calculating square footage. If you end up needing a spine like a Slinky and knees that bend backwards just to get into your car, your garage could become a burden, not a blessing. A good way to estimate the dimensions is to park your car in your driveway, then arrange everything you expect to keep in your garage around it. Can you open the car door without hitting anything? Can you move from one end to the other without turning sideways and sucking in your gut? When you can, measure from the outside edges and you're good to go.
Whether your room addition is a necessity, a luxury, or simply a means to add value to your home, careful planning and a little research can work wonders. Though the urge to dive-in headfirst might be too much for you to bear, the more prep you put into your project the better. After all, you want to make the most of your new space, and create an end product that's worth all the time, money, and hard work that you invested.
About the Author: Brett Freeman is a freelance journalist. He also owns a landscaping and irrigation company in North Carolina. Previously he has worked as a beat reporter, a teacher, and for a home improvement company.