Know What Is and Isn’t Possible When It Comes to Room Additions in St. Louis

Written by Ron Mifflin

modern home additions st. louisA lot of homeowners like their house, but have always felt it could use a little more space. Typically it is one of the “big three”: adding a family room, creating a master bedroom suite and putting on a sunroom. Whichever it might be, when it comes to modern home additions there are some age-old questions that need to be answered before any work begins.

Research First

If you are part of a Homeowner’s Association, the first place to start is by knowing the dos and don’ts allowed in your neighborhood. Some can be very restrictive even regulating the color paint you can use on your house; others are less so. Either way, you don’t want to do anything until you know your rights.

Next is to know what municipal regulations might come into play. You can research this yourself, but it might be best to let a reputable remodeling contractor assist in this process. They will know the right questions to ask when it comes to building codes, permitting, easements and other requirements.

After that legwork is completed and, if all signs read “go”, it is time for your contract and you to assess the structure of your house and discuss the vision you have for the added space. This is where design-build remodeling contractors like JT McDermott. They have all capabilities in-house to ensure the addition you want can be achieved without compromising the structural integrity of your house.

Room Style

If one researches “Modern Room Additions” online they will find a plethora of pictures of structures that look nothing like the design of the original house. That is a risky decision to make at a couple of levels. First, a design that looks good on paper standing adjacent to the original house might turn out to be a dud in reality. Secondly, even if it turns out to be exactly what you want, when it comes to re-selling your house, you will have to find a buyer who shares your vision. It might be best have the exterior design flow with the rest of the house.

Family rooms top of the list of the most often desired additions. Most houses built in the 1960s and 1970s adhered to very structured designs with dedicated rooms segmented by walls and doorways. The kitchen, for example, was strictly for utility purposes. That is not the case today where kitchens have evolved into the epicenter of the home; a place for families to gather and converse while meals are being prepared. The family room evolved as an extension of this change in American lifestyle.

That noted, there is more thought that goes into the design of a family room than simple adding more space. The design can be customized around the type of family and lifestyle you have. If it is large and active you will need the elbow room to accommodate them. If it is smaller and more low-key a more intimate setting is appropriate.

The master suite is another popular area for adding on. Again, many homes in the past where not design with the idea that the bedroom was anything other than a place to sleep. If there was a bathroom attached, it typically was cramped and basic. Today, master suites are akin to master retreats. The main room itself might be enlarged to include a lounging or reading enclave. The master bathroom, however, is where the real design muscle is flexed.

Twin sink vanities have become standard for the on-the-go professionals getting ready together in the morning. Showers are now walk-in as opposed to climbing over the side of a tub in and many prefer that water closets have their own separate space.  Finally, there is the closet or closets. It seems these days there is never enough closet space and one can marvel at how their parents ever co-existed without a closet large enough to cause an echo.

Finally, of the big three home additions there is the sunroom which is essentially the lesser sibling of the family room. Sunrooms can be as described, rooms with plenty of windows, maybe even a fireplace, and meant to be where you get a sense of communing with the outdoors but not bothered by bugs, the noises or the elements. Sunrooms can flow naturally as an extension of another room in the house or stand alone in solitude, a retreat, if you will.

A room addition provides exciting new liveability options to your home. If can actually give you a whole new perspective on the house itself.  Knowing what is or isn’t allowed in your community and/or neighborhood and assessing how the room should match your lifestyle are the first places to start in this process.

Ron is the resident numbers cruncher, helping clients meet their budget and get the remodel they’ve dreamed of. He considers himself the “man behind the curtain” who’s always looking out for the best interests of the client.

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