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Back Issues
2011 - Volume 1 Issue 1
Casas Bonitas
Article: Bob Skolnick
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There are many reasons to add a room to an existing home, it could be another bedroom, a family room, a full apartment for a parent, an office with a separate entrance or a fitness center. Sometimes room additions are made to replace existing rooms such as kitchens or dining rooms with a larger more modern space. Whatever the reason for the room addition, there are certain considerations that have to be given your attention.

    Photo Captions

1.) This door was originally from the Asian Continent and has been encased in a new hand-crafted frame. Additional carving details were designed by Connie Hines and applied by Mario Lopez of Renaissance Wood Works.

2.) A room addition is often for exercise. This spacious room was added by Connie Hines of the Studio Design Center as a yoga studio for a client. The custom bookcase and door by Renaissance Woodworks provides for a unique and serene atmosphere.

3.) This exercise room was placed on a second deck just off the master bedroom.

4.) This added space was designed to give the owners a spacious bathroom. The tile floor, painted ceiling and cabinetry are all working to create a grotto feeling.

Air Serve

AirTight Insulation

Rawson Builders Supply

Renaissance Woodworks

Sun City Plumbing
& Heating


Window Concepts

Window Solutions
  An addition to a house must comply with codes concerning property line setback. If you are tight on setback space, you can consider adding a second story. Jim Martin

Initially, we would have to see if the electrical panel is big enough to handle the additional circuits, and check the heating and cooling capacity to make sure it can accommodate additional square footage. Rudy Guel

Every house is different and you have to stay with the architectural aspects of the home. When you do an addition, you don’t want it to look like an addition. You want it to look like it was always part of the house.
Jim Martin

One thing people don’t consider a lot when doing an addition is how it affects the traffic patterns within the house itself. Traffic patterns are grossly overlooked aspects of remodeling.
Dan Diemer
The first is where on the house will the new space be attached? What is the purpose of the added space going to be? You have to consider traffic patterns in the house and then locating the room addition in either a family or activity zone or a quiet zone of the house. You certainly would not locate a room requiring peace and quiet near a room that has high traffic and might have noise transference. Also, you do not want someone to have to walk through one room to get to another room. A hallway is always a more desirable way to move from room to room.

One key consideration – Is there sufficient setback from property lines to add square feet to your existing home? Each city has specific regulations defining property line setbacks. If you cannot meet these requirements you will have to secure a variance (which sometimes is not easy to get) or modify your use plans for the additional space.

Once you have solved where you can add onto the house, another consideration is heating and cooling. Does the existing heating and cooling system offer enough volume to easily heat and cool the new added space. If your added space is a room that is only used at night such as a bedroom, then an existing heating and cooling system might be adequate if it can use air capacity from a daytime part of the house. There are always options such as zoning your existing heating and cooling system and directing air flow to specific areas by thermostats placed in various rooms. In a zoned system, the airflow is controlled by a series of duct dampers. Zoning is an effective way to make sure your energy is best used as needed. Your remodeler can bring in a heating and cooling specialist to help you make the best decisions. Obviously, in designing your room additions, utility placement can be critical. Locating new rooms near an existing part of the house with plumbing and waste water lines already in place will save some expense. Hot water systems of the existing home were sized to the original defined needs, so you may have to add additional hot water delivery capacity.

Windows need to be considered and selections should be based on which compass point the room will orient towards. Will the room receive a lot of direct sunlight from a south facing wall? If the room is for daytime uses such as an office, fitness center or hobby room, natural light may be very desirable, thus requiring larger and more windows.

Next, you may want to consider noise control options for the room. The flooring choices vary from hardwood floors to tile to carpeting. Each has its visual appeal but there is a noise factor that should be given some thought. The wall height and finish and ceiling insulation will also have a big impact on the noise level inside the added room.

Lastly, the exterior portion of the added room can be planned once you know the window and entrance door requirements. The end goal is to have the addition blend with the architectural style of the existing house, not only with respect to the exterior wall surfaces, but to ensure the roof line has architectural continuity with the existing roof line. ///
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