Add a second story and remodel a 1,188-square-foot single-story home in Los Angeles, California, built in 1940. The house is almost entirely original and in excellent condition; there have been no additions or remodelings. We would like to keep this remodel consistent (or at least harmonious) with the house's original style.
(1) The house currently has two bedrooms (one large, one small) and one bathroom. We would like the remodeled house to have at least three, and preferably four, bedrooms, and at least three bathrooms. We are currently a married couple, but we are anticipating having two children within the next year and a half. Ultimately, the house will need to accommodate the two adults, sharing one master bedroom; the two children, each with their own bedroom; and possibly another full bedroom for guests.
(2) The following are our thoughts on specific design elements. However, we are open to other suggestions. Generally, we are not looking to gut the existing house and rebuild it; we would like to keep as much of the existing house intact as possible, with only those changes required to meet our space and design goals.
(3) The existing garage could be removed and the rear of the house extended backwards up to the edge of the back lawn (but no further—we do not want to lose any of the planted area behind the house, other than the space between the house and the garage). The rear extension should consist of at least two stories. The second story could cover the entire rear addition and might also extend partially over the existing house, but no farther forward than the existing dining room/kitchen/second bedroom because we do not want to completely block the view that our neighbors in the two-story blue house to our northeast currently have over our house.
(4) The second floor should contain at least a generous master suite with adjoining master bathroom and walk-in closet(s), along with a study/nursery next to or adjacent to the master suite. If possible, we would like a terrace off of the master suite overlooking the backyard.
(5) If possible, we would like the addition to incorporate a new two-car garage, keeping in mind that the current garage is positioned to allow cars to completely turn around when leaving the garage so that they do not have to go down the very narrow driveway in reverse. Note also that we specifically want to keep intact the large flowering plumeria tree (visible in the photographs) that currently extends over the north corner of the concrete driveway, but we are flexible about removing any other trees and plants.
(6) The existing bathroom should be redesigned to use the space better, including a larger shower. The broom closet in the existing back porch/laundry room area, which shares a wall with the bathroom, can be closed off and incorporated into the existing bathroom.
(7) We would be open to some or all of the space currently occupied by the living room, dining room, and second bedroom potentially being opened up into a single, larger space. At the very least, the dining room needs to be made larger by either reducing or eliminating the second bedroom.
(8) The existing kitchen should be extended into the adjoining back porch/laundry room are. Space for a clothes washer and dryer could be made within the new larger kitchen or a new, separate laundry room could be created within the new addition.
(9) We are okay with reducing the size of the existing larger bedroom to accommodate a hallway to the new rear addition. We would prefer that access to the rear addition not be exclusively through the kitchen.
(10) All design should be consistent with the existing 1940 house. We would consider a more modern style in the additions as long as they could be integrated seamlessly into the style of the existing house. We would also consider having the additions adhere strictly to style of the existing house.
(11) Note that we have cats, and are considering getting a dog, and we live in an area where coyotes wander through the streets, sometimes coming right up to the house, so the existing and new areas will need to be pet-friendly and safe and secure for our pets. We currently cannot let our pets out of the house because of the coyotes, but we would like a design that will allow us to safely let the pets out into the yard. After construction is finished, we intent to have a tall wooden fence built around the entire property to keep our pets in and the wild animals out.
(12) The home currently does not have central heating or air conditioning. We would like to add this throughout the house.
(13) We would like our home to include “green” elements wherever such elements are possible and not cost prohibitive, as long as they improve the overall appearance and efficiency of the house.
(14) We also like the idea of a conservatory, greenhouse, or atrium area integrated into the house, but are unsure how that might be incorporated.
(15) The southwest side of the existing house is set back 5 feet from the property line. We believe the current Los Angeles building code requires a 10-foot setback from the property line. This should affect only the new construction. For your reference, the Los Angeles building code can be found here: http://ladbs.org/LADBSWeb/codes.jsf.
(16) The "Pictures of Inspiration" we have included are of a nearby house that was built in 1951 in a very similar style (and with an almost identical original kitchen) and was remodeled about 6 years ago, although it consists of 2,553 square feet—i.e., 2.15 times larger than our house. The pictures are meant to illustrate only the approximate EXTENT to which we were thinking about changing/modernizing the features of the house (although we are open to having our minds changed), not necessarily an exact style we specifically wanted.