We are looking to add a generous-sized room off the back of our 1938 stucco house. Originally, we thought this would be a screen porch, but over time we have decided we would prefer something that we could use year round (but maybe still have as much of a "porch feeling" as possible). We would like to use the space to gather as a family for TV, socialization, and entertaining. We'd like it to have good access to our back yard. The area of this addition is currently a bare, flat lawn (see photos). The back of our house faces west.
If we can work it into the budget, we'd also like to do a small expansion to our backdoor entryway, which is (or will be) adjacent to the new porch/sunroom. The goal is to get more room for our family of four to get in and out of the house (i.e., more room to change shoes; maybe a bench; more room to store jackets, boots, etc.).
We'd like the porch/sunroom to accommodate 6 or more people for seated conversation or TV viewing (perhaps a large sectional or two sofas?), plus maybe a table and chairs that could be used for playing games and/or occasional dining. The back of the house where the addition would go is 19'1" wide. The room could be that wide if the house's back door is relocated, or the addition could be about 15.5' wide if we keep the back door in its current position. The room addition can be as long as needed. We'd like any submitted design to show potential furniture dimensions and placement in order to help ensure the room is appropriately sized (i.e., big enough).
There are already French doors off the back of our house. These door currently take you directly to the back yard (down 4 steps). We see these doors staying in place and being the entry to the new room. We envision stepping down a step or two into the new room, but we are open for ideas. The French doors currently swing out (into the proposed new room). Leaving the current doors in place would allow for an extra layer of security (when locked) and privacy (close off noise from adjoining room) and would allow us to potentially close off the room to save on energy costs during extreme cold or hot times, but again we are open to ideas.
We'd like to maximize windows/daylight. The rest of the house has standard-sized (27" x 52") double hung wood windows (Marvin). We are open to various window options (e.g., over-sized double hungs, sliding patio doors, transoms, skylights), but whatever we use, we want to maximize light. We'd also like to maximize the number of windows that can be opened (with screens). The rest of the first floor of our home has lighter stained natural interior millwork, and on the exterior we have dark brown aluminum window casings and sofits (see interior photos).
The north side of the room will be pretty close to our neighbor's house/windows. For that wall we were thinking of using potentially smaller and higher windows for a bit more privacy. Perhaps there are other options to achieve some privacy on that wall, while still providing natural light and airflow.
We would like a fireplace. A gas fireplace may be a good source of primary or secondary heat and serve as a focal point for the room. A TV could possibly go above or next to the fireplace. The north wall seems like the logical spot for a fireplace. However, that then focuses the room away from the back yard (the back yard is mostly to the south of the room addition, with some yard space to the west of the addition and no material lawn space to the north). Maybe there are some design ideas that allow for the furniture to be oriented towards the yard in nicer weather and towards the fireplace and TV in colder weather.
Our house is stucco with a brick chimney and brick foundation accents (see exterior house photos). The interior east wall of the room addition (i.e., what is currently the exterior west facade of the house) could potentially remain stucco. We'd prefer the exterior of the new addition to also be stucco, but we are open to other options and hope most of the exterior of the new room will be windows.
We have oak floors (1.5" width) throughout our house and would like a wood floor of some type in the addition (maybe a wider plank?). We would also like to consider having a wood ceiling and/or exposed beams.
We'd like to maximize ceiling height in this room (the adjoining interior space has relatively short (8 feet) wall height).
We think the heat and A/C can be run from the existing forced air system in our basement to this room. Our home has a furnace and A/C in the basement (serving the basement and the 1350 square foot first floor). There is a separate furnace and A/C on our second floor (which floor is also approx. 1350 square feet). Perhaps the gas fireplace in the new addition would be sufficient for heat (i.e., would allow us to not have to connect to the existing HVAC), but that would leave us with a cooling challenge in summer.
The electrical service is located in the basement fairly close to the room addition. There is also a gas line that runs to a gas dryer in the basement located fairly close to the addition. Our house has a central speaker system (tied into our entertainment system) that is already wired to go to this potential new room. So, we'd like a couple of in-ceiling or in-wall speakers in the new room.
We do not need a basement under this addition.
We'd prefer not to disturb the windows in the back of the house, so the roof line of the addition will need to accommodate those windows. Any design should recognize the climate here in Minnesota (e.g., roofs need to accommodate snow load).
In terms of the potential back entry expansion, anything we do there will likely impact the size/design of the porch/sunroom, so we are not looking for anything large, just some additional space as described above and probably some type of cubbies/lockers for shoe and coat storage. The back door can remain on the west façade or could be moved around the corner to the south facing façade.
We'd like a design that considers how the addition fits into the backyard and one that provides some basic landscape ideas (e.g., how should the existing sidewalk be adjusted to accommodate the new addition and/or changes to the back entry? how do the changes work with our current patio).
Affordability of design will be a key factor. We don't want a design that is not practical to implement. Maybe it is not realistic, but we were hoping to do this project in the $60k range. If based on the feedback from this contest we cannot do something that we deem to be affordable, then we may rethink the project and exclude any change to the back entry (if that exclusion would bring the project in budget), or maybe we would just do a screen porch or three season porch if that is the only way to keep within an acceptable budget.
Our address is 3230 Edmund Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55406 Google Maps has good street views of front and back of our house.
We look forward to your questions and ideas. Thanks.