-- OVERVIEW --
SMALL HOME - 400 square foot addition and 72 square foot remodel: We would like to build a small 400 square foot addition to our home, and remodel a 72 square foot space now in the house. Our home is a 1928 semi detached house with 2 floors of living space that now totals about 1200 square feet. The home has had minimal renovations since 1928. The kitchen is now in the 72 square foot space, and could move to the new addition, or stay where it is and extend into the addition. We want to take advantage of the excellent Western light coming into the west wall of the home, and have excellent visibility from our kitchen into our back garden in the North. Our sketches of our home, attached below, are in google sketch for easy export.
On the rear of the home are the original 19’x8’ screened two-story sleeping porches.
We would like to tear down these sleeping porches, and replace them with a 20x10’2” addition, which will have exterior walls that are 8 inches thick.
We would like to move (or extend) our kitchen to the first floor of this addition. If we move it into the addition, then we can put a small powder room (half bath) in the old location of the kitchen, and, if possible, one coat closet that is 3-4 feet long and 2-3 feet wide. If we extend the kitchen into the addition, we will still need a small powder room on the first floor.
We would keep our living room and dining room as is, but widen the entrances to each by 8-16 inches. We prefer not to tear down any of the wall between the dining room and kitchen - the risers/radiator heat is there. We are, however, willing to demolish up to two feet of this wall next to the dining room doorway if there is a specific reason.
We could remove portions of the back wall of the house on the first floor. Our neighbors have done this to create an open space between the dining room and the area of the first floor addition However, two feet of the back wall, on the NW side, must remain structurally, if we are to try this option. We would also need to put two steel beams in to support where the wall is removed.
For both the first and second floor, the west wall of the addition gets beautiful light at the end of the day, but we live 12-18 feet from the property line with our neighbor and can see his house just another 12 feet beyond the property line. We would like to emphasize visibility from the first floor addition into the backyard. Since the addition will be only 9 feet from our garage, we don't think it is as important to have windows overlooking the garage on the first floor.
-- CONSIDERATIONS --
Our house is narrow and small, so we would like an open kitchen that also makes the house feel more spacious, connects with the small backyard and garden space, and makes the most of the natural light. We seek a blend of old and new - retaining the old moldings and floors, for example, while integrating new and modern elements.
We do not have a lot of storage space (we have an attic and unfinished basement), but we need more practical and handy storage). Better storage is welcome.
We live in an area where construction prices are at an all-time high. The simpler the solution, the more we can lower these costs.
Having a kitchen that works well and has good flow will make our life easier. Same for a washer/dryer on the second floor, as well as a second-floor ironing space. We are also desperate for closet space.
-- FIRST FLOOR --
We are using white Ikea Ringhult cabinets in the kitchen. We may change them to gray and may have some dark wood highlights. We plan to use a white countertop. We would like to have a 36” cabinet for our sink, 30” or 36” fridge, 30” or 36” stove.
We already own 3 ikea 90” h x 30”w ringhult cabinets (floor to ceiling) and 1 ikea 90”h x 15”w ringhult cabinet, and would like to integrate them - possibly along one wall with the fridge, but are open to other ideas.
You will see in “constraints” below that we adhere to feng shui and cannot have a back door in the kitchen align with the front door. You will also see that our basement areaway exiting up to the backyard is 45 inches wide and 53 inches from the existing West wall of the porch, further complicating the location of where we put a back kitchen door.
The dining room is quite small and we don't want the kitchen to spill into it. There should be some sense of definition of two rooms, even if walls are opened up.
Most homes that convert porches here do not push them out far beyond our plan.
People tend to do one of three things:
1. Tear down the back wall of the house and put in steel support beams, create a space that flows from the dining room to the kitchen with an island that is placed right where.
2. Keep the back wall but enlarge the entrance from the dining room and make a peninsula off the north wall (we think our space is likely too narrow for this)
3. Add a bathroom adjacent to the basement door and push the galley kitchen further toward the back of the house.
-- SECOND FLOOR --
We would like the second floor addition to have several functions: to provide an 8’x2’ or 9’x2’ closet, to have a washer/dryer, to have a small and simple master bath, and to have a small built-in desk along the west wall as a flex space for using a laptop.
Since the west and northwest area where the addition would be on the second floor has some of the best energy in the house (we use classical feng shui), it would be nice to have a small 48x20 shelf that could be used as a desk along the west wall.
We do not need a bathtub (a shower is ok) in the master bathroom on the 2nd floor addition, but would like to have room for a 48" double ikea sink.
Upstairs, we are unable to change the location of the entrance from the master bedroom to the addition area. We will brick in the two windows along the wall.
If our budget allows, we will remodel the existing second floor bath with the same layout.
-- IMPORTANT CONSTRAINTS --
- We are on a tight budget.
- We cannot remove fireplace, alter the wall between current kitchen and dining room, change location of existing windows, alter stairs to basement, or alter stairs to upper level.
- We cannot change any of the house exterior, except for tearing down porches.
- We adhere to classical feng shui: no stove in the NW of the house (west wall); back door CANNOT be aligned with the front door; stove and sink should not face each other directly. The distance between the stove and the sink/dishwasher should not be less than 40 inches.
As mentioned above, we have indicated potentially doing demo of 2 feet of the wall between the kitchen and dining room, but this would be expensive as we would have to re-locate pipes. So if there is a way to do the design with removing this section of wall, that would be preferred.
- Design for a new kitchen in the back of the house (or a design which includes the current 12x6 foot kitchen space and extends into the addition) Either way, the rear door to the yard is NOT in line with the front door. The kitchen design integrates as many of the Ikea components mentioned above as possible. Also design for transition from dining room into the new kitchen space.
- Design for best way to integrate new kitchen space into backyard via rear door. Suggestions on how to use the backyard given our small footprint are also appreciated.
- Design and location of 1st floor powder room (half bath) and closet (if possible) in location of old kitchen of first floor
- On the second floor, design of space for a large closet, master bathroom, washer/dryer, and a small built-in desk - perhaps 48x20. Work space should only be located in the northwest corner or along west wall. If not possible to locate there, then do not add it.
Affordability is important
Rear exit door into yard from first floor MUST NOT align with front entry door
Living room, dining room, upstairs existing bath, upstairs bedrooms are all NOT changing.
Exterior west and south walls cannot be altered. The east wall attaches to our neighbors house. The door to the basement cannot be moved, but we can push the stairs back toward our alley. There is a garage in the backyard that cannot be moved. Fireplace cannot be removed. Risers (for heat) are in the wall between the dining room and current kitchen. Two feet of the exterior wall between the dining room and existing porch on the far west side must remain, even if we add support beams. We will brick in the windows on the second floor between the existing bedroom and bathroom, and the porch.
The kitchen will be white or gray with wood accents. Counters will be white, ideally a bit higher than average. All floors are hardwood on the first floor. The powder room will have a tile floor. On the second floor, we have 12x24 gray tile.
We have a shortage of closet space in our home.