Our home in Massachusetts is a ranch style house built in 1960 on approximately a half-acre lot of land. The house has four bedrooms, two full baths, living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry room, three-season porch, and an over-sized two-car garage. The laundry room and three-season porch were added on to the back of the original house by the original owner.
The kitchen is very small and much of the time the dining room is unused space. We would like to incorporate the three-season porch into an open living area at the back of the house which would include a more functional kitchen that is open to the dining and living area. The new space would also include a laundry room and a half-bath.
In renovating the house, we are keeping two main objectives in mind. One is that we are both in our sixties and retired; although we are active seniors now, we want the house to be comfortable and safe for us as we age. We expect that we will remain in the house for at least another ten years or so. Given that we expect to put the house on the market when we're ready to move on, the second objective is to do renovations that will help with the marketability and resale value of the house. Thus, while one objective is keeping the house safe and comfortable for us as we head toward our seventies, we don't want to make the house look like a home for the aged, which could potentially limit the marketability when we decide to sell.
This project will be executed. We may wish to continue working with the winning designer; he/she does not need to be available on site.
1. Incorporate three-season porch and laundry room into year-around living space.
The original owners added a three-season porch and a laundry room to the back of the house. We would like to incorporate that area into the living space of the house. The renovated space would include an open area that comprises a kitchen, dining area, and family room; and there would need to be a closed-off laundry room and a half-bath. (The laundry room and half-bath could be within one small room if that makes sense in the design.)
Note: The attached PDF (Photo and descriptions.pdf) includes the blueprint for the original house without the laundry room or three-season porch. It also includes a view that shows the available space when the laundry room and three-season porch are added to the kitchen and dining room.
2. More modern kitchen with more cabinets and counterspace.
The lack of cabinets and counterspace in the current kitchen is clear in the attached video and pictures in the PDF. The kitchen needs to have a more modern look, be more functional, and have more counterspace.
3. Update with a transitional look.
This is not a fancy, ornate house, so we would like to do a renovation that maintains the simplicity of the rest of the house while bringing the kitchen, especially, to a more modern look. However, we are not looking to do what might be current leading-edge updates as these could already be outdated within ten years. Rather, we would like to do updates that have a more timeless look to them. (See attached video of our recently updated bathroom which shows the transitional look we prefer.)
4. Have the new open space all on one level.
The three-season porch is on a concrete slab and is currently a couple of steps down (approximately 15 inches) from the level of the main house with entry to the porch from the laundry room. We would want to bring the new living space created from the porch up to the same level as the rest of the house.
5. Remove the long wall between the kitchen/dining rooms and the laundry room/three-season porch, making one large open space.
We would like to remove the long wall that is between the current laundry room/three-season porch and the main house (kitchen and dining room) to create one large living area. That wall is a load-bearing wall and will need a beam to span the length. Once the beam is in place, the available space can be thought of as a blank slate as far as the new layout. The exception to this is that the location of plumbing dictates that the kitchen/laundry/bathroom facilities need to be at the West end, but, for example, the laundry room does not need to remain in the Northwest corner.
6. Maintain the views-to-the-exterior feeling of the three-season porch.
The new living space should still have numerous windows in combination with traditional doors, sliding doors, french doors as determined by the new design. We plan to construct a deck around the three sides of the new space with large deck platforms on either end of the house.
Note: Photo #11 in the attached PDF (Photos and descriptions.pdf) shows a deck off of the current laundry room. We will be removing that old deck and replacing it with a platform that extends to the bulkhead seen in the photo. That deck would come out beyond the back of the house to continue decking along the backside (of the current porch) and lead to a similar platform on the East end.
7. Any additional storage space that can be worked into the design would be a plus.
Our current kitchen countertops are approximately 36" high; we would not want them any lower. Since the kitchen will be open to a dining area with a dining table (6' in length, 2-1/2' wide with sides dropped), there is no need to include space for a separate kitchen table. However, there should be space for at least a couple of chairs at kitchen counter workspace. For later marketability, families could see this as useful for kids' breakfasts, or for grabbing a cup of coffee. For our current purposes, it is necessary for Mrs. Homeowner because a back condition makes it uncomfortable for her to stand for periods of time, such as while preparing meals. We recently saw a kitchen configuration that included a higher counter space on one side of an island and a lower counter space on the other where standard chairs could be placed (as opposed to higher stools). This might be a useful option as it would allow us to bring chairs to that space, as needed, or use the same chairs elsewhere for seating, without the need for separate stools. (Not trying to steer the design with the island idea, just offering an example.)
The refrigerator should probably not be blocked into any space. People seem to have huge refrigerators these days, so if the space above the refrigerator is open and there is some additional space, at least to one side, that would probably be good for the eventual sale objective. Our current refrigerator is approximately 29" wide X 66" high X 34" deep.
Half-Bath & Laundry Room
We would like to add a half-bath (toilet and sink) into the configuration. If the space requires that the half-bath is part of the laundry room, we would be agreeable with purchasing stacked washer and dryer appliances, if it would help with the design. In any case we plan on purchasing a new washer and dryer with this renovation.
While not a necessity now, we would like the door to the half-bath to be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair.
The following need to be removed:
- Wall between dining room and kitchen
- Long wall separating dining room/kitchen from three-season porch/laundry room (This is a load-bearing wall; will need a beam to span the length.)
- Wall between laundry room and three-season porch
- Old windows of three-season porch (Design to dictate: replace with row of windows, sliding or other door[s], walls.) Note that since we plan a deck that will wrap around the three sides of the back of the house, exit doors can be placed at any location on the three sides.
- All ceilings - replace with new
The current dining room has hardwood flooring; the same hardwood flooring continues on into the living room and the rest of the house (the bathrooms have heated ceramic tile floors). We would like to keep that hardwood floor, but are not sure what the rest of the flooring should be. If we keep that hardwood floor section and the rest is, for example, ceramic tile, will that look odd for one section to be hardwood? This is part of the design challenge.
We currently have an old deck at the West end outside of the laundry room. We plan on replacing that with a larger deck platform with decking extending out beyond the back of the house to continue along the length of what is now the laundry room/three-season porch and end with another platform on the East end. We are not looking for design plans for the deck with this competition, but wanted to make the designers aware of our intention to have this wrap-around deck as it means that exit doors, whether traditional doors, sliding doors, french doors, can be placed anywhere along the three sides of the new space (current laundry room/three-season porch).
The basement is the size of the entire main house, i.e. it is the size of the main living space minus the laundry room, three-season porch, and garage. There is a second fireplace in the basement which provides the possibility for a rather nice family/play room in the basement. We don't currently plan on finishing the basement, but the potential for it to be finished might be a design consideration for this renovation as the entrance to the basement is from the kitchen. In the attached PDF (Photos and descriptions.pdf), see the stairs off the kitchen in the house blueprint.
In the summer of 2011 we had our roof entirely redone. Obviously, we do not want to do anything during this renovation that will damage the roof. We do not want to install any skylights in this portion of the house.
We have a pellet stove installed in the fireplace in the living room which we use to heat the main part of the current living space in conjunction with our oil furnace. Generally, we use the pellet stove during the day and turn it off at night or when we are away and at those times the oil furnace heats the house. In the new living space we would like to add a small free-standing pellet stove to similarly heat the new space in coordination with the oil furnace. (Note that the oil furnace is capable of heating the additional space.) We would prefer that the pellet stove be piped to the outside of the house, rather than through the roof. Another thought we have as far as heating is to have sub-flooring heating which we have now in both of our bathrooms. However, we are not sure whether it would be better to have the sub-flooring heating for such a large space, or add additional heating from our oil furnace to the new space, or a combination of both. Again, this is part of the design consideration.
1. Affordability - target for the project should be around $40,000.
2. Open flow from kitchen to dining and living areas.
3. Space created from three-season porch should be light and maintain views to exterior.
4. Creative design that maximizes use of available space.
5. Ability for contractor to use the submitted plans.
1. Plan views: Scale 1/4"-1' (or 1/50)
2. Section-Elevation views: Scale 1/4"-1' (or 1/50)
3. PERSPECTIVE/AXONOMETRIC VIEWS: Entire new space
We expect to receive plans that will give our contractor all necessary information to execute the design. We expect these plans to include, but not be limited to, descriptions and locations for:
- Cabinetry/counter tops
- Flooring - suggested type(s)
- Pellet stove location
- Furnace connection/heat outlets
We have included a video of the current dining room, kitchen, laundry room and three-season porch. Although you will see some antique furniture in the video, please do not assume that our taste is along the lines of antiques.
We have also included a video of our newly-renovated bathroom that we are very pleased with. The bathroom video provides a look at the transitional concept - updated, but classic - that we prefer.
MATERIAL FROM CLIENT:
Watch video on Bathroom space at: http://youtu.be/ahRNEF823gQ
Watch video on various spaces at: http://youtu.be/qK1FaZ3uFos
Download dimensions/sketches and pictures at: