Now that I have your attention…. let’s get into the topic at hand. Extensions AKA Add-Ons. Let me preface this by saying that I live in one of those areas where these “addons” or “extensions” are popping up everywhere, hence what spurred this blog
rant post. We have all seen them pop up around the neighborhood, some good, some not to terrible and some horrifically bad. And although most of us hate these little additions, for some, there comes a point in their lives when it becomes abundantly clear that the time has come to find a bigger place or figure out how to make where you currently live fit your new “large” needs. And while I would typically advocate towards the “find a bigger home” side of the fence, for some that doesn’t make the most sense financially OR they just love their current situation so much and don’t want to move so adding an extension on to the existing structure seems to be the best option. The problem, however, is making an extension that is both stylish and fits in with the rest of your build. Which is much easier said than done. Lest you forget please drive around your neighborhood to see all the terrible add ons that people have attempted throughout the years.
Fortunately, through the saving grace of good design and architecture there are some options that seem to work and don’t completely make you want to claw your eyes out. And although I am going to generalize these into a few different categories (and by doing this I realize they don’t work for EVERYONE )they do make me feel a little bit better about this McMansion epidemic and doing my part to put it to a stop. So let’s get into it.
Change The Layout Of The Old Build
When you decide to add space to a house there are times and conditions where you don’t ACTUALLY have to add a bunch of new square footage to make it work for you. Sometimes stripping it down to the bare bones, reworking the interior spaces and leaving the exterior untouched (besides a few cosmetic changes) could help you accomplish your end goal with the walls that your house currently has. This little number for example, left all the exterior walls/windows original and just reworked the interior and carved out new windows to fit their needs. It is an interesting conversion and I can’t decide if I love it or hate it but for the purposes of this post it works well to show you one option.
Build Out As Well As Up
Contemporary extensions can look artificial and down right terrible at times especially when paired with older buildings. Not only are they constructed with a different style and material but at times they look like an otherworldly addition that some alien spacecraft has constructed. In general, it is always my opinion that it is okay to mix modern with traditional. But, when it comes to extensions it is a very fine line so keeping the building elements and the overall size of the extension similar to that of the original structure it helps it from looking too forced. I have always LOVED this addition that was added on to an existing warehouse during the remodel and it goes to show that you don’t have to add to the footprint or throw something insanely modern on to make it work.
Here is what it looked like before.
And with extending upstairs they created this outdoor space on the second floor. By making the 2nd floor slightly smaller than the footprint of the first they created a huge wrap around outdoor area for them to enjoy. GENIUS!
Not to mention the new kitchen that they got out of it. Sometimes a new addition means a full kitchen renovation, and this one is seriously making me wish my tiny little kitchen could fit more than me and a bowl of luke-warm ramen.
Build Next to And Attach
Basically you build something next to the existing building and then attach them with some sort of communal area. It works, but has to be done well. Often times it is best if you stick to the original style of the house or mix it up as mentioned before by mixing old with new, similar to what they did with this guy.
Build An Annex
Not sure if this technically falls under the “add on” category or not due to the fact that it isn’t actually apart of the old building but sometimes the costs of building right onto your existing home can be very high or complicated which is why many owners opt for something external like using an old shipping crate (which only works in VERY few cases) or there are places that make buildings specifically for this purpose. It could be because they don’t want to change the original look of their home, but they do want a separate dedicated workspace or an area to use as living space.
Build A Glass Box
The ol’ attach a glass box to my old house and call it a day routine. Which surprisingly works a lot of the time (in my book) and still looks pretty decent. Obviously it doesn’t work for every house but I am very into this version which worked pretty well. But then again it does help that the house is setting in a picture perfect location, is old and filled with character, and the photography shows it off pretty well.
So, what are your thoughts on extensions, especially the ones above? Do we love them or hate them?
[Featured Image VIA]