Latest Home Trend: Improving not Moving - Article Series 2 of 3 - Richard H. Dodd
Full residential architectural services for the Newport Beach, CA area from concept to construction
residential architect, Newport Beach CA, Architectural Styles Orange County, residential remodel, custom home design, residential construction, AIA, Richard H Dodd
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09 May Latest Home Trend: Improving not Moving – Article Series 2 of 3

ARCHITECTURAL FORUM – LATEST HOME TREND: IMPROVING NOT MOVING

Part 2 of 3

GETTING PRACTICAL

Too many homeowners rush into a remodel and only consider cosmetic changes. They, after the dust settles, realize that adding quartz countertops and new cherry wood cabinets didn’t turn their kitchen into what they really wanted – a great space to entertain.

So first assess what functional changes need to be made so that the house meets your needs today and into the future.

■ SCALE AND SCOPE

Prior to meeting with an architect you should organize your thoughts and assess your needs. Please contact me for a free copy of, “A Homeowner’s Guide to Remodeling”, at rhdodd@concentric.net which I will send to you on request.

When an architect takes on a project a first step is to develop a building program. This outlines a family’s lifestyle needs in a functional way and serves as a starting point to define not only the work but the budget parameters. A thoughtful building program assesses not just your immediate needs, but it can also ready your home for future changes. Please contact me for a free copy of, “An Outline of a Building Program”, at rhdodd@concentric.net which I will send to you on request.

■ LIFESTLE CONSIDERATIONS

Many families are as varied as their lifestyles. Kitchens are being expanded and opened up to adjacent living areas to accommodate a growing interest in gourmet and more wholesome cooking. Perhaps there is a need for a telecommuting type home office or perhaps you are or an artist or writer who could draw inspiration from a quiet studio loft. Maybe you simply want to provide an enhanced central family area where you can gather and entertain.

■ HOUSEHOLD CONSIDERATIONS

Families grow and change and so do their needs. The evolving family may be welcoming the arrival of a new child or they may be looking to accommodate adult children returning home; they be combining households or seeking their desire to age-in-place. Whatever the need, there is always a viable solution.

For the young family, adding a second floor with bedrooms might allow them to stay in a neighborhood they love, near good schools. The kids may need an area for homework and their computers in a central area.

For older homeowners, relocating a master bedroom to the first floor could address mobility and access issues by eliminating the need to climb stairs. Consider future needs too. Even if you don’t need an accessible shower now, you may want to plan ahead. An open kitchen layout can make the space ideal for entertaining but also accommodate a walker or wheelchair. Be creative – two closets positioned above each other on the first and second floors can be utilized for a future elevator.

■ ECO-FRIENDLY AND SUSTAINABLE CONSIDERATIONS

Energy star appliances, water-wise plumbing fixtures, low flow toilets, energy efficient lighting, better insulation, dual pane windows and many other eco-friendly elements can be incorporated into a remodel in a smart way that meets needs but also uses resources wisely.

In historic homes, carefully removing and preserving material taken down during demolition makes it possible to reuse and recycle authentic elements. Other sources are also available for used and recycled authentic elements.

■ ROOM ARRANGEMENT, TRAFFIC FLOW

Over time many homes get piecemeal additions that often result in small, poorly laid-out rooms. This often limits the amount true useful space in a home and gives the feeling of being much smaller than it really is. Also, homes are not always built with adequate natural light or consideration of views. One of the most popular requests by homeowners today is to “open up” a house, creating more desirable flow and more logical room arrangements.

The above reasons are important deciding factors that will be incorporated in the building plan. Considering each of these factors will help you achieve the most optimum result for your lifestyle and budget. Proper planning takes time but the time spent will be well worth it.

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