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Renovation Solutions: How to solve common remodeling problems

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As architects who specialize in residential remodeling, every client we see has a problem with their house. Either it is just overdue for an upgrade, or it isn’t meeting their needs anymore. They are involved in a love-hate relationship with their house; they can’t live with it; but they can’t live without it. They realize that they need a change, but they don’t want to move. They still love the location, commute (or lack thereof), neighborhood, schools and/or church congregation, but not their house in its current state. Therefore, remodeling is the obvious choice.

Here are some solutions to common remodeling problems.

Accessibility upgrades

Sometimes there is a sudden accident leading to a family member having some level of mobility impairment. Other times, there are concerns about aging in place and the safety and/or feasibility of stairs.

Whether it is an imminent situation or just a matter of planning ahead, we work with more and more clients who are motivated to address accessibility issues in their homes. We move bedrooms, bathrooms and laundry rooms to create main floor living based on the concept of having all the everyday needs easily accessible on the main floor.

Expanding bedroom wings

The need for more bedrooms often results from a change in the family dynamic: a new baby, the gaggle of kids becoming teenagers and needing their own space, or a grandparent moving in. Families also often add more rooms to finally allow for a guest room or home office.

Fixing ugly house disorder

Adding more curb appeal to a house is one of the top client requests when they are considering a remodel. While some issues of deferred maintenance need to be addressed on a practical level, changing the look of their home is often more of a psychological need for the client. They want to pull up to a beautiful house and be proud of their home.

Home should be a refuge and bring joy and peace into your life. Addressing the ugly house disorder can turn a source of stress and anxiety into a relaxing retreat.

Opening for more gathering space

The great room is becoming a must-have for many families. Families want their home to be the spot where their children’s friends hang out and party on. For families with grown children, the great room makes it easy for grown children to return with spouses and grandchildren.

It is not uncommon that the home where you managed to raise your own children cannot now comfortably hold the next generation that appears after the nest is empty. Many clients are requesting a bigger gathering place, which is a problem that we have solved with additions or by reallocating existing space, removing walls and changing the function of now obsolete rooms.

Adding storage space

If there is one issue common to almost every client, it is their need for more storage space. Additions are an obvious solution, but one of our skills is to help clients find unused space in their revised home design to reallocate to storage functions.

We tweak kitchens to find room for a bigger pantry, we redesign bedrooms to add bigger closets, and we design hallways, stairways, and basements to include custom storage options. Many times, more space than a client realizes is being wasted by a bad design.

The first thing to do when it comes to remodeling is to analyze your house. Go through your house and determine what is working for you and what isn’t. Write a list of your wants and your needs. Remodeling should solve problems to make your house work and feel better for you.

Your house should be used. The most efficient houses use every room, every day. If you have rooms or space that go unused while you feel cramped in other parts of your house, it is time to reallocate space. Don’t let parts of your house go to waste when they could be just what you need to solve your remodeling challenge. You may be sitting on a gold mine!

Ann Robinson and Annie V. Schwemmer are the Principal Architects and co-founders of a residential architectural firm focused on life-changing remodeling designs at RenovationDesignGroup.com. Send comments or questions to ask@RenovationDesignGroup.com