The main difference between homes and additions is that one comes after the other. In general, both adhere to the same building principles and will conform to similar or identical code outlines.
Though designed and built in one go, The Laurabrook above demonstrates through its front and side projections how simple modifications at the design stage–or later in the case of an addition–enhance a building, inside and out. Though more obvious viewed from the exterior, this video of The Laurabrook’s upper-level common area (2 min.) shows the principle at work “opening up” an interior space. Small Homes Gallery
For an in-depth look at The Laurabrook as well as some of the home design thinking behind this project, visit Hunterstruct’s Featureworks section on The Laurabrook.
There are many ways to make smaller look and feel bigger, and one of the most effective happens by extending sightlines. Extending sightlines means not limiting how far the eye can see whenever possible. Ceilings and additions should have elevated ceilings, at least beyond the standard eight feet. These methods extend sightlines, having the effect of preventing the cramped feel some rooms have.
Of course, avoiding “cramped” interior spaces is particularly important when it comes to building small homes, cottages and cabins, wherein space is always at a premium.
If a ceiling sightline cannot be increased, give the ceiling a visual texture that intrigues to, at the very least, add texture for the eye to enjoy.
The “releasing the eye” approach is particularly useful in basements and ground-level areas as the gallery photos reveal. All too often in home design these areas are neglected, when only simple, inexpensive design thinking and modifications can make traditional “throw-away” interior spaces as pleasing and livable as the rest of the well-designed home.
The thinking behind the “sightline” design strategy in home design is truly simple: in designing spaces, remove obstacles that limit the distance the eye can see. And when visual obstructions cannot be removed, make them interesting. That’s the job of top shelf home designer. At the end of the day, as they say, a product like a well-planned building should look great, work well, and be pleasure to use — the measure of success for any building. Small Homes Gallery
If there is one major difference between homes and additions, it is that additions to existing buildings are more challenging than stand-alone buildings. This is because they usually need to blend visually with an existing structure. They also need to tie to this original building structurally to work with the original roof-drainage plan — all while still looking good.
Ideally, the completed plan will reveal an addition that looks like part of the main structure, though it has been fitted to a building not likely designed for an addition. Additions Gallery
As the gallery pics show, “The Oceanside” at right puts the thinking to action. For looks, the main building’s exterior finish has been copied, one of the most effective ways to blend old and new.
A structural innovation in the addition’s roof frame design makes a pleasant-looking and practical connection of earlier and new roof planes. This design allows also for a vaulted ceiling starting at a comfortable minimum of eight feet, a feature matching the existing interior’s vaulted ceilings. Already an “open” floor plan, the Oceanside’s extension of the upper-level footprint compliments the existing interior greatly by extending sightlines further, or, in the lingo of effective designers, by improving the view. Additions Gallery
This small addition is a study in improving the view. It adds about 80% more natural light over the original smaller single window, and connects that by removing several sight-obstructing interior walls. In essence, limiting and removing visual obstructions when feasible lets the eye go where it may. Additions Gallery
While they add interest and texture to exteriors, “jogs” that increase interior dimensions even slightly as with “The Bump” help create the “open” feel great interiors offer.
A quick visit to the renovations gallery, The Bump, presents a markedly improved interior, one better lit and one unencumbered by unnecessary obstructions. On the whole, this small addition shows that changes need not be great in scale to add greatly to the look and feel of a home, and as mentioned, steps that improve “feel” are all the more valuable in small homes, cottages and cabins where space is already in short supply. In a phrase, just because a building’s “footprint” is small doesn’t mean it’s interior can’t be spacious. Discuss these kinds of ideas with Hunterstruct today; we’re your local homes and additions designer/builder. Additions Gallery
In designing homes and additions, time spent creating visual and structural harmony is never wasted. This is the defining measure of success in buildings.
Hunterstruct’s home & addition design/build service is available in Surrey, Langley, Delta, White Rock, Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, and the interior of Southern BC. Call today! We travel to build.