In today’s homes, function and purpose are far more important than tradition. For many families, this means knocking down walls that once hid kitchens and creating open floor plans that allow cooking, entertaining, and relaxing to happen in one large space. A great room addition is another remodeling idea that can help your home better suit your family’s lifestyle.
What is a Great Room?
In a traditional home floor plan, the family room is a separate room where guests are invited when they first arrive at your home, as well as the place where the family gathers to watch TV, play games, or hang out. A dining room is another traditional space that we’re seeing less of in new home designs; it provides a formal place for everyone to sit and eat. Over the years, most families have abandoned their formal dining rooms in favor of gathering around the bar or at the breakfast table in the kitchen or settling in on the living room couch with a plate in hand.
Far more than just a living room or a family room, a great room serves as both an entertaining and a dining space. As people’s lives and schedules have become more busy, many families welcome a space that allows them to eat dinner while watching a movie together or provides ample space for extended family to eat, relax, chat, and move around during holidays or gatherings.
A typical great room addition is an open floor plan that flows into the kitchen. The great room will typically include room for an informal dining area, as well as a spacious living area. Some great rooms may incorporate a fireplace, while others may include features such as a big screen TV.
Planning a Great Room Addition
If your home currently doesn’t have the right layout for a great room, you’ll need to create an addition. There are specific questions to consider before diving into a home addition, including:
Does an addition make sense for your property? Before taking on any large remodeling project or addition, it’s important to look at comparable homes in your neighborhood to make sure you’re not overbuilding for the area. If the average home on your street is a neat and tiny bungalow, you don’t want to create a home where the square footage far outpaces everyone else.
What’s the goal you’d like to achieve? Will your great room be strictly for family use? Do you throw big parties and entertain large numbers of people? When planning your great room addition, you’ll need to consider how you’ll be using the space most of the time. This will give you an idea of what size the room should be, as well as how the space should be laid out.
Should you build up or out (or both)? When your great room addition is built, you may simply bump your current house outward to make more space. Some great rooms extend upwards, as well, in dramatic designs that are two stories high. Which style you opt for will depend on your budget and the type of great room you envision.
Does your foundation need repair?
Any sort of home addition can put stress on your existing home foundation. This is why it’s important to get your current foundation inspected and repaired before beginning any sort of great room addition project.
If you’re considering a great room addition, talking with a contractor can help you budget for the project, as well as figure out a design that will best suit your home and your lifestyle. No matter what style of great room you choose, it’s sure to be an addition that will add great enjoyment for your family, as well as huge value to your home.