When remodeling the whole house you have the opportunity to make dramatic changes by carefully rearranging spaces and moving or demolishing old, bulky elements of the past.
Whole House Remodels
Before and After Photos
Often, it’s possible to rearrange spaces within an existing house and make it work much better than before. By opening up floor plans, moving stairs, even moving bedrooms and living spaces, it’s possible to create a plan that is appropriate for today’s living.
Let go of preconceived ideas
By thinking flexibly about how rooms should be arranged, you may be able to arrive at a solution that you couldn’t imagine otherwise. That may mean that the master bedroom needs to go where the living room is. Or, that moving the kitchen may solve many layout problems. While the project is still early in the design phase it’s easy to test bold ideas, so allow yourself the freedom arrive at the best solution for your project.
Move the stairs and get rid of the fireplaces
It seems, more often than not, that stairs and fireplaces are just in the wrong spot. Stairs are often too tight and dangerous to navigate. By moving the stair, it can often be designed to better connect different floor levels and also be a more comfortable dimension and safer to use.
Old masonry fireplaces are often located where it would be much nicer to have large windows or french doors to the exterior. Also, they are usually just far more massive than they need to be, and eat up valuable floor space. With the availability of modern, prefabricated metal fireplaces, it’s possible to remove an old masonry fireplace, and replace it (possibly in a new location) with a smaller and more efficient unit.
Reclaim the hallways
Look at turning hallways into part of the space of the adjacent rooms. This is not always possible, but hallways don’t make a house feel larger or more expansive– more often, they are perceived as being wasted space. By connecting rooms to each other without hallways, you’ll end up with a space that feels larger and flows better.
Consider green materials
A large benefit of a whole house remodel is being able to select new finishes. Consider green materials such as low VOC paints, sustainably harvested wood floors, natural carpets, and other materials that do not off-gas. Using the remodel as an opportunity to incorporate as many of these materials as possible will result in a better interior air quality, and will be better overall for our environment.
Don’t forget the outside
When the interior of your home needs a major overhaul, often the exterior does, as well. Consider new paint colors, new windows, doors, roof, and siding. When adding new doors and windows, don’t be constrained by existing openings. It can be easy to lower sill heights or even add french doors where a window was once located. Also consider adding architectural features such as dormers, or an interesting entry canopy.
A whole house remodel is an exciting project to undertake because the result is often a new, fresh design that doesn’t have any resemblance to the old building. By making bold design moves, rearranging spaces, and upgrading and renewing materials, an old house can be given new purpose, along with many more years of useful life.
Whole House Remodel Tips
- An architect can bring out the best in any home, even the ugly ones! Even if you can’t afford to have the entire project designed by an architect, it’s often worth going through the first few steps so you end up with a good plan.
- Be careful if you are redoing a stair in the same location. Many old stairs are not built to the dimensions required today and when you replace a stair you will need to bring it up to current code, which may not be possible within its existing footprint.
- Whenever you want to remove a wall you will need to determine if it is structural (load bearing). An architect or structural engineer can help you with this.
- It’s often a good idea to consult an architect before purchasing a home that you plan to do a major remodel on. They may bring up issues that you may have overlooked.
- When purchasing a home be sure to find out if there are any covenants or restrictions on the appearance of the home, especially if you want to remodel the home in a particular style that is different than the surrounding homes.