If anything could be described as a "classic" remodeling job, the addition of a master bedroom suite or other major room meets the qualifications.
It's a big enough job to require plenty of thought--not to mention plenty of money in these times of inflated building costs--but it's within the reach of many homeowners with access to untapped equity.
Diane and Harry Halkowich needed a bigger house, prompting them to put their two-bedroom Orange County ranch house on the market. It was functioning as a three-bedroom house with the conversion of a dining room to sleeping quarters, but the layout was anything but ideal.
Unfortunately for the listing broker, not many buyers wanted a two-bedroom house with a makeshift third bedroom, so the Halkowiches took their problem to architect Paul Bozarth, 557 Sturgeon Drive, Costa Mesa. He specializes in residential remodeling.
The existing house--outlined by dashed lines in the illustration above--had 1,544 square feet. Fortunately for Bozarth, the owners had no preconceptions of what they wanted. Following his normal procedure, Bozarth had the owners fill out a questionnaire on what they liked about the existing house, what they disliked, their hobbies, ideas, etc.
"With this information, I designed six bedroom wing plans, all of which would fulfill the needs of the clients," Bozarth said. "Rather than picking out any of the six, we refined all of them into one, incorporating into 606 square feet a master bedroom/bath suite and a regular bedroom."
The wall dividing the living room and dining room was removed and their locations were switched, placing the dining area closer to the kitchen for reasons of efficiency. The entry hall closet was removed and a double-door entry replaced the solitary door.
What was once a utility area now functions as a study and sewing room. The washer, dryer and water heater were relocated to the new bedroom wing. Other changes include bay windows in the breakfast nook, one of the bedrooms, the living room and the new master bedroom, as well as the study and sewing room.
"Bay windows open up a room, making it appear more spacious than it is, while providing interesting variations on standard straight walls," the architect explained.
Bozarth also designed a future wing, incorporating a fifth bedroom and a family room, opening both to the dining room and the sewing area. Work will commence as finances permit.
What was once a plain backyard with a view to the north has become a courtyard in the $70,000 project. The cost doesn't include the fifth bedroom and family room wing.
"All too many remodelers would just tack the new bedroom wing on the back of the house, without considering the traffic patterns and the play of light and shadow that are so important to the residents," Bozarth said.
This remodeling preserves the good points of the home, eliminates the bad traffic patterns, provides adequate room for the family and gives them an additional expansion to look forward to.
All in all, Bozarth and the Halkowiches came up with an excellent design for living that should fit--with modifications, of course--the needs of literally millions of homeowners who need more living space.