Micro-Additions: Big Payoffs for Lesson
By Timothy Ferraro | Bluestem Construction Owner
What are the benefits of a micro-addition?
“We really like our older home but need more space in certain areas. Can we add just a few extra feet here and there when we remodel?”
Sometimes it’s the little things.
You love the feel of your classic neighborhood and the charm of your older home. But since you’ve moved in, a few small design flaws have grown into glaring issues. There’s no room for the platters in your kitchen cabinets, there’s an ever-present pile of shoes at your back door, and there’s no place for the new baby’s highchair. You need more room. Not a lot, just a little.
If you don’t want a big new addition, what are the options?
A micro-addition may be the answer.
When a sizable addition to your house isn’t possible due to budget considerations, lot restrictions, or aesthetics, micro-additions can provide remarkable solutions. They add only 100 square feet or less to your home’s footprint, but dramatically improve the way your home feels and works. Also known as bump-outs, micro-additions not only add space and value to your home, they’re less expensive and time-consuming to design and build than standard additions.
Not your grandparents’ lifestyle.
If you look at historic homes, you’ll notice room sizes are generally smaller. This is because our grandparents and great-grandparents had different priorities than we do now. No one needed a computer room, TV space, or a kitchen with a multitude of appliances. Lifestyles have evolved, creating different needs. New technologies, transportation, wardrobes and even dinner plates have expanded, changing the way we live our daily lives. This means our homes need to change, too.
To make room for your unique lifestyle needs in your vintage home, talk with a diversely experienced and inventive design team about how adding just a little space can completely change the way your home functions and feels. Read below to find out how micro-additions transformed three Minneapolis-area homes.
Micro-addition #1: Bring in the sun.
The existing kitchen, dining room, and entrances in this home felt chopped up and cramped. The kitchen was expanded by just 90 square feet at the front of the house. This allowed for well-connected, spacious rooms.
The biggest challenge was putting a roof on the addition that would improve the home’s front-face and street appeal. A pair of shed dormers (long, shallow roof pitch) cover the extension on the front. The upper dormer has three square windows that create the illusion of a second story, but they’re actually a lightwell that floods the kitchen with morning sunshine.
Micro-Addition #2: Tiny kitchen, big transformation.
The original kitchen was too small for the owner’s needs. The only way to achieve the homeowner’s goal of having a two-cook kitchen with an eat-in counter, was to add space while respecting a tight budget. During design development, it became apparent the kitchen would require four legs of cabinetry/counter for all the kitchen components, enough room to build a peninsula, and the needed clearances for full-size appliances. Our design team developed a custom solution to meet the homeowner needs — a simple 3-foot-deep x 12-foot-wide rectangular addition which allowed for a new U-shaped cabinetry configuration.
Check out the project portfolio with before and after photos to see how this micro-addition made a significant impact in this Cape Cod home.
Micro-addition #3: Bump-out magic: No added foundation needed.
This Uptown home needed a mudroom. Enclosing the rear porch on this Uptown home offered big rewards for function, flow, and aesthetics. The new mudroom is ideal for storing footwear, coats and gear for Minnesota’s ever-changing seasons, and it was created without changing the home’s existing footprint. This modest micro-addition also significantly enhanced the kitchen, creating an airy, light-filled new space while keeping costs down.
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