Melton Design Build


September 2012

Home “Suite” Home Additions

Melton Gives Thanks

Ty's Tip


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Home “Suite” Home Additions

With home additions, adding a first-floor suite promotes harmony with in-laws, grown children or nannies. Just make sure your plans maximize functionality and privacy.

Home additions have always been a smart way to correct shortcomings: bringing the number of bedrooms or bathrooms up to par, expanding a cramped kitchen, creating a formal dining room, or adding a family room. Now, however, more and more homeowners are asking us to help them add on to homes that already seem to have "everything." The reason? They want a private suite right there on the main floor.

Sometimes the motivation for remodeling is to create a spacious master bedroom suite that gives the home practical, accessible, one-floor livability. Other times, the home addition is designed as more of a mini apartment – perfect for in-laws, returning college students, an au pair or live-in nanny. In fact, with more multigenerational families in one home, additions can offer a "suite" solution to the need not just for more space, but for more private space.

Home addition remodeling

If you're intrigued by the idea of this type of home addition, the creative possibilities are exciting! But there are some challenges when you add on private space right next to public spaces such as the kitchen or family room. The best way to meet these challenges is to think through how the new space will work.

Here are questions to discuss when you're considering
a home addition:

1. Will there be a separate entrance? If you're building a master bedroom-master bathroom suite, your home addition probably doesn't need a separate entrance – though you might want to create access to an outdoor area such as a private patio. If your home addition is for someone other than you, however, a separate entry might be a necessity. This offers in-laws a sense of independence and insulates you from the late-hour comings and goings of grown children.

2. What types of functions will the suite serve? What's needed beyond a bedroom and bathroom? You may want to include a cozy sitting room or dressing room as part of your master suite. For a more stand-alone home addition, the suite might need to feature space for watching TV, listening to music, doing laundry, eating and even entertaining a friend or two. This multipurpose space enables the suite's residents to be on their own or to interact with the rest of the family.

Kitchen remodeling3. Does the suite need a kitchenette? Including one helps avoid squabbles over fridge space, messy sinks or "rush hour" traffic in the main kitchen. It's also a good way to foster independence and keep different food preferences and eating schedules from causing friction. If a kitchenette makes sense, also consider how your home addition can accommodate a place to eat.

4. What about privacy? Preserving privacy is very important for maintaining harmony in the household. You don't want your master-suite oasis to be ruined by the blare of the family room TV on the other side of the wall. Nor do you want the residents of an apartment-style suite to overhear conversations in the other parts of the house. Ask us about sound-proofing strategies such as insulation, built-in cabinetry, wall coverings and carpeting, or using a hall or closet as an extra buffer zone.

5. What code restrictions apply to home additions? Besides the normal code and zoning requirements such as setbacks, etc., some communities seek to discourage homeowners from renting out in-home apartments to non-related family members or for using a suite as a place of business (which is not the same as a home office in many cases). We can help you check out these code restrictions (e.g., on second kitchens) and can advise you about how they will affect the design.

If you'd like to take look at some "suite" possibilities for your own home addition, give us a call!

Melton Gives Thanks

Melton Design Build would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to
John and Carey Kerschner for their continued support of Melton
and constant stream of referrals.

Ty's Tip: Cut Water Use in the Kitchen

About 8% of water use in the home takes place in the kitchen. Here are some simple conservation tips. Install a low-flow faucet aerator, which can cut water use in half. An efficient dishwasher usually uses much less water than washing dishes by hand. But don't rinse dishes before loading it (just scrape them instead) and run the dishwasher only with full loads. When shopping for a new dishwasher, look for a water-saving Energy Star model, which uses about one-third less water.

Ty MeltonSee you next month!

Ty Melton

Ty Melton, President



3082 Sterling Circle
Boulder, CO 80301

PH: 303-473-9542


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