Building Homes or Extensions/Room Addition/Extension


Home Exterior and Interior
Home Exterior and Inte  

Design concept
Design concept  
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read about my project!

I need to have a new room built on the sunny side of our 1970 house for my special needs son, who is home schooled with tutors. It needs to be quiet, semi-private with windows to benefit from sunlight, but usable all year round (no 3 season sunrooms). I also want to make the kitchen more open, easy to access from the new room; so remove the wall partition and overhanging cabinets. As well the counter height is too low, so cabinets and countertops need to be replaced.

I am attaching a photo of the back of the house, which is hot with full sun and southern exposure. To the right are the patio doors where I am thinking of building the room, maybe 12x12 or 14x10 (narrower and closer to kitchen window). I am also attaching photos of the inside of the house, showing current access and kitchen layout.

Attaching a sketch up/mock up (nonprofessional) and measurements are approx. The exterior back wall height from the deck floor to the underside of the roof is only 7' 5". As I understand it, the wall would be only 6' 5" at 12 feet out with roof slope. Existing deck structures must be removed and new foundation created. I am thinking of a deck with an extended roof overhang to the kitchen window, for additional heat control, as shown in the mockup. Deck rise is about 3 feet from the ground.

The reno guy I want to hire suggested creating a breezeway from the patio door, and then build the room so he is not restricted by height constraints. I prefer to the room to be attached to the house as a true addition, with patio doors leading directly to the room for better access and so it is not a separate room with keyed access.

My main concerns are:
  4 season use, so well insulated and easy entry from the house
  A roof which will provide insulation, building codes for height, snow load
  The room is resistant to heat, cold, humidity, well ventilated with window openings.
  The best and most cost effective way to heat, cool and ventilate.
  Flow of traffic into the new room and access to the backyard.

I feel I might be missing something in terms of how to reconfigure the space, maybe extending out from the kitchen, instead and creating a new exit door? And maybe the room would look better if it was more centered at the back of the house for balance and aesthetic. The bathroom window is next to the kitchen and we would, of course, not want to enclose it.

The total budget is about $40,000.  Can you suggest a cost effective solution that would work for us? Thanks so much!
A Resourceful Single Mom

Hi Iani,

If you are building an addition the walls should be the same height as the existing house. The roof will overlay the existing - extending the existing roof is not the best idea. I would suggest you hire someone to draw up proper plans as you will need them for permits anyway.
As for the breezeway, that is a personal preference, but they are generally not seen in modern construction.

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Michael Curry


Carpentry and new home framing - insulation - drywall - roofing - foundations (block and poured) flooring (wood and ceramic) masonry While I build complete houses I am not qualified in plumbing or electrical.


Have been building new homes for 22 years and run my own company. I do or supervise most of the work.


Have been on home improvement TV shows


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