Tim Rhodes, RA., AIA
Is a Major Renovation Worth the Time or Should I Just Move?
Updated: Apr 14
When people decide it’s time to renovate their homes, they usually come to us for one of two reasons:
● They’ve just purchased a lot or an existing home and want to design and build a new house. ● They’ve lived in their home for years, love where they are, and want to make substantial changes to make their space even better.
The first is the easiest. Your design ideas are more open and able to be applied to a new design or may be solidly in place. You might have drawings to paper long before you find the perfect space. But the second, that’s more of a challenge. You love your neighborhood. You love your community. You love being where you are. But your home … you’re quickly falling out of love with your space. It doesn’t suit your lifestyle anymore. That’s where dreaming becomes a good thing. It gives you a chance to look beyond what you see and focus in on what could be. Even if you can’t “see” it with a clear eye, you know there’s potential, and you’re willing to find out what it is. And modifying your old home to fit your new ideas is a more complex process. If your dreams have you wishing for a new contemporary house design that better fits your personality and lifestyle, you’ve come to the right place. But first, let’s define what a contemporary house design really means.
What is a Contemporary House Design?
Contemporary house design is all about the now. Where modern design refers to a specific period and architecture created between the 1920s and the 1950s, contemporary design refers to what can be produced today; what’s in store for our future.
Contemporary designs will feature more open plans, flowing spaces, state-of-the-art materials, technology, glass, and metals. You’re likely to see a more natural color palette used throughout the construction, often in natural materials, blacks, whites, greys, and if color is used, pure saturated tones.
When people say they want a contemporary house, several things usually move to the top of their lists:
● They want a minimalist look and feel. ● They want clean lines from top to bottom. ● They want an open concept. ● They want to explore spaces, materials, and connections for the twenty-first century, not adhere to old architectural styles.
Sound good so far? Or maybe you’re still not entirely sure. We understand. It’s a big decision. It can be a process before you settle on a final design.
Thankfully, you can use the internet to help you along.
Start by browsing through available sites that provide images of contemporary architecture, spaces, and materials to discover the look you like best. Use these sites’ abilities to gather images or Pinterest to create pinboards with your favorite styles. Then refer back to your selections to find out what sticks. You’ll see patterns quickly emerge. And you can use them to share your ideas.
Is Renovating Really the Right Choice?
Sometimes it can seem like it’s easier to move to a new place. If you find a turnkey home, you’ll move in and everything will be perfect. But a home that was built for a generic family may not fit your life (or even fit the land and orientation it was built with).
When you move to a new place, it’s easy to overlook the problems. In many cases, you can’t even tell they exist. They don’t show up until you live in a home for a bit. Only then do “problems” start to surface. Like the wasted space under the stairs. Or the dark room that needs more light.
Every home has its problems (including new houses). What makes designing a new home or a substantial renovation exciting is it gives you a chance to turn the negatives into positives. You already know where your home’s problems lie. And by working with an architect, you can eliminate them altogether. You can add in your own unique personality and create something that says “wow” for many years to come.
Ask yourself: Is This Where My Heart is?
What’s been holding you back from moving to a new home? Have you found houses with potential, but when you drive back into your community, you find your interest waning?
That’s the best time to explore renovating your home. Emotions often tie us to a place. And no matter how difficult the living space becomes, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
Or maybe you still see your space through the eyes of a buyer. What drew you to your current home in the first place? Was it the view from your front yard?
That’s when dreams often begin. You see its potential right there as you’re signing on the dotted line. But then life gets in the way. Work calls. Family obligations grow. And before you know it, years have flown by.
If you look out your front window, do you have an incredible view? Is it hidden by windows that are too small? Or is the view from the wrong room?
You know it in your heart this is the home for you. You just have to turn it into the home you’ve been dreaming of.
Do You Need More Room or More Rooms?
It’s easy to get lost in what you already have. When there are three bedrooms in your home, it’s easy to get stuck on the fact that it’s a three bedroom home.
You need more space. With three kids, four rooms have become mandatory, not optional. And what about a guest room?
Of course, a bigger home requires a bigger lot. And that can be a hindrance depending on your lot size.
Yet we’ll tell you there are always options.
Homes often have a lot of wasted space. Think about the rooms you never use. What if that space could be reconfigured into something else? A more efficient layout can easily give you the space you need to stretch and grow.
Or maybe it’s time to go up … or down. We as a society often don’t take full advantage of everything around us. Digging down into the ground can add the rooms you’ve dreamed about: a wine cellar or a game room. Building up can turn your master bedroom into a master retreat. Want a fireplace, a workout room, a spa?
Will This Be Your Forever Home?
All of us reach a point where we become a little more stable in our living and working arrangements. We settle into our communities for the long term.
We reach a comfort level with our jobs and positions. Maybe even start up a business and become the boss.
The kids are in school and are happy. You have years of watching them grow and mature, moving from elementary to middle and high school.
Your dreams involve creating memories. Of becoming even closer with the friends you’ve made. That’s when your dreams often turn toward building your forever home; the one you’ve been dreaming of for a decade.
Do you see it? Is it there, just out of reach?
That’s where we come into play. We take those ideas and put them on paper. And then make them a reality.
Are you ready to get started?
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