Design Tips for Pop Up Northern Virginia Additions

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

Pop up additions provide more room than this trailer pop up!

Whether you live in a rambler, bungalow or split-level house, pop up Northern Virginia additions provide much needed, comfortable living space for small lots. What if you need an additional bedroom or family room, but can’t add out due to property limitations? Many Northern Virginia homeowners face this problem and contractors turn to pop up additions for the ideal solution.

Tip # 1 – Redesign the Entire House

You may be tempted to focus your design skills on the new area, and avoid spending money on your existing main floor. This approach results in choppy design and often leaves homeowners unsatisfied with their home addition investment.

Focus instead on the overall flow and feel of your new, larger floor plan. Think about paint colors, traffic areas, flooring and symmetry. Work hard on the design to create balance between the main floor and the pop up, from the larger scope of design to the smallest details. Although this approach increases the cost of your renovation project, it’s money well spent.

Tip # 2 – Decide Which Rooms to Relocate

A typical rambler or bungalow floor plan includes bedrooms on the main floor with limited space for the kitchen and living space. Many pop up Northern Virginia additions move the bedrooms to the new second floor, providing greater areas for the family room, dining and kitchen spaces. Other designs move only the master bedroom, allowing for a spacious master bedroom with an ensuite bath and walk-in closet.

Your home addition contractor will assess the options and ask about your priorities. Are you looking for a larger master bedroom, more bedrooms in total, an additional bathroom or a more spacious kitchen? The final design depends on which rooms are relocated to the new upper floor, and how much area is freed up on the main floor by those changes.

Tip # 3 – Consider Stairway Location

Building a new staircase from the main floor to the pop up requires a substantial amount of room. Be prepared to use an existing small room, hallway or closet space for the stairway, and remember that this vital aspect will also eat up some of the new area upstairs.

If your home currently includes a set of stairs to the basement, this area may be the best location. But renovations on the first floor may require those stairs to move, allowing for a completely new set up for both sets of stairs.

Think about traffic flow. Many two-storey home designs place stairs near the front entrance, but this may not be the optimum location for your family. An addition also allows homeowners to include a second staircase to the second floor, providing direct access from a rear entrance or kitchen. Use your imagination and plan to build the staircase in a prime location that suits your family’s lifestyle.

Tip # 4 – Remember the Exterior Finish

Exterior finishes on your new pop up home addition should either match or complement the existing finish. Siding presents the most economical option for exterior; be sure to choose a color and profile that matches your home’s styling and any existing stonework.

Some homeowners take this opportunity to replace the existing finish, allowing for a more uniform appearance. Upgrade to low maintenance siding and replace all existing trim to match. This work adds to the overall budget, but results in a new home from the inside out.

Pop up Northern Virginia additions provide much needed living space and allow for modern upgrades to suit your family. Consider all of these design tips and speak to your contractor about the best floor plan for your property.

Design and Installation Tips for Virginia Basement Fireplaces

Filed Under: Basement    by: Steve Kayhill

Smart homeowners know that adding Virginia basement fireplaces to their below-grade living space increases property value and boosts comfort. Choosing the ideal fireplace and planning for proper installation are essential steps. Find out the right way to include a fireplace in your basement renovation plans.

The Best Type of Fireplace for the Basement

Although a traditional wood burning hearth creates an undeniable amount of comfort and romance, it isn’t the ideal choice for a basement fireplace. Pre-fabricated fireplaces operate cleanly and require much less space in terms of chimneys and ventilation. Many Virginia homeowners are updating their existing wood burning fireplaces upstairs and down, opting instead for an efficient, safe pre-fabricated model.

Direct vent natural gas fireplaces are the ideal choice for most homes. Not only do these fireplaces install with minimal hassle and expense, but they also create fewer emissions and require very little maintenance. Natural gas costs the same or less than other fuel options, such as wood pellets.

Stay away from vent-free models, as this type of fireplace may release harmful emissions into your home. Direct vent models require only a small amount of interior space for the pipes and present a non-intrusive vent cover outside.

Location, Location, Location

Consider the best location for your Virginia basement fireplace. A well built natural gas fireplace can effectively heat your entire basement, and since heat rises, this appliance also provides warmth to the rooms above. Look for a location that maximizes this situation.

A central spot in the main downstairs living area makes sense. Think about air flow and traffic; you want the heat to spread evenly throughout your living space. Fireplace fans and ceiling fans may also help to avoid pockets of heat in your finished basement, as well as moving the warm air upstairs.

Remember to think about visual impact when considering the location. Fireplaces make wonderful focal points when placed in the right spot, so be careful to avoid tucking your new fireplace into a far-off corner. Two-sided fireplaces allow for double the impact and corner units make good use of a potentially awkward area.

What About Mantles and Built Ins?

Mantles contribute to the overall look of your basement fireplace. Are you hoping for an old world feel? Use fieldstone veneer or slate tiles to mimic a hearth. Want something more contemporary and slick? Consider tempered glass shelving or mount a floating mantle above the fireplace for that clean appearance. Use recycled barn beams to create a rustic look or painted wood mantles for romantic appeal.

Imagination is important, and the web provides countless images of beautiful fireplace mantels that can be easily adapted for use in your finished basement.

Built ins provide storage and also help to finish off this space with style. Talk to your basement renovation contractor about incorporating built in shelving or cabinets around your new fireplace. Many people mount their flatscreen TV over the fireplace as well, with custom made storage units providing plenty of room for audio equipment.

Complete your Virginia basement renovation with the ideal fireplace in the smartest location and finished with a beautiful mantle and built in storage. This addition creates a timeless focal point that warms up the living space.