Chat Plus: Finding the Right Balance in a Remodel
A tidbit left over from Friday's Real Estate Live chat:
Alexandria: We have a nice four-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home, about 2,000 sq. ft., that was built in 1984. We bought in 1988. The family room and the living room are both about 19' x 11 1/2', in other words long and narrow. We have often wished the family room were about twice the width, but if we expand, the fireplace, now centered on one of the shorter walls, will be very much off-center. Do you think it's a good idea to add square footage like that, even if it throws off what was previously a symmetrical arrangement?
People around us have added on sunrooms and porches, and a few have expanded their family rooms, so looks like it's an okay thing in the neighborhood in general to add space.
Elizabeth: You happen to have hit on a long-running debate between my husband and me. He always goes for symmetry; I prefer asymmetry. A skillful design can make it look as if you always planned for that fireplace to be off-center. An architect, a good design-build contractor or an interior designer can help you pull together a remodel that works. Perhaps they'll balance the fireplace with a window or a bookcase on that wall that makes the whole space look planned. The other option would be to build a new fireplace as part of your remodel. That might seem drastic, but once you start cutting open walls, things don't seem quite as extreme as they did when the house was intact. And sometimes you can end up spending more money retaining old things--like a fireplace--than you would spend starting from scratch!
August 10, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Chat Plus , Home features , Remodeling and repair
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Posted by: DadWannaBe | August 11, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse
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