Is your growing family out growing your home? Would you prefer some extra space near the kitchen or living room? Or are you simply getting tired of the layout of your current space? If you’ve answered yes to any of these, you may benefit from considering making some changes to your floor plan by opening it up to create a Great Room.
Such benefits include:
• More social time. The person cooking or cleaning in the kitchen can converse with people in other rooms.
• Keep an eye on the kids. Great rooms allow parents to cook and do other household duties while their kids play in the same room.
• Increase views and natural light. The removal of interior walls allows sunlight from windows in the exterior walls to permeate throughout the house.
• Better for entertaining. When guests are over you can be part of the group while you cook and serve food at the same time.
These tend to be larger projects that often require professional help since certain alterations may not be allowed or require a permit. It’s worth the time to consult with a professional in the field to ensure everything runs as smooth as possible during this renovation project.
To start converting two rooms into one, we suggest a few specific approaches. The first is to remove an unneeded wall or one that hides plumbing pipes. This is usually a wall that is designed to separate a room, and is not a load-bearing wall. This is the more common method of dividing a room, and it is fairly easy to remove for a professional. The main consideration is re-routing the electrical lines, demolishing drywall, building a chase for an HVAC duct hidden in the wall, and patch flooring.
An experience professional will be able to determine what type of support will replace the wall, such as a post and beam, and how to shore up the wall while working. The entire wall doesn’t have to be taken down to get a more open feeling. A half or knee wall will open sight lines while still defining the different spaces. Half walls also can pull double duty as breakfast bars, bookcases, and extra storage.
If you have an older house, you’ll most likely have a dropped ceiling beneath the original ceiling, which once was considered a good way to save energy costs. Consult with a professional to see if you can remove the dropped ceiling and gain a few inches to a couple of feet in height.
You can also alter ceiling joists and rafters to create a vaulted, coffered, or tray ceiling. You’ll want to consult with someone first because the ceiling joists stabilize the walls of your house. The renovation expert will redesign new supports to make sure the house remains secure while you raise the ceiling.
One of the best ways to increase the apparent size of a home without adding on is to bring more daylight into the interior through the use of windows. Increase the size of existing windows or place them adjacent to perpendicular walls and ceilings, allowing those surfaces to act as giant daylight reflectors. In addition, create openings between rooms to allow more of the available daylight to be seen from room to room.
Another option for transforming two rooms into one, is by using a movable wall. This is a great way to partition off a space at certain times while allowing the flexibility to open it up at others. Moveable walls have been around a long time, but only recently have tracks and materials become highly operable and aesthetically pleasing. These days, homeowners interested in movable walls have a variety of options to choose from, including glass or other transparent materials.
By using some of these tips, you’ll surely be on your way to an open floor plan for your home that allows enough room for anyone coming through. If you’re unsure on how to begin, contact Mondloch and we’ll gladly help you start this amazing project that’ll never go out of style.
If you’re looking turn two rooms into one open concept and need some help, give us a call!