REMODELING asked three architects to design a remodel for a house plan from 1985 not only to suit the needs of a specific family, but to also incorporate features based on the wants and needs of today's customers.

As part of the design brief, the architects were asked to limit the cost of the remodel to less than 50% of the house value. They estimated the house value based on the value of a home the same size in their local market.

Their “client” is a professional couple, both aged 36, and their two children, ages 4 and 2. The family wants a cozy retreat with space for family and friends. The features they would like in the remodel include:

  • A well-planned house providing all that the family needs. Bigger is not necessarily better.
  • A house that is livable, comfortable, and practical for a family with two young children.
  • Lots of natural light throughout.
  • A strong connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces.
  • A space to greet guests and remove shoes and coats, rather than a formal entry.
  • A casual living room.
  • A real working kitchen with an adjacent space for entertaining. They are willing to trade the breakfast room for an eat-in area.
  • A generous sized dining room, but not necessarily a formal one. It should be near or closely related to the kitchen.
  • A playroom for the children near the main family area. As the children grow, the family will need space for media equipment.
  • A desk or nook for the computer. A full office is not necessary.
  • A minimum of a half-bath on the main floor.
  • A laundry area near the kitchen or main living space is a necessity.
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    Hanley Wood, LLC and Home Planners, LLC Before