A major part of maintaining and promoting healthy communities is finding ways to maximize the existing housing stock. Many neighborhoods in Atlanta have an abundance of post-WWII housing. These houses tend to be small, and efficient. Often they have two bedrooms and only a single bathroom. There is nothing inherently wrong with this layout, but progress demands that the housing stock be upgraded to keep up with contemporary society. We have helped many families brainstorm how to re-configure these houses over the years. One couple wanted to stay in their neighborhood and start a family, another owner wanted to expand so that he and his partner could stay in a neighborhood they love, while increasing their overall level of comfort.
Recently, some close friends approached us about downsizing. They no longer need their 5 bedroom house in Decatur. They cashed out and purchased one of these post-war houses. It’s an admirable exercise in “right-sizing,” as they try to determine the best way to alter their new home to fit their family of four.
In years past, we might brainstorm a few custom floor plans to add on a guest bedroom and a master suite. We don’t do single-family renovations anymore, but we remain committed to helping make our in-town communities more livable.
Like our friends at the Congress of New Urbanism, we are dedicated to making great places. We are inspired by CNU members like John Anderson and Andres Duany, who freely share ideas and information in the spirit of improving the quality of our neighborhoods.
In that spirit, we are sharing the plans for two of our past residential additions. Both designs were conceived during the leanest days of the recession. We put a significant priority on efficiency and affordability in our approach. Take these plans, borrow them, and steal them. Use them to make your own house better. If you are a renovator, use them to create a quality product for someone else to buy.
We would much rather see the old homes in our neighborhoods get saved and improved, than see them torn down for something new, oversized, and wasteful.