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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 1999
    Belchertown, MA

    Question Help me with my breezeway enclosure/kitchen modification plan

    So, we've been here 10 years in my 1950's built cape house. It is our first house and "now we know" but we didn't necessarily know pre-purchase the things that would bother us (or me at least).

    Pros: the house is solid - passed the home inspection well, has a good amount of room for the three of us - not extravagant but 1900sq or so, is in a great town with great neighbors all around. We have great flat land (9 acres) and a pond and it backs up to state land with miles of trails. We've replaced the boiler and redid the electrical and dug an artesian well. The roof is going to need to be replaced in about 5 years or so I would say.

    Cons: The house has strong old lady smell in the kitchen (after much research on this I believe it is the old tar like adheasive in the subfloor under our new linoleum. The smell has been there since day one with the old linoleum and I naively thought - I can fix this with good cleaning, sanitation and repainting the walls and putting new floor down- wrong!)

    The ceilings are low on the first floor and ridiculously low on the second floor - but I can live with that actually.

    There is hardly any storage space. Each room besides the kitchen and dining room has one crappy,small closet - a cheap, hollow, sliding door type of set up. There is no linen closet, there is no "entry" way and thus there is no closet perse to put in your boots and your coats and the vacuum and etc. The dining room has no closet at all and no shelves or china cabinet. Everything is crammed into my buffet and the rest stored down in the basement - can you say musty smelling tablecoths and linen napkins?

    The entry door that we use most is off the side of the house onto the breezeway which is a pita actually as the door comes right into the kitchen proper and line of sight to both the front yard and the back yard is poor. Not good for keeping an eye on my daughter while she plays in either the front or back yard. Like I said - no place to put your wet coat or muddy boots or place to drop the mail from this doorway. There are two terrible steps that lead up from the breezeway to the entry door - height = too high. The other door is the proper front door but we never use that as it is farther from the driveway and ...the door sticks anyway.

    I would like to enclose the breezeway. In doing so, I would like to have a proper entry with either a ramp or smaller height steps (for the grandfolks) leading up to the new entry door from the driveway. I would like the enclosed breezeway/entrance to have CLOSETS/CABINETS/STORAGE SPACES and a bench/seating area with pegs for DD's school back pack, coats with shoe rack under and a small counter space for mail, keys etc.

    Going further in (to the newly enclosed breezeway space) I would like to have windows, sliders or French doors to the back yard space. I would also like to "blow" out the small sitting room that is off to the right directly behind the kitchen and use enclosed breezway space to make it into a proper sized living area. Right now we are using the little room (which actually was billed as a bedroom) as our main hang out/tv space.

    I would like the new space to have outlets outside and security lights too so will need electrical for that for sure.

    I would also like to address a few kitchen things like the old lady smell and putting in a new stove/oven combo and creating a new pantry closet space where the oven is currently (a wall oven). A couple of other cabinets and a new counter area would be sweet too. I would like to tear down the wall between the kitchen and the little sitting room behind it. This wall has heat on it - forced hot air I think?

    My existing breezeway has a 1/2 basement under the "roof" of it that connects with the garage. The non-roofed part of the cement going towards the back yard has not basement under it and is just a slab of concrete.

    So...what are the steps I do in order? Which do I talk to first? Architect? Builder? Nosy neighbor? Permit office? Bank? Your assistance greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2009
    a little north of Columbus GA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)


    I would say to flip through some back issues of This Old House or their website. My DH gets the magazine and it has some great remodel & storage ideas.
    I would think you would want to start with an architect. Although I do know a builder that does all his own architect work. He did a beautiful addition on his old farmhouse that blends in. I am sure that was weight bearing wall considerations. So it may depend on the builder.
    However my impression is that an architect is going to be better able to render you a drawing that will give you a good idea of what the finished product will look like. He likely will be able to give you some suggestions that you might not have thought of that would work or tie things together better.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003


    Begin with a *budget* and an architect. Have fun! We have added on a few times and even tho Mr. EqT does most of the work himself, we have a great architect help, always
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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