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Considering an Addition: Help determining advantages and layout

5 years ago
last modified: 5 years ago

We have a large porch to the side of our kitchen and dining room. My long-term plan has always been to close it in and make a large dining space for our large family, but to do that with all the windows ($$$) looking out on the garden (our kitchen garden organized in raised beds surrounds the porch), it would be much more than we could afford right now.

Here is the thread where I had sort of settled on a kitchen design that serves our needs now but is flexible for once the porch becomes a dining room. Here is a smaller thread where I had first started thinking about expanding, and it didn't get very far, but it includes pictures of the porch in question.

At the end of the major thread, Sena posted an idea that didn't fit the space when I measured in place, but it made me start reconsidering the addition in a new way. I realized that if I use the whole space as a "glorified walkway", which is how it always struck me anytime I tried to imagine using it, I could make it a butler's pantry with access to both the kitchen and dining room and move the "clean up" zone to that area, store dishes there, etc...

Here is my current plan if we decide against the bigger project of adding on:

And here is a rough sketch of the same space with the addition with some of my initial ideas about placement:

And here is an empty image with just the walls:

As a recap, we are a family of 8 with children ages infant-12. We homeschool, so we use our kitchen every day multiple times and have multiple helpers with both cooking and cleaning (often someone is cooking or baking while someone else is cleaning). I have double ovens and an induction cooktop already. This is a DIY endeavor, so the addition adds a lot of time and stress in addition to cost. Our budget is already really small. We'd figured that having already bought the appliances, we'd probably spend another $5000 on materials. My husband is building the cabinets, so we can do whatever we want for cabinetry and are not bound by stock choices. Obviously, we'd need to at least double that to do the addition!

Things that I am considering concerning the addition:

--Moving clean-up to porch and adding a prep sink to work area.

--Will the space allow us a full fridge and full freezer? Or a second standard fridge?

--I think that we'd still have the option of adding the dining room some day if we can move what is in this smaller addition to the current dining room and expand that addition to include the entire porch.

The size of the addition was determined by the size of the original porch, which is clearly defined on the porch by a crack in the cement, a sort of soffit between the two, different ceilings, old columns, etc... The screened porch is framed out with 2x4s, and I measured between those, so the space here should be pretty accurate, perhaps minus the added inches for drywall.

Some day, I would like to get rid of those awkward little walls, but the wall between the kitchen and dining room is load bearing, and we already made the opening that is there now a few years ago. We think the engineering involved in moving them would be too expensive.

The pantry is already built and is almost finished. I don't think it would be good for our marriage if I asked my husband to unbuild it at this point. ;-)

I apologize for the number of threads at play. I am trying my best to cover the basics without rehashing everything discussed in those. I am happy to answer questions.

I can't be certain we can afford the addition, so exploring this option is very much a cost/benefit exercise!

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