dreamsofashopping

Where to start with Dutch Colonial addition?

We own a small center hall 1922 dutch colonial (maybe 1200sqft) on a city corner block (7000sqft yard, so room to expand back), and we're considering an addition to give us a bigger kitchen and a little more space. It has 3 bedrooms on the second floor, an unfinished basement and an old tiny unheated enclosed porch off the kitchen at the back.

We have no idea where to start. We'd like some ideas on how to keep within scale, deal with the center hall-ness of the house and still give us more space. Any and all ideas welcome!

Comments (46)

  • dreamsofashopping
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Well, yes, we will. Hoping the Houzz community will have some great ideas, too.
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  • collettec
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    You have so many things to consider with the addition. You would want to keep with the existing style and architecture and have the flow work well throughout the rooms. It has to work externally with existing materials and the roof line. As well, as heating, plumbing, electrical, foundation, etc. And as you noted you have a small footprint of space of both the existing space and for the overall lot. You want to do it right - and I think it would help to do your research, and get as much professional on site advice as possible to more easily weigh your options. Looks like an exciting project. I once owned a Dutch Colonial and love the style. Good luck! Just wanted to add the Dutch Colonial we owned was a "winged Dutch colonial" with two wings, where there was a wing on one side of the house that extended out from the main part of the house. I know that that is a possibility in terms of style with Dutch Colonials, but it would depend on if it would work for your existing home and lot for an addition consideration. Good luck!
  • libradesigneye
    8 years ago
    Imagine where the unheated porch is now, having the kitchen open to a new space that flows across the back of your home - the center hall comes into it, and the (dining?) room back windows become a french door to it. Let it have lots of skylights, eyebrow topped windows to echo your front door - the kitchen will expand into the current porch area, then with a few steps down, the rest will become a great room / family space.

    I'm a builder, not an architect, and some builders understand style rules but most do not. Before you get to a builder, an architect can help you understand codes that will govern your update and see hidden costs in certain choices that a builder may not reveal. Any budget you give should include 20%
    contingency to start so you can make it happen.

    Research residential architects in your locality on their websites, and go drive by their work - focus particularly those that honor existing styles when they do additions.aybe you love the idea of a big modern contrast on the back - but I vote for integrity of design elements when your home is small. Check out Susan Susanka's work from the library - if you can find an architect who embraces her "not so big house" aesthetic and you put enough money into finish carpentry, your addition will be amazing. The more you know what you want in terms of function, the better.

    If you don't live too far, it would be worth visiting Charleston,SC during the spring historic home tour week and seeing those. They show a range of ingenuity on how to expand a standard small footprint beautifully.

    They should be able to take the cladding off the back where you might expand, and then, you can use it in a dry stack low site wall (DIY) next to your new addition (that doesn't require cleaning / expensive masonry labor) to "found/ ground" the new space.
  • dreamsofashopping
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Thanks, libra! We've thought about pushing out the back porch and extending the kitchen that way, too. The windows on the left are actually the living room, which runs the length of the house. The dining room is in front of the l kitchen on the right. I'd really like an addition to run the width of the house, but the back door poses a problem. The center stairs run up opposite the front door and go down directly to the basement from the back door.

    Appreciate your comments!
  • PRO
    JWinteriors
    8 years ago
    We had the same back of the house issue with the shed roof. We ran a new ridge beam off the present ridge and carried it out as far as the new addition. We put elliptical window in the 2nd story and banks of windows and sliders on main level. We added corner to corner deck with a pergola on the slider side for added outdoor living space.
  • karenwbarnes
    8 years ago
    We looked at a similar house when we were hunting a couple of years ago. I would extend off the back to avoid compromising the look of the house from the front. Anyone looking to buy the house in the future would care more about the look from the front than some potentially random looking addition from the back. The room off the back could be anything from dining room off kitchen to family/media room. It could be a home office/school room. Also consider making it the laundry room. Every house could use a bigger laundry area! We had a back addition in a house once that was the master suite complete with laundry room and master bath. That wouldn't be horrible off the kitchen either. Keeps you on the main floor of the house. Depending on ages of children, or presence or absence of children you may, or may not like being away from them! Mine are all far to young to consider it, but we'd probably love it if they were younger. You could even build a little sun deck /porch on the top of the addition. My father was a builder so I have all his previous house plans running through my head. :)
  • kissiwaa
    8 years ago
    trying to design the front of my parents house guess i will go with this design
  • ptmatthews
    8 years ago
    Search houzz house exteriors for "dutch colonial addition". It will give you some ideas of what an addition might look like from the outside.
  • PRO
    Bolling Greene Design
    8 years ago
    The problem with houses such as these is typically you are giving up one space to gain another, i.e. you have to pass thru an existing bedroom to get to the one you added. Of course the second problem is destroying the existing scale with a massive addition. One strategy you or your designer may consider is building a second pavilion offset from the house by 15' or so in order to make a courtyard. The first story could put the connection space in the kitchen area, while the two story area could be a great room with another set of stairs and a new master suite above. The rooflines and scale of the project will then be in keeping with the existing. This kind of strategy also makes it easier for you to live in the house while the construction takes place.
  • Jayme H.
    8 years ago
    Is your bsement worth finishing? Using space already there is much cheaper than adding on..not that I am discouraging an add on.
  • Jayme H.
    8 years ago
    This looks like a nice back addition
  • dreamsofashopping
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Thanks every one for your thoughtful comments and great ideas. Keep 'em coming!

    Jayme, we've talked about the basement option, too. it's a 1922 basement, unfinished completely with a few rough dividing "walls," but it's pretty sound and for the most part dry.
  • Jayme H.
    8 years ago
    Should be easy to run wiring and plumbing then too...
  • PRO
    Kathryn Peltier Design
    8 years ago
    You don't say whether you are talking about a one or two story addition. In terms of adding more space, what kind of space do you need? I am going to assume the kitchen is one area, because kitchens in older houses are usually small by today's standards. If you put a one story addition across the entire back of the house, your kitchen could extend back into this space - probably just about doubling the space - with a casual eating/sitting area off to the living room side. What about a powder room? Do you have one on 1st floor? That would be something else to consider. Storage?
    You could also add an extension on just one side of the back of the house - probably the kitchen side? You brought up the issue of the back door, so I am wondering where you normally enter the house from - I don't see a driveway to the garage (is there an alley?) and how will this drive the design? The location of the back door and associated mudroom/closet space/etc. is really important, and can really only be addressed with a well-thought out plan. A good designer/architect will probably be able to give you several different layouts from which to choose, the discussion of which will also help you to nail down your priorities. The other really important item will be the roofline and how it ties into the existing house, Your needs will drive the design, and the design will drive the exterior of the addition but a professional will make it all work seamlessly.
  • kd7100
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    get rid of back enclosed porch and add on a great room - kitchen/den
  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
    8 years ago
    Lucky you! What a great old house! I love homes built in the 1920s--they were all custom, since that was before the era of the mass-produced cookie cutter homes. As everyone here has said, please find an architect who respects the period that your house was built. It is exceedingly difficult for even a professional to give you too much advice online without seeing the neighborhood, the site, and the inside of the house. Just from the photos though, it seems as if the little addition in the back should be removed and the new kitchen added on the back. Good luck and keep us posted!
  • Jayme H.
    8 years ago
    Yes, if u do add on, definately need a professional to tie it in correctly! The roof lines are tricky on those homes! Good luck, let us know what u are doing!
  • houssaon
    8 years ago
    Here is one idea of how to add to a gambrel roofline:
    City Dutch Colonial · More Info
    This is an interior shot of the new mudroom in the addition:
    Interior · More Info
    I noticed that the stairs to the basement were open up, which you could do also. It will feel less like a basement and be more inviting. It seems that you would have a lot of light in the basement, since I see windows above grade.

    Water usually gets into the basement from the grade outside. Be religious about cleaning gutters and downspouts and make sure the grade is away from the house. Another thing to think about is where are they going to put the soil that is dug up for the addition? Make sure it won't cause grading issues.

    Search Houzz photos in the exterior section using - +"Dutch colonial" +addition. Look through the interiors of the ones that appeal to you for solid ideas. Also you might be able to locate an architect in your area using these criteria.

    Good luck.
  • houssaon
    8 years ago
    Here is another addtion that was featured on PBS - This Old House.
    After · More Info
    Although it was several seasons ago, you might be able to view the video on-line.
  • feeny
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    We built a small addition onto our 1920's brick colonial similar to what you are describing. We tore off the back screened porch, took down part of the back exterior wall of the house, and built an addition across the back of the house with tall windows overlooking the back garden. The addition is continuous with our kitchen and expands it into a great room/sunroom. We hired a local architect to plan the addition, especially as where we live there are strict design restrictions on additions to historic houses, then a general contractor to build it. Both consulted with a structural engineer about taking down and reinforcing the structural wall. We finished it four years ago, and It was the best decision we ever made. It totally transformed the space of the house, opened up the whole first floor, but didn't alter the historic "feel" of the structure.
  • PRO
    C. Douglas Lane
    8 years ago
    I am an architect in Jacksonville Florida and I live in a Dutch Colonial. The best way to do the addition for this roof line is to turn a two story section of the house perpendicular to the existing gabled ends. For instance looking at the front of your house it appears wider than if you look at it from the side, lets say the front is 30' wide and the side is 20' The side has the shape of the dutch roof. You take the side section with the gambrel roof shape and turn it perpendicular to the back of the house and match up all the roof lines. Then you just extend it toward the rear of the property as much as you want the addition to be. You then slide the new addition to the right or left to where you want it to be. Just keep approximately two feet from the original corner to tie in the roof lines and account for the new to old tie in of the siding. See our website at www.lanegroupinc.com for photographs of our Dutch Colonial.
  • dreamsofashopping
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Thanks to all of you for the great comments.

    We go back and forth about whether to do a one or two story addition--I like the idea of two on the in for a penny theory, though two storys would certainly increase the cost. My suspicion is that we would have to move the basement stair entrance if we built on to the entire width of the house at the back.

    Our biggest concern is over improving. It's a small house, and we want to make sure we keep an addition in proportion/style. We also have absolutely no idea of cost--and I mean no idea. Are we talking $100k, $200k? to which the answer will of course be, it depends on what you do! I'm not even sure which comes first. Do you say, here's our budget, what can we do, or here's what we want, what's the budget? We're in a near suburb of Chicago, with lots of historic homes, so that might definitely add to the cost.

    Feeny, do you have pictures you'd be willing to share? Your addition sounds great, and exactly what we're going for.
  • feeny
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    I don't have pictures on my computer at the moment, but I'll try to snap a few on my i-phone later today and see if they come out. BTW: costs are really hard to estimate because it depends not only on what you do but where you live for construction costs. But for our one story addition (which is not a large one in terms of square footage, but has eight floor to ceiling custom windows, plus transoms above them, which added considerably to the cost) we kept it under $45,000.
  • PRO
    C. Douglas Lane
    8 years ago
    Depending on if you were adding a kitchen or master bathroom in the new space, you you add a 20' x 20' addition on two stories you would be adding around 800 s.f. times $200 per square foot equals around $160,000.00. Add kitchen cabinets, counter top and appliances to that number if they are going to occur in the new space. Good luck.
  • dreamsofashopping
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    I've attached a few more images, so you can see the outside front and the stairs. The stairs pic shows the small landing, with kitchen off the to the right, before a couple more steps leading down to the back door and the basement. I love our house so much--it would be great to have even a bit more space (says the parent of a two year old who apparently comes with her own semi-load of stuff.)
  • dreamsofashopping
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    wow, feeny, $45,000. That's amazing.
  • dreamsofashopping
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Thanks, C. Douglas, I'll check out your pics. And, houssaon, thanks for the tips about the grading. We just installed new downspouts for that very reason, and were considering getting n exterior drain tile but decided that we're doing OK without it so far.
  • dreamsofashopping
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    For all you fellow old house geeks, when we bought the house two years ago, it came with its original boiler!
  • feeny
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    Well, remember, I said it is a small addition. We have a small back yard, so we followed the footprint of the old screened porch, which ran across the back of the house. But taking down part of the structural wall makes it feel bigger than it really is because it all flows. And we did not renovate the kitchen when we built the addition. That was a separate project two years later, with a separate budget.
  • PRO
    C. Douglas Lane
    8 years ago
    So did ours with free flooded utility basement, asbestos, radiators that moaned and groaned, lead paint, bad plumbing, wiring and no insulation. But it is all new now.
  • dreamsofashopping
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    No asbestos here yet, but definitely old radiators, with minimal groaning. We love them (despite the inefficiencies)! We insulated the attic, but it can still get chilly up there. Our next project is to strip and refinish all the original downstairs windows (the house was an estate sale, so the family that was selling ripped out the upstairs windows and put in cheap plastic ones to get it ready to sell).
  • feeny
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    BTW: We had to put in separate heating (radiant floor) for the addition because you can't add on to our old steam radiator system. But warm floors turned out to be a surprisingly lovely benefit. The dogs now think we heated the floor and built the windows to chin-propping height just for their personal comfort while squirrel watching.
  • alijacobs
    8 years ago
    I also live in a 1922 dutch colonial. its 1900 sqft. The previous owner made a large living room addition off the back of the kitchen and dining room area. He added a new side entrance in there too. It made a HUGE differece. We had 3 bedrooms and 1 bath upstairs but we recently added another bad in a former huge walk in closet at the top of the stairs, a new staircase to the 3rd floor where the original bath was located....the 3rd bedroom is now TINY because we cut it in half to add a master suite bath w closets. Worth every penny!! bad news is the small bedroom only fits a twin bed but we use it as an office until we will use the 3rd floor for another bedroom. The attic is a good space and spans the whole house. Do you have anything similar???
    Judging from your pictures it looks like you could also add to the side of your house too, keeping the existing roofline. Everyone seems to love our back room, it makes a major impact when you walk in the front door you can see straight back. makes the house seem bigger.
  • PRO
    Kathryn Peltier Design
    8 years ago
    What I would do first is come with the big wish list, whatever that may be: a 2-story addition with whatever rooms you want. Then I would try to refine that to what you really seriously need. Make lists and write down everything you can think of that you need, no matter how small (a place to charge our phones, for instance). Your project will probably be somewhere in the middle. Then, when you have discussed these lists and kind of gotten comfortable with it in your own mind, call in a professional. Tell them: here is what we would like to spend, here is what we would like to add, and then let the designing begin. If you go into this process without having done your own homework, you are potentially spending unnecessary design time. Your architect will talk to you about what you need, too, so part of what they do is define your needs. But, the more information you can give them to start with, the better. Balancing your needs with the design and with your budget will provide you with a happy outcome.
  • feeny
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    @dreamsofashopping
    As requested, here are a few pics of our small addition, inside and out, so you can see how it works with the architecture of our 1920's house. It replaced our screened porch so we kept the footprint and general lines of the porch. From the second photo you can see how it connects to our breakfast nook, even though you can't see the kitchen from these angles. Sorry the light from outside makes the inside pictures rather dark.
  • Jayme H.
    8 years ago
    Nice space inside your home....I can see why the outside was done this way, it was effective and cost efficient and gave well-lit, usable space!!
  • PRO
    Kathryn Peltier Design
    8 years ago
    Wow, Feeny, very nice addition, Although it is fairly small, it's obvious that it lives bigger than just it's square footage. Nice job!
  • Jayme H.
    8 years ago
    @feeny seems to have some wonderful suggestions!
  • dreamsofashopping
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    feeny, that is lovely. Very nice flow from the breakfast nook. Thanks for posting the pictures. Is the back entrance into the addition used a lot?
  • feeny
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    Thanks, everyone. For such a small addition, it really opened up and transformed the feel of our house. Taking out the back wall by the breakfast nook and making it all windows was crucial. As you can probably see, we were prevented from expanding out any further because of the small yard and curve of the driveway.
  • feeny
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    The back entrance is used by us all the time (as it is the closest to our garage when we get home), but not by guests unless it is summer and we are entertaining in the back yard. We are serious gardeners (which you can't tell from these winter photos), so we spend lots of time in the back garden. It is also the door that our dogs go in and out of all day. We have a side door by the basement stairs that has a bit more of a mudroom, but we only use it when either we or the dogs are coming in muddy.
  • Jayme H.
    8 years ago
    Love it!
  • PRO
    Breckenridge Homes, Inc
    8 years ago
    Check out the addition we did on one. www.breck-homes.com
  • victorianbungalowranch
    7 years ago
    Bigger (higher resolution) photos and a floor plan would be helpful.

    I think the most economical solution would be to winterize the existing screened porch, but I'm not sure if that would meet your needs, and you need to check footings and such. Then maybe a family/play room of some sort in the basement, adjacent to laundry. Depending on configuration of side door, maybe the back door can be eliminated if you wanted a larger addition..

    That old boiler is pretty cool. Inefficient, but last forever.
  • Dawn
    3 years ago

    Hello. I know this was 4 years ago but wondering if you ever did your addition. Our home looks very similar to yours and we are looking to do an addition as well out the back of the house. Any pictures of the completed work would be great! thanks