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  • Writer's pictureMaria Luisa Castellanos

Five major issues in adding to or remodeling residential property

Residence Remodeling in the Falls Area, Miami, by United Architects

1. Look at the required setbacks. Before doing anything, look at the zoning code of the city or the county (if you live in an unincorporated area) in which you reside. Do not go by the existing setback as these may have changed since your home was built. 2. Look at the roof. Can the roof be easily added to with a new extension? I like to add a thin extension perpendicular to the main roof. This addition would be easy to roof. A long addition on the entire back of the house can likely be roofed only with a flat roof or the entire back half of the existing roof will have to be redone with a different pitch. Some municipalities, such as Coral Gables, will allow flat roofs only in certain circumstances. So this kind of addition poses a problem. 3. How can the addition be designed so that major rooms are not lost with the new addition? Many times the original house ends with the bedrooms. How can we avoid losing a bedroom? I look for an existing hallway which can be extended, but that is not always available, I look for a closet which can be relocated to another side of the room. This normally allows for the creation of a hallway to the new area. 4. Most people who call me to remodel want to include the kitchen and the bathrooms. In condominium projects the plumbing walls are immovable. So we need to work around the existing plumbing. In the project below, we were able to connect the new plumbing for the relocated kitchen to the plumbing in the second bathroom. This is not necessarily doable in all projects. So in condo projects it’s better to work with the existing plumbing walls.

Before and After Floor Plans of a Miami Beach Remodeling Project by United Architects

5. Also, in condominium projects it is difficult to add ceiling lights. This is because often there is no drop ceiling and the ceiling above is actually the floor slab of the apartment above. In the same project above, we had to drop a ceiling over the kitchen in order to put recessed ceiling lights in the kitchen. If you want to add or remodel your home. call us at 305-552-5465, we will help you make good decisions about your project.

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