Owner-Building Home Addition: The Design Process


If you haven’t read my post yet on how to get started with a home addition or home building project, you can check it out HERE. I share the steps we took to owner-build our home addition and the costs involved to get started. If you’re looking to build, remodel or add on, be sure to pick up some tips there.

Floor Plans

Although I love the floor plan of our Sugarberry Cottage, all 2,000 sq feet of it, after 2 years of living in the home I was exploring the idea of adding on. Here in Florida we have pretty decent weather year round. The summers are hot of course, but you can still enjoy some outdoor time, especially in the evenings.

Wanting a space where we could comfortably congregate as a family and with friends while enjoying the outdoors was what launched our idea for a family lounge with an Indoor/Outdoor concept.

One can only dream of something  as fabulous as in these pictures. Our version will be much less fancy but will hopefully capture the essence of the concept of bringing the outdoors in.

The design in these homes features a seamless transition from the living area to the outdoor space by means of what seems to be huge pocket glass doors. You can basically open up an entire wall with these beauties!


Large scale door systems come with hefty price tags.  We even explored a smaller scale version with folding glass doors. At $10k these were still over budget. Below is one of the quotes we received in January of 2021.

Milgard Windows & Doors

Our target budget for the entire addition is between $50k-$60K. If just one set of doors takes up 16-20% of our budget, it really shrinks the remaining funds available for everything else.

Part of budget-friendly design is getting creative. We looked at the option of side by side French doors. There are so many beautiful styles on the market these days.

Sartodoors on Wayfair

Although French doors aesthetically could be very stylish, when it came to functionality they fell short for the design concept of this space. I know we would end up using one door for passage and the other would be for show.

US Window & Door

We finally decided on sliders. Two adjacent sliding glass doors would achieve the visual openness we were seeking. Although not a full pocket door, the middle doors yield a large open span. 

Fieldstone Windows

To keep the design from looking too plain Jane, we are adding four transoms over the doors. These will also expand the outdoor view and bring in more light. And the price for the sliders with 4 transoms, $2,102!

Fieldstone Windows

Look for building materials suppliers you can work with. They sell lumber, windows, doors, roof trusses, and just about everything you might need for your build.  I recommend talking to a few and seeing which one is the best fit for you.

More On The Design Process To Come...

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