Saturday, August 30, 2014

Should you put an addition on the cottage or build a bunky?

Should you put an addition on the cottage or build a bunky?

This is a question that I am being asked a lot these days. With aging cottages and ever expanding families people are starting to find their cottages cramped for space.

What to do about the lack of space (personal and private) is what is fueling the debate over whether people should be adding square footage to their cottage or should they be adding a bunky?

There are several questions that you need to ask yourself to decide which one is right for you and your family cottage;

What do you need the extra space for?

If you need the extra space because you don’t have enough bedrooms then a bunky could satisfy that need. But remember that a bunky is only basically good for one extra bedroom, if you require more than that you should think about adding an addition.

If you need that extra space for living, gathering and general enjoyment because the family is out growing the existing cottage then an addition to the cottage would probably be better. This would give people more space to move around and allow for a more enjoyable experience.

Do you want to use the space all year round?

Bunkies are not made to be winter residences. If you require that extra space for winter as well then you should think about adding an addition instead, this way it is easier to heat and people would have access to a washroom without having to trudge through the snow every time nature calls.

How much would you use the extra space?

If you only require the extra space on the long weekends in the summer then a bunky would probably be better for you. The bunky is then used for overflow guests and only for an average of 15 days a year and a two or three days in a row.

What is better for the Resale value of your cottage?

If you care about the resale value of your cottage then you should probably add the addition. Bunkies do not add a lot or any real resale value to your property. A bunky does not last as long as a normal home as well as they usually do not have heat or a proper foundation under them. Winter can be particularly hard on bunkies and they can require a lot of maintenance.

Do you need more bathrooms?

With more space comes more people and more people require more bathrooms, even if the new bathroom is a simple two piece it can alleviate those dreaded line ups (especially in the morning). This becomes extremely expensive to accomplish in a bunky and harder to protect in the winter. Adding an addition to the cottage is an easy way to accomplish much needed bathrooms. Bathrooms are not cheap to put in a home but they do not take up a lot of space, this means that you can easily add a powder room (2 piece) or a larger bathroom with a small stand up shower in the corner without sacrificing on the size of the bedrooms.

What is your Budget?

This is the big question, Money. Bunkies are not cheap to buy or have built per square foot especially compared to what you are getting, 4 walls and a room. But they are a lot cheaper and simpler then putting an addition on your cottage. If you are on a limited budget then the bunky is probably the most preferable way to go about adding sleeping space.

But if you have a healthy budget then you should probably bite the bullet and have the addition added. The additional square footage will never go down in value and with larger families (which are always growing with children and grandchildren) you will always find use for the space. Remember that adding sleeping space doesn’t help the bathroom lineups, it actually makes it worse.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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