What's on your "must have" list when you consider a new home?
Lots of closet space - check.
Great kitchen layout - check.
Formal dining room - nah, can I have an office instead?
It's certainly not the case in every situation, but we have been asked more than once to convert a formal dining room into an office. In a plan like this one, this could mean making these simple changes:
- Add French Doors between the Dining Room and the Foyer.
Wall off the doorway between the kitchen and the dining room.
Add cable and phone outlets in the dining room.
And there you go, a great downstairs office in a smaller floor plan.
Breakfast rooms are getting larger. They're right next to the kitchen, and informal dining seems to be gaining in popularity.
Rather than set up two separate dining areas, some homebuyers are opting for a convenient downstairs office instead.
But what about resale value?
If homebuyers are set on having that dining room converted, there is more than one way to have a great office - without turning off future homebuyers who love to have the formal table set up and ready to go.
To make the home appealing to a wider audience:
- Instead of walling off the doorway between the dining room and the kitchen, add a door. You may never actually open it, but it will be easy to removed by a future homeowner, leaving the framed doorway.
- Go ahead and add the cable and phone jacks. Usually asking for phone and cable jacks before construction begins can mean a charge of $50-100 each - but it will be much harder to run wiring for extra jacks once the home is finished, which of course means more expensive.
- Consider adding a butler's pantry or wall of built-in cabinets, if room allows. Your builder may be able to suggest ways to gain room to do this. These cabinets will be very useful whether the room is used as an office or as a dining room. For an extra splurge, consider clear or frosted glass on the upper cabinets.
The example shown is very specific to a dining room - a wine rack and a built-in wine cooler are great for entertaining.
But even a basic set of cabinets is very helpful - in the office, store all your office supplies out of site. Convert to a dining room, and there's a wonderful place for table linens, the good china, and more.
No matter what choice you make, think about versatility, and work with your builder to incorporate the functions that you need most - without reducing the ability to sell your home in the future.
An Informal Survey -
Assume you're considering homes under 2500 square feet.
As a homebuyer, what is more important to you, a formal dining room or a downstairs office?
As a member of the real estate industry, what importance does a homebuyer place on a formal dining room, versus a downstairs office?
Floor plan copyright Frank Betz Associates
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Articles copyright Stanton Homes 2006-2012. Unauthorized use is not permitted. Provided for informational purposes only, no claims are made by Stanton Homes regarding the validity of any statements. Please note: all listing information per MLS, and current as of posting date. Information subject to change. Stanton Homes does not make claims to ownership of any lot listings, but can work with homebuyers to purchase available lots and build. Home plans to be approved on an individual basis, subject to neighborhood restrictive covenants and lot restrictions. Ask for further information regarding any community, lot or floor plan. Photos represent typical homes and details of each neighborhood, to help highlight different options available in the Raleigh/Triangle area. No claim of ownership is made to homes or land pictured.