What You'll Learn
Bring in the View
Lots of suburban homes have wonderful landscape features in the backyard but only small windows and spaces from which to appreciate them. An addition can help to better capture those views, as long as it's in the right place. If it's awkwardly sited, the addition can end up blocking the best vistas from the rest of the house.
A good approach is to site any new construction so it adjoins an existing garage or mudroom, which has no need of a view. In this plan, the original kitchen is simply expanded, with a large bay window cut through the existing wall, and the new family room is tucked behind the garage. Now both the original and the added spaces can take full advantage of the backyard scenery.
When planning a family room around the outdoors, don't think only about what things look like in the daytime. At night, you may want to watch TV or sit around the fire, so it's best to put those amenities on an outside wall, in the direction of the view, so your furniture is always in the right orientation.