What You'll Learn
Capture South Light
It's very common for a house's front to face south, where it gets the most natural light. In center-hall Colonials and many other traditional house styles, not much of that wonderful illumination makes it in through small, symmetrical front windows. But with a strategically placed addition, you can bring more south light into the house without completely remaking the facade.
In this example, I've added a new, front-to-back family room with one narrow end facing the street. By vaulting the space and extending the windows all the way up, light has a path clear through to the back side of the house. It's a good idea to keep the windowsills high on the street-facing side — at least 4 feet — to keep out prying eyes and car headlights.
Obviously, this form of addition, which is slotted in between the existing two-story wall and the garage, is harder to design and execute (and tougher on the pocketbook) than one that simply "tacks on," but the open, lofty space can enrich your entire home's interior.