When I bought the bungalow at 38th Avenue, it was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath home totaling 1,000 square feet. I remodeled the kitchen and baths and added a rear addition — a new adjacent family living space in the back. That addition is definitely my favorite part of the home, as it literally materialized directly from my imagination.

My designs were influenced by profitability, parking, and the pandemic.

First of all, with a flip, it all comes down to cost efficiency — the purchase price and the resale price point sought, given the cost of desired improvements. With flips, I have to think: What do I need to fix up? What do I need to take to next price point? You have to be strategic about bringing baths, bedrooms, and other spaces to the next level. Considering all that, it was obvious to me that this home needed a two car garage with another bedroom and bathroom above the garage. Private office space and community gathering space would also be desirable improvements.

Part of the plan for the back was more parking. Since there’s no street parking in the front, you have to allow some other parking space for guests. So, I started with a garage but left some room behind the garage in the alleyway for that.

And of course, who could build in 2020 without thinking about the pandemic. Homebuyers had begun placing a premium on home office space due to the increasing need to work from home. I read that the transition to telework meant that about 71% of employed adults were working from home in 2020. While 20% of them were already working from home before COVID-19, 54% said they would want to continue to working from home after the mandates passed. (Source: Pew Research.)

Here’s how I approached the floor plan.

Considering the changing work-from-home dynamic, it was clear that a home office would be sought-after space, so I challenged myself to build out office space for two in this home. I ended up creating a somewhat versatile outdoor space — an outdoor patio, partly covered, with a flex space that can be used as a second office.

An optional community gathering area was also important to me. I wanted to create something that was more than simply a master bedroom. So with the outdoor patio area, I wanted a private outdoor space but another area to use as a dining room. I designated space for a large dining table out there because we eat outside a lot of the year in Colorado. If you install heat lamps, you could could use the space even more.

I didn’t want to mess with the front of the house, which could start to impact the charm of this century-old property. So we merely remodeled and modernized the living spaces, the kitchen, and the bathroom.

The outcome? Doubled square footage and a highly livable home.

The renovation yielded a living room, a dining space, a little more space for parking, and the ability to make room for the essentials of the flip — the master bedroom, the master bath, and room for two to work at home. We got it all! And while the living room downstairs is small, it’s basically doubling the square footage of the home.

This addition also took up almost all of the backyard. There is still green space in front, but the program called for using up much of the lot with living spaces rather than a backyard. However, lots of neighbors make good use of their front porches. So, I figured to maximize this space for city living, the front yard will continue to be a great place to hang out. It’s a good place for a dog or kids to play, and a fun urban environment to entertain friends.

So, those were some of the trade-offs I had to make. And that’s how the floor plan came to be!