Building a Master Suite Addition in Santa Barbara

Building a Master Bedroom and Bathroom Addition or Suite in Santa Barbara

Economical Home Additions in Santa Barbara

This is the plight of the young Santa Barbara couple with a growing family. They have good jobs, plenty of friends and love living in Santa Barbara. They bought a house and it was a stretch at the time but they feel good to have a piece of Santa Barbara to call their own. Everything is great until one day… the house is starting to feel small. It might be another kid on the way or the home office is taking up too much room but it’s time to start looking for more room. They might start looking for a new house that can fit their needs but as most find out jumping up in size carries a hefty price tag. Some people find that this isn’t an option or that they really like the location where they have been living. So what is a young family to do?

A common approach is to add onto the house in some way. Most often this is a master bedroom and bathroom. We have done a few of these in the past , building in Santa Barbara is not cheap and you may not need an Architect but we wanted to share our strategies for providing the best design on a young family’s budget.

The Bridge

The most expensive part of an addition is demolishing and rebuilding part of the house that was just fine. This is work that results in zero gain for you and you’ve spent part of your tight budget on something that provides little face value. Only touch the existing house where you need to, create a “bridge” to separate the new from the existing. This strategy was developed to allow you to spend more of your money on new construction. The plan below shows how we proposed to add onto this typical Mesa home in Santa Barbara. The addition only touches the existing house where needed while providing a comfortable master bedroom and bath. Aside from a coat of paint we left the rest of the house alone, the client plans on tackling the rest of the house as a remodel some time in the future. As a bonus we were able to create a protected deck area transforming the small house by adding a large outdoor entertainment space all while maintaining a large backyard space for the kids to play in.



Reduce circulation space

Find a way to remove hallways, vestibules and other extraneous space from the floor plan. Try to combine functions to efficiently build your spaces, circulate through rooms not hallways. You shouldn’t pay for what you don’t need.

Consider a flat or single pitch roof

Whether the existing house architecture is traditional, ranch, modern or contemporary design consider a flat or single sloped roof. A single low sloped shed roof or flat roof is easier to engineer and build. It also allows you to take advantage of new PVC roofing materials that are incredibly long lasting, quick to install and when used in reflective colors can dramatically reduce the heat gain thru the roof.

We have put this to use in the Vaquero Residence addition and remodel and The Modern Beach Shack the design resulted in higher ceilings, used less lumber, required less labor and will be completed faster than a typical sloped roof.

View From Street

View From Street

Consider skipping the tub

Fewer master baths have showers and tubs in them these days, how often do you find yourself taking a soak in a tub? We suggest skipping the tub and having a larger shower instead this allows the bathroom be more compact. This move saves money in many ways; the cost of the tub, fixtures, tile work, water lines and drain line. When done right a shower can be a great design element and be incredibly functional at the same time. This image below is from our Hope Ranch Residence


Consider reducing or not using recessed lighting in the bedroom

Overhead lighting in the bedroom isn’t necessary for most people. We have found that well placed floor lamps and bedside lamps can provide what light is needed. Half hot outlets can be placed strategically to allow lighting to be switched from the wall and at the bedside. Every recessed can removed from the design saves money in material and in electrician labor which you can then spend where you want to.


These are just a few of our budget saving tips, give us a call and let us put them to work for you.


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