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Additional Flex Space and SDU’s

As we progress into the phases of opening up our economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become clear that we will see many life behaviors evolve into new rituals that may require some modifications to your home. We have seen an uptick in potential client inquiries that are requesting additional and/or renovated space in their home to accommodate a home office/flex space or a Secondary Dwelling Unit (SDU) on their property.

This tiny at home work station with a built-in counter and cabinets was part of an addition to the home performed by MCH&R.

Many employed homeowners may continue to work from home and need to carve out a location in their cramped home for them to seclude away from the distractions that could keep them from working efficiently. Working-from-home parents are multi-tasking while their kids follow school coursework on line. Additionally, many college-aged children have relocated back to their parents’ home during the pandemic. The need for a multi-functional home with quiet areas to work, study, and perhaps recreate is growing.

Carving out a work station at home can also assist with spreading out the home occupants. modifying an extra bedroom or a formal dining room into a functioning office space can assist in using the dwelling to its fullest potential.

The conversion of a bedroom space into a home office provides enough space to create a functional office and room for guests/meetings. Planned accordingly, the space could also function as a guest bedroom.

Additionally, there is a large population of baby-boomers that may require co-habitation or a secondary dwelling unit (SDU) for them to reside, or their children to reside in, as they age-in-place. Well-designed simple spaces minimize maintenance, cleaning, and allow the occupants to use every square foot to its fullest advantage.

Before: This uniquely deep backyard contained an old metal shop and a clear building pad for an additional dwelling unit. Our design build team crafted a unique SDU unit with a new covered carport and driveway to the front yard of the existing home.

During 1

During 2

During 3

The during 1-3 photos displays the construction progress photos of the 800 square foot unit and carport up to commencing the stucco finish.

New flex spaces that can be used for a number of activities may become a new norm as we navigate through the next decade. SDU’s, or tiny houses on a larger single-family lot, can be a very nice addition to one’s property. SDU’s can be attached or detached to the primary dwelling unit. The future need and potential income generation of the secondary dwelling is positive. Many municipalities, including the City of Davis, are making the pathway easier for obtaining the proper permits for this type of housing construction project.

SDU’s typically contain a bathroom, bedroom area, and a cooking appliance. However, “Guest Houses” fall under a separate category and do not have a kitchen. These detached or attached structures can be separated from the main house with a separate access, and thus create the feel of a completely different dwelling.

This small office space was designed in the attic of a single-story home. The operable skylights provided abundant natural light and ventilation.

If you have the need to explore additional space, or need some help trying to figure out how you will carve out an office space in your home, please give us a call. We enjoy the opportunity to assist in navigating the process. -Design, Build and Enjoy!


Employee Spotlight Ron Base

Morse Custom Homes and Remodeling Lead Carpenter Ron Base.

Ron Base joined the Morse Custom Homes and Remodeling team in May of 2015. His five-year stint with our production team has been outstanding as he brings a diverse set of skillsets to his Lead Carpentry position. Ron’s favorite tool is the “shop” which houses one of his favorite machines, the CNC machine (Computer Numerically Controlled machine).

Ron’s background is in fine carpentry and cabinetry. He opened and operated his own cabinet shop in 1986. 21 years later, Ron sold his shop prior to becoming a Project Manager for Duracite, where he coordinated the installation of high-end casework and cabinetry at Fort Baker in Marine County.

Ron (center) reviews the plans on the job with fellow colleagues Mark (right) and Andrew.

Ron enjoys managing the larger projects that entail the coordination of several trades and knowledge of home building sequence in order to deliver high quality results and finishes. Constructing new buildings and spaces is what keeps him motivated to continue working in the field with the trades and vendors.

During his hobby time, Ron loves to ride motorcycles. He owns three motorcycles and currently enjoys the dual sport model of on-road and off-road biking.

Ron taking a well-deserved break off the saddle while touring Highway 96 along Trinity River in Northwestern California.

Ron is approaching his 43rd year of marriage to his wife, Tina. They live in Auburn in a home that Ron built while working with Morse Custom Homes. Together they have one daughter, one granddaughter, and one step grandson. Ron is an exceptionally great asset to our construction team.


Before and After: The Study

Before: The existing living room was being used as a makeshift study but lacked a good book storage system and functional layout. The furniture was old and lacked a cohesive design style.

After 1: The original fireplace was kept and turned into a focal point with new mantel and surround. False rafter beams were designed and installed to create an interesting ceiling detail. New flooring, lighting, ceiling fan, windows and paint provide the finishing touches.

After 2: Custom built-in cabinets with internal LED strip lighting provided a stunning storage system for the abundant books and artwork displays. A rolling ladder system was installed to access the upper book shelves.

After 3: Two new desk workstations were designed into the wall opposite the fireplace. Additional cabinet storage, bookshelves and a game table were added to provide the functional aspect of the new study. Design, Build and Enjoy!


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