What do I do with this space?
This is a 1550 sq ft ranch that's built on pier and beam. The first pic below is a view from the dining room towards the area of concern. The second pic is a view from my living room to the area of concern. You step down into the area because it was originally a covered patio that was framed in by the previous owner. An architect suggested that I convert it back into a covered patio with hinged patio doors on the dining room wall and adding windows on the living room wall. Others advised against this option because I would loose 150 sq ft of living space. The idea would be to open the walls up as much as possible and adding a false floor and using as additional living space. In order to open up the space, an engineer says that a 12" beam would need to be installed to replace the dining room wall. Does anyone have thoughts on this space? I'm a single male with no kids. Thanks