You already have the room on your property – now how do you determine the best way to carve out and create the living space you desire from that available “room?” Additional living space not only means a happier home life, but it also translates into higher resale values for your home. Keep in mind, not all space-adding remodels are created equally. In fact, some can be harmful to your home’s value. Read on to learn how best to stay on the right side of a remodel…
Build Addition Outward
If you are prepared for a long-term, expensive project, an on-grade addition will recoup your investment many times over. The only true way to create new space is to build an addition. Nearly every other way of creating space involves the redistribution of the existing space. The only other option is to build “upward.” Unhindered by existing structures, you can design and create an entirely new space. Most times you do not need to vacate the house during construction. The return is absolute maximum resale value. The only negative thing about an outward addition is the cost and it needs to left to the pros.
In terms of value, building upward is commiserate with an on-grade build. When available property is nil, second-story additions are the next best option.
Most homes can accommodate a second story, but it’s not as simple as it may seem to add a floor on top. Additional shoring-up is required. Possibly an even better way of gaining space than building outward. The sky is the limit. This is another space-creating remodel that returns insanely high value upon sale. This is an expensive endeavor and should be left to the pros. For obvious reasons, this option usually requires vacating the house for some length of time.
Converting the Basement
Not quite as popular as the upward or outward additions, basement conversions still rank high as available area is often equal to the existing first-story floor space. The basement is often a good choice for a conversion because it is usually substantially built. Walls are solid and often need little more than a false wall system to run electrical wiring and for decorative purposes. Moisture tends to be a problem, but this can be mitigated.
Not as substantially built as a basement and deceptively difficult, attic conversions are not the “obvious” choice for expanding as some structural elements may need to be added. The good news is that since attics are in close juxtaposition to the habitable floors of the home below them, utilities (Electrical, plumbing, waste, etc.) can be easily tapped into. However, the bad news is that attics are often configured with low-hanging ceilings and angled dormers as they are not really meant for foot traffic. A sub-floor will be required as will the need to strengthen joists.
Removing an Interior Wall
Simply removing a wall can turn two rooms into one large room. This option creates the illusion of “space” without actually adding new space. As long as an interior wall is not load-bearing, it can easily be removed in a few days. However, load-bearing walls are a different story and almost always require a contractor’s intervention. In regards to re-sale value, it’s usually best to leave two rooms as two rooms.
Repurposing a Room
It’s a porch, it’s a living room…it’s a repurposed room! You may recognize this type of conversion as one that causes most Realtors to arch their eyebrows in doubt. This time and money-saving trick doesn’t always work as well as planned. If you decide to go this route, be sure to closely align the function of the old room with the function of the new room.
Converting the Garage
Not the best idea to sink money into creating new space in a garage. You only gain a low-value space and eliminate your higher value garage space. This is pretty much a conversion option of days gone by. It may be extremely tempting to convert the garage to gain space, but resist the temptation. This option will totally affect your resale value and not in a positive way.
Building a Separate Structure
If you’re contemplating this, just go the extra mile and attach the structure to your home for a traditional addition. City permitting departments don’t look favorably upon sheds converted into mother-in-law apartments. Extending utilities 50 feet or more from the main structure to power an accessory structure isn’t a straightforward or easy endeavor. A properly built and permitted separate structure can cost as much as an addition–yet yields you less on your resale value.
Dreaming of additional space for your home while adding that coveted increased resale value? Talk to a professional contractor before jumping in and making the wrong decisions.
Contact us (513-560-2195) for more information or a free quote!
About RK Renovations
RK Renovations provides professional and affordable remodeling services to home and business owners in the Greater Cincinnati Area. We have the capabilities and the crew to provide full attention to small and larger projects. We have gained an excellent reputation by going the extra mile for our clients, year in and year out.
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