You know you need more room. But what kind of room do you actually need? It helps to think strategically before you commit to this big expense. You may not need a whole room. There may be another way to accomplish your goals. Here are some ideas that may end up less expensive and yet give you the space you need.
You may need more living space, but does it need to be inside? If you aren’t angling for more storage space, a deck is a logical extension. It costs less and, with today’s composite materials, can last much longer than old wooden decks. The right material may mean very little maintenance. You won’t even have to paint it or waterproof it. If the area is sunny, you may want to get a retractable awning to provide shade.
If your problem is storage space, look up. In some houses, it wouldn’t take much to improve the attic. The main points here are reinforcing the floor and making a climate-controlled area for your extra belongings. In older houses, this is usually a better possibility than in modern homes. Most modern construction methods do not create a true floor in the attic. That’s why it will need to be reinforced if it is to be used.
Another idea is to redo the basement or cellar. This area is usually plagued by too much moisture, but you can use today’s modern air circulation techniques to make it useful. Better flooring and more insulation can turn the area into usable space. If it opens to the yard, it could be used as a shed. If it has stairs to the main floor, it may be possible to convert part of it into living space.
Many garages today don’t even take care of people’s expensive cars. Instead garages become the place for overflow storage. It’s often not even good space as dirty lawn implements mix with boxes full of Christmas decorations or memorabilia. Instead of spending $50,000 on a new addition, you can spend $500 and outfit your garage with organizational storage.
If you have a good place to put it, a shed can be the addition you need without a big expense. You move everything out of the garage into the shed. If you want to go a different direction, you can spend a bit more and add electricity. It can become your workshop or office. Before you embark on this project, however, you should consider how the shed will allow you to declutter and/or free up space in the rest of your house. Perhaps the yard storage moves to the shed. The holiday boxes move out of your walk-in closet and onto shelving into the garage. Then you have much more of your closet space for everyday living. It’s that kind of thinking that will help you make the most of this addition.
If you want renovations to feel like your home is more open, stop and consider what more natural light would do. In a key room, such as the living room, den, or kitchen, you could invest in larger windows, glass doors, and skylights. This would be much less expensive than a renovation, and it might achieve the openness you need. The key is to maintain the architectural integrity while getting the feeling you want. You’d probably need a contractor beyond the normal window installation crew since carpentry would be needed around larger window openings.
Once you have exhausted ideas to avoid renovation, then you can consider whether renovation is right for you. Keep in mind there are many hidden costs that you ned to discuss with any contractor. This includes how the contractor’s work will affect your daily living. You’ll need to consider such factors as carpentry dust, off-gassing of manmade materials, and the lack of insulation due to open areas. You’ll also want to find out what measures your contractor will take to protect the area around the renovation. WIthout composite crane mats on the yard, trucks and equipment will be tearing up the topsoil and turf from day one. It’s simple for contractors to maintain a supply of access mats and put these down before beginning work. You may want to cover your gardens if they will be exposed to construction dust and debris.
Considering how expensive it is to add even one room, it is beneficial to think through every option you have. You may be able to achieve your goals while spending far less money.
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