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Increasing Your Living Space with Home Remodeling

August 31, 2007
As you move up in the world and are able to afford nicer things, you are probably starting to think about living in a nicer home. Moving is certainly an option, but it is a difficult option. Finding a realtor you trust, finding a new home that you like, making sure it is in an area that you like, and then moving all your things can be cumbersome. Instead, many people are beginning to look to home remodeling as a means to living in a nicer home. One of the best ways to add value and comfort to your home is by increasing your living space and adding square footage. There are two primary ways to add square footage to your home.

Adding On To the House

When people think of adding square footage through home remodeling, they most commonly think of adding new rooms to the house. This can be a great way to add square footage as well as add one or two practical rooms that can be used by one or more members of the family. Sometimes adding a room that is used by only one member of the family can make it feel like each member is gaining a lot of extra space, so don?t be concerned that the addition will only benefit one member of the household. Adding a den for a father could take away all of his clutter from the kitchen and family room, making everybody feel like they just got two new rooms themselves.

Once you have decided what type of room to add with your home remodeling, you?ll need to start getting down to the details. First, make sure that you are in compliance with any zoning laws that are in effect for your home. This would almost certainly include the city or township you live as well as your neighborhood council if there is one. However, it could include more. Ask whether the basics of your possible addition are compliant. You will need to get the final blueprints approved as well, but if you already know you can?t add a second story, there?s no reason to draw up blueprints for it. Home remodeling can get sticky in certain areas.

Next, hire an architect to draw up the blueprints and a general contractor to keep in touch with the architect and make sure everything is doable. Hiring a general contractor will be the single most important step in your home remodeling project. Hiring an inefficient or ineffective contractor will leave you with a poor addition or an addition that went way over budget. Once you?ve hired a contractor you trust, stay in close contact with him as he adds to your home. You?ll have more square footage before you know it!

Increase Useable Areas in Your Home

When you?re looking to add square footage through home remodeling, you don?t necessarily have to add rooms to the house. You could simply turn the square footage you already have into square footage that is more valuable. This is usually cheaper and rarely involves zoning difficulties.

Home remodeling of this type will sometimes, but not always, increase the official square footage on the appraisal of your home. However, the value of your home is not proportionally dependent on the square footage, so don?t let the official appraisal deter you if you want your home remodeling project to focus on an area that won?t count towards the official estimate.

One way to be sure that you are adding to your official square footage is to turn an unfinished area of your home into a finished room. The two most common areas to do this in are the basement and the attic, but there are also other options. You can also add to your functional square footage by adding a deck or patio in the back or by freeing up space in your living areas by turning an unfinished area of the home into an efficient storage area. However, these will not count towards the official square footage estimate.

Whether you?re adding square footage through rooms or adding square footage by turning less functional space into more functional space, you?ll be increasing the monetary value and comfort of your home at the same time. This type of home remodeling project can be a cost effective alternative to moving to an entirely new house.