We hear a great deal about “creating space” when it comes to home remodeling to make properties more desirable for house shoppers. This is one of those little clichés that sounds good in theory but can be difficult to accomplish, and the possibilities are based on the existing floor plan of the specific house to be renovated. Some floor plans lend themselves to remodeling easier than others. The existing structure could make it easy or difficult to create space and make existing rooms bigger or more open.
Staging a home by using minimal furnishings that are strategically placed can give rooms the appearance of more space. This helps some but let’s also consider some physical changes that have the capability of adding value by way of aesthetic appeal.
Aesthetic Appeal With Slight Physical Modifications
1. If a room cannot be expanded square footage wise, there may be some value in making more room vertically. This can be accomplished by pop up or tray ceilings when there is attic space above to accommodate. This is especially beneficial for homes with eight-foot ceilings, but can also add an interesting touch to those with higher plates.
For example, with a tray ceiling, you can create more perceived space with indirect lighting channeled around each side by incorporating a trough with accent wood. This draws more attention to the added height when the lights are on.
2. Taking out walls between rooms is a simple way to expand a room, but you must be careful if you have a small house. Combining two rooms may be more of a detriment than a positive move if there are too few rooms to begin with. Generally speaking, when removing a wall you should consider centering the opening but not taking out the entire wall.
If you put a cased opening in a wall that is six feet or wider, you create depth, but you also leave valuable wall space in both rooms that creates a separation while increasing the visual space. Another option is to install French doors that will allow separation of the two areas when needed, yet still provide a large overall wall space in each room.
3. Adding windows to small rooms adds warmth and a less closed-in feeling. Even though this adds nothing to the room size, enough glass brings the entire outdoors into a room making it appear more spacious and open. If adding windows will create a problem with furnishings, you might consider short windows that leave space beneath for low profile furniture.
Value Engineering for Marketability
Value engineering smaller homes makes a substantial difference in marketability, but all changes must be carefully thought through. It is important to maintain a natural flow of the home when physical changes are made, and before any work is done to a home, looking at the floor plan on paper to evaluate any changes is sound advice.
In addition, you must remember that some walls act as structural supports for the roof, and cannot be easily, or inexpensively, moved.
Structural Limitation Considerations
A qualified remodeling contractor is of great assistance when making home renovation decisions because they understand what is and is not structurally possible for a specific property. If you ever have any doubt however, always consult a structural engineer, they may not be cheap, but it will be cheaper than the cost of the roof collapsing on your end buyer.
Any home remodeling work that doesn’t affect the footprint or the roof line of the home is more cost efficient when the changes do not add significantly to the sale price, but a house that is too small for its market might necessitate a home addition instead rather than a redesign of the interior.
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