Looking for a cost-effective way to add living space to your Cape Cod home? If you have an attic or a basement, consider yourself halfway there.
If you’ve outgrown your home but feel stuck due to the tight Cape Cod real estate market, the solution may lie beneath your feet…or over your head. Converting an unfinished basement or attic to an additional living space can be a smart move for homeowners who are feeling cramped.
According to this article on House Logic, finishing a basement or attic gives homeowners a high level of satisfaction. It also yields a decent ROI—53 %—which is an important consideration if you may be selling your home within the next 10 years.
Nail Down What You Need
Where should you start when it comes to adding living space? Rather than simply saying “We need more room,” take the time to really understand what kind of space your home lacks. A home office? Sleeping quarters for summer visitors? A place for your tween children or grandchildren to call their own? This decision is crucial.
An Attic Renovation
Is an attic renovation the right choice for your home?
The Pros: With the Cape’s damp weather, it can be a challenge to keep a basement feeling fresh. If you have the space in your attic, we’d suggest starting there. The attic tends to be quieter than a cellar, also a concern, especially for a home office or extra bedroom. Adding a bathroom to an attic is much easier than in a basement, as well.
The Cons: A steeply pitched roof, such as in the photo above, can limit usable floor space, which makes built-ins a great idea. Maximizing the space under the eaves makes the center of the room feel wide open. Beware: attics can be hot in the summer months. Insulation with a high R factor is a must, as is air conditioning.
Bunk rooms, considered a must-have by any Cape Cod kid, work beautifully in renovated attics. And if your attic lacks natural light, sunshine is only a skylight away.
Making a Basement Feel Homey
Maybe you’ve decided a renovated basement is the way to go.
The Pros: If you have a full basement, it probably has far more available space than your attic, none of which is impeded by a sloping ceiling. A basement tends to feel more “connected” to the rest of the home as well, an important consideration if the finished room will be used by young children, or for entertaining.
The Cons: As we mentioned, basements on the Cape are damp. Solve the problem with wall insulation and a dehumidifier. They’re also dark. Add a cozy feel with sufficient lighting: inset ceiling lights, wall sconces and table lamps. A concrete floor feels cold, so adding wall-to-wall carpeting with thick padding beneath is crucial.
Rather than fighting a basement’s lack of natural light, embrace it by creating a media room. A sleek space for entertaining friends is also a great idea, as is incorporating a fireplace.
Don’t Forget About Storage
Finally, don’t let your need for more living space overshadow your storage requirements. Your holiday decorations and keepsakes will need a place to live when your renovation is complete. Whether you’re finishing an attic or a basement, remember to carve out enough storage space.
Please contact us to learn more about finishing your attic or basement, or to arrange a complimentary consultation.