You’ve got a new baby on the way and not enough bedrooms. The kids are now in their teens and you could use a den for them to retreat with their friends. Maybe your elderly parents are moving in or you’ve decided to start a home-based business. Or perhaps you’re at the other end of the spectrum, retired and weary of traipsing up and down a flight of stairs and wish you had a first-floor master suite.
The bottom line is that you need more space, and moving in this tight and expensive Cape Cod real estate market is simply not a realistic option.
What to do? The answer could be a custom-designed addition that will suit your needs while increasing the value of your home.
Additions can be attached to the back of the house, especially family rooms, while others, such as an extra bedroom, an in-law apartment or a home office, might be built over the garage or sprout from the side of the structure. A rear addition connects the home to the backyard, and allows you to utilize different materials. For example, rather than matching existing brick, you might choose less costly wood. That extra room built over the garage provides privacy, while a second-story addition to a ranch can double your living space.
It’s important to keep the addition in scale with the original structure so as to not overwhelm it, although you could also use it to make a statement.
Adding a den is extremely popular with growing families. It can also be a terrific investment. Even better, you can transform an under-utilized space, such as a basement or an attic, into a comfortable, cozy retreat for watching TV, listening to music, reading, playing games or just spending time together chatting. You could also build a new wing off the side of the house, over the garage or even detached from the main structure.
There was a time when dens were small rooms, usually with built-in bookcases and paneled in wood. But times have changed. Today, dens are often expansive spaces, with hardwood floors, fireplaces, open-beam rafters and brightly painted walls.
In-law apartments have become increasingly popular in recent years as aging parents look to be closer to their children and grandchildren. A separate space, with a modest kitchen, sitting area, bedroom and bath, can also help ease a financial crunch. But it’s important, for everyone’s sanity, that there be a clear separation from the main living quarters.
The same be said when adding a home office. Working from home is a great perk, but you want to feel like you’re in a different space and not bumping up against everyone else living in the home, which can be intrusive to the entire family. Adding a home office that is functional and comfortable can make all the difference. Embrace natural light and avoid designing your home office into yet another cold, corporate cubicle. If you have enough room, add a “comfort zone,” with a comfy chair, a small fridge and a coffee maker for taking breaks.
Retirees aging in place are not uncommon on Cape Cod, so it’s hardly surprising that many people are electing to add first-floor master suites to their home. When planning this addition, consider privacy, storage, exits and entries, the view and the noise factor.
If the addition will be built close to neighbors, you’ll want to think about the orientation of windows and the use of skylights to bring natural light into the space, along with what kind of closets, shelving and cabinets will best suit your needs. Don’t forget to take into account outside noise, which can be more of a factor on the first floor. Finally, will the addition be a “room with a view” overlooking gardens, a wooded area or the waterfront?
Clearly, the options are endless when deciding on a custom-built addition to your home. But whatever you choose, your dream of a bigger home can become a reality, and you’ll never have to think about renting a moving van.