Tag Archives: custom home building

Right-Sizing Your Home Addition

As premier custom builders on the Cape, the experts at C. J. Riley handle many Cape Cod home addition projects. Building an addition on your home is a popular, cost-effective alternative to a whole-house remodel or relocating to a new home altogether, and an addition that is customized to meet your family’s specific needs can truly transform your space. Planning an addition can be challenging, but the team at C. J. Riley Builder has decades of experience navigating the process, and we know how important it is to right-size your addition so it works seamlessly with your existing home.

Of key importance is figuring out the must-have elements of your addition — the updates or embellishments you absolutely need from the process. This list could include a luxurious new living space, a spa-like guest bath, a playroom where the kids can roam free, or anything in between. Determine what you can’t live without, and the planning phase will move more efficiently.

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Also crucial is knowing how much space you want to (and are allowed to) create with your addition. Depending on the zoning regulations in your town, you may be able to build an addition that doubles the size of your home. Otherwise, the allowable addition is typically calculated by cost, usually maxing out at 50% of your home’s assessed value. “Setbacks” — the minimum amount of space between a dwelling and your property line, or adjacent environmentally sensitive areas — must also be considered. Our team is intimately familiar with zoning regulations across the Cape, and we can create a gorgeous addition to your home within any given parameters.

If your family has outgrown your home, but you are attached to it and your neighborhood, or you have a sentimental attachment to it because it’s been in your family for generations, consider building an addition that “maxes out” zoning regulations. With a two-story home addition, you can both increase the number of bedrooms and add common living space such as a family room or larger kitchen. Should you own a one-story home, adding an entire second story can address zoning regulations that prohibit increasing its overall footprint.

With a mid-sized addition, you can create a first-floor master suite, a move that’s incredibly important if you plan to spend your retirement years in your Cape Cod home. Even if you may be spending your golden years elsewhere, a first-floor master will do wonders for your home’s resale value. A mid-sized addition can also allow the creation of an open floor plan. Many homes on Cape Cod were constructed before this concept became so prevalent — in some cases centuries prior — and, because an open-floor-plan main living area that includes the kitchen is perfect for spending time together as a family and for entertaining, this is one of the top requests from clients who are considering building an addition.

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If, on the other hand, your home is nearly perfect as it is, yet it’s missing an essential element or two, a smaller addition may be all that is needed to transform and upgrade your space. A small “bump-out addition” can add a key room to an existing area of your home, such as giving a first-floor bedroom an en-suite bathroom, installing a luxurious walk-in closet, or carving out an intimate dining area to create an eat-in kitchen, perhaps with custom-built banquette seating.

Whether you’re looking to vastly increase the size of your home, or simply want to make some thoughtful upgrades using limited space, the team at C. J. Riley Builder can bring your Cape Cod home update to life.

Ready to expand your Cape Cod home? We’re ready to make it happen. Contact us today for a consultation.

On the Cape, a Guesthouse Can Transform Your Home

Considering adding a guesthouse to your Cape Cod home? We have good news for you. The Town of Barnstable recently eased regulations regarding ancillary dwellings, joining several towns on the Cape that have loosened restrictions or are considering doing so. Specifically, Barnstable has removed its year-round residency requirement for family accessory apartments, along with increasing the apartment size before a special zoning board permit is required.

With this increasing flexibility across the Cape, more homeowners are looking to build guesthouses. If you could use some extra space or income, consider how these additional dwellings can benefit your household.

First and foremost, a guesthouse provides much-needed elbow room and privacy for the summer guests that flock to your home each year. While we all love summer visitors, there is something to be said for enjoying a solo cup of coffee before an exciting day begins.

Guesthouses can also act as a space for your family should the need arise. Whether you have aging parents, students home from college, or older children in housing limbo, a guesthouse can provide peace of mind. If older parents may potentially move in, we can incorporate aging-in-place solutions, like a single-floor dwelling with a zero-threshold walk-in shower, to ease the transition. And if you expect children home from school to use the space, we may suggest building it farther from the main house for added privacy.

And let’s not forget the opportunity to generate income. Many Cape Cod homeowners use guesthouses as long-term rentals, or, more temporarily, as Airbnb listings during the tourist season.

If you’re trying to avoid paperwork headaches, note that regulatory issues tend to pop up when a guest dwelling includes a full kitchen, specifically defined as having a stove. Designing a kitchenette, with a fridge, sink, microwave, and cabinet space, is often the perfect workaround.

The team at C.J. Riley Builder, Inc. has designed several custom freestanding guesthouses, as well as creating guest suites in garages and carriage houses.

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This suite above the garage provides ample privacy for guests without sacrificing yard space. A deck for sunbathing or evening cocktails makes for very happy visitors.

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This home’s carriage house offered the perfect opportunity for a roomy guest space, ideal for an in-law apartment or a place for boomerang children to crash.

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These homeowners opted for a spacious, freestanding guesthouse on their property. This two-floor dwelling with complete kitchen can easily accommodate even the most hectic of summer calendars.

With more than 20 years of experience, our expert team will carefully design the extra space you need to bring your Cape Cod home to the next level. We’re ready when you are.