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Take back “that” room.

Do you have a room in your house that serves the wrong purpose?  Maybe a formal dining room that just collects dust instead of family dinners, or a study that has more boxes than your local packing store.  As the economy (slowly) recovers, more and more people are continuing to recapture space in their homes instead of moving.  The Remodeling Futures Program at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies reports that the four-quarter spending for all four quarters of 2010 should total $117.6 billion, or 5% better than in 2009.  It should be noted the homeowner improvements that LIRA measures generally are big-ticket items, such as kitchen and bath remodels and additions to existing homes. The dollar totals exclude general maintenance and repair as well as all spending on rental properties.

Not only can investing in a remodel make your home more comfortable and useful, reclaiming space generally returns the most value to your home.

Take a look at these numbers, specific to the West South Central Region*;
Project Type “A”
$41,389.00 (AVG. JOB COST)
$40,448.00 (AVG. RESALE VALUE)
97.7% (AVG. COST RECOUPED)

Project Type “B”
$52,931.00 (AVG. JOB COST)
$49,010.00 (AVG. RESALE VALUE)
92.6% (AVG. COST RECOUPED)

Adding a 2nd floor within a room is
great way to reclaim space.


Project A is what you can expect when you convert attic space to livable space, and Project B is what you can expect when you convert a basement to livable space.  Now, I know what you are saying.  Attics in Texas must be a nightmare to keep cool, and when was the last time I saw a basement in Central Texas?  HELLO, limestone.  I understand that, but that is not the purpose this exercise.  I want to show you that adding and re-capturing livable space within your existing footprint is the best way to add value to your home.   Here are three remodeling projects in the Austin Texas area we have completed in the last year.

Project 1. Georgetown Texas Remodel.  Converting a game room to a study.  As your children get older, a game room serves less purpose.  Remodeling this room to a space the family could use to study, house the computer, and have additional storage was the purpose here.  We added a 2nd floor over half the room that features  custom bookshelves.  The downstairs has a computer station, room for a table, and plenty of custom cabinets and storage.

The second project completed involved remodeling wasted space in a garage.  The owners came to us with a vision of adding a guest suite to the end of the house.  They had a 3 car garage, but also had a raised slab that was doing nothing but collecting boxes and storage “crap.”  

There were numerous feasibility “hurdles” to get through before the project even started.  How to heat and cool the space, where to tie into the plumbing for the new bathroom, matching discontinued windows, properly insulating, and most importantly, making the room tie seamlessly to the rest of the house.  The project turned out wonderful.  

The last example of taking back “that” room involved a hybrid project.  Half room addition, half conversion.  I call it a hybrid project because we didn’t have to pour a slab, but we did change the exterior walls of the house.  The project took back an unused screen porch an added additional space to the children’s game room and the kitchen.  

I know that sounds like a strange combination, but giving back the family that space has made all of the difference.  This project was not without difficulties.  The wall between the gameroom and the porch was a load bearing wall, which required a load transfer into the attic.

So what is the return on investment on projects such as these?  We can start with the added quality of life value.  It is near impossible to quantify what this is worth, because it means different things to different homes.   I would expect all of these projects to return around the 90% mark.  They were all completed in good taste and added additional living space within the foot print.

Do you have a remodeling project in Austin Texas or the surrounding areas?

Call us 512.930.5188

Twitter @RemodelAustin

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Email me at ryan@tatoddconstruction.com

*These numbers are based on the 2009-2010 Remodeling Cost vs. Value report issued by HanleyWood.  This is the 23rd year this report has been generated.  If you are interest in Austin specific numbers, please visit their website at www.costvsvalue.com where you can download the Austin pdf.

4 Comments
  1. I’m really impressed with your remodeling and construction work. Everything in the photos look fabulous. Great work! My apartment is in desperate need of remodeling work, so maybe I’ll have to get a hold of someone asap.

  2. All very nice projects, porch conversation looks like a good idea. Love the staircase and woodwork, fine job

  3. I love that woodwork outside, and the bedroom decor. It just looks classy and high end. I think we all have rooms like this in our homes, and its a great post idea to get people that can do remodeling in those rooms, to actually do it.

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