Thursday, May 21, 2015

Can I add livable space to my home without adding an addition?


Can I add livable space to my home without adding an addition?


Yes there is. If you have already taken advantage of the basement of your home for livable square footage then you should think about building a secondary building on the property. Secondary buildings cannot be a second home on the property; most municipalities have rules against multiple residents in an area zoned for single residential areas.

There are ways to work around that, most places will allow you to build a detached garage. You can put livable space above the garage as a loft that is if your local municipality will allow you to build a secondary building that high. A lot of municipalities have height restrictions when it comes to secondary buildings, one of the reasons they do is to stop people from putting livable space above their garage.

There is another way to get livable space, you can put it below the garage, and you build the garage with a walkout basement. It might sound crazy but we have built a garage with a walkout basement.

This is a garage with a walkout basement that we built in the trees; across the driveway is the main house. The homeowners didn’t want to add an addition to the house as it had historical value but they needed more space and they also needed a garage.

The garage was built with ICF (insulated Concrete Forms), this allows the basement to stay warm and dry in the winter and cool and dry in the summer. The cars that park above it park on top of core slap that is placed on the ICF walls. There is a stairwell that leads down to the living space below that is completely separate from the garage area insuring that no sounds or smells drift downstairs.

The livable space is complete with a living/bedroom, an office and a fully appointed bathroom. The basement has two sets of double doors that look out onto a pristine maple forest and allow a lot of natural light into the space.

The upstairs garage has a cathedral ceiling with Fir exposed beams and ceilings.

The exterior of the home is also finished in Fir, the Fir is stained a dark greyish green to help it blend with its surroundings.

Remember that the only limitation is your imagination when you want something like more livable space.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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