Parking spaces

The most popular home upgrades this year have all been about making the space you already have larger

“It’s a lifesaver for us,” they said. The most popular home upgrades this year have all been about making the space you already have larger.

Homeowners are coming up with innovative new ways to use their rooms, avoiding significant renovations and the rigors of a competitive real estate market.

According to a recent Zillow survey, adding extra usable space to a home is one of the top objectives for homeowners in the year 2022. The most popular project, according to 31% of respondents, was adding more office space or upgrading current office space. Another common option (23 percent) was to create more living space by renovating an attic or basement and converting it into a living area (21 percent ).

“Homeowners want to make the most of their space and create productive square feet more than ever before,” says David Steckel, a housing expert on Thumbtack.

These upgrades may not only provide a property extra living space, but they may also bring in more money. Finished basements and auxiliary dwelling units (ADUs) with their own entrances can be rented out for a long or short period of time on services such as Airbnb to make the owners additional money. Get up to $5000 with Oak Park Financial today!

People who own their own homes make the most of their available space.

Jeff Neal was irritated because his three children were playing in practically every room of the house while the family was under quarantine due to a pandemic. “It was driving me mad,” he says.

He hired a contractor to renovate his unfinished basement, adding more storage and rubber gym mats to keep the floor safe for the kids, who now had a place to play inside. He came up with the notion of converting the basement into a usable space.

Neal and many other homeowners have quite different wants for their living space as a result of the epidemic. For some, this means purchasing and relocating into a larger home, or constructing an expensive addition to their current residence. Others will make smaller alterations, such as renovating unfinished areas of their home or constructing an auxiliary dwelling unit (ADU) or a storage shed in the backyard to increase living space.

“Instead of competing in all of these hot real estate markets,” Jeremy Nova, co-founder and creative director of Studio Shed, a firm that manufactures prefabricated backyard buildings, says, “people are coming up with inventive ways to use their properties more completely.”

Instead of buying a new house, you might save money by upgrading an existing room in your home. According to Steckel, finishing touches for a basement that needed cosmetic work might be added for as little as $35 per square foot. A simple renovation could cost between $80 and $100 per square foot. A thorough renovation, including structural improvements, might cost more than $150 per square foot.

However, if insulation, flooring, or drywall have already been built, the cost of converting an attic into a living space may be higher. Steckel estimates that installing a bathroom to an attic will cost around $300 per square foot on average.

Brooke Grassley opted to finish her basement because the housing market in Joliet, Illinois, is so competitive. She and her husband understood after looking at the homes in the region that not only would they have to spend more money to buy a larger home, but they would also have to spend money to make it match their needs. When they learned this, they needed to consider where they could live. They could have made adjustments to the basement instead of seeking for alternative methods to gain additional space for their money.

New venues are designed with adaptability in mind from the start.

Homeowners desire to create rooms that can be utilized for a variety of purposes and discover new applications for unused portions of their homes.

When the outbreak began in 2020, Bill and Jessica Capece were already looking for a larger location to reside. One of their needs was that the room could be utilized for more than one purpose, such as a hangout, a place for the in-laws to live, or a rental area for Jessica, a brand expert on QVC.

They couldn’t find the ideal house for them, so they opted to fix up their basement instead in the summer of 2020. Capece, who lives near Philadelphia, adds, “We now have all of these possibilities in a region that has always appreciated in value, even throughout the most recent crisis.”

Because more and more people prefer multi-purpose homes, more and more homeowners are going to their backyards to expand their living area without having to change the way their homes are designed.

ADUs can be basic one-room studios or functioning flats with a bathroom and a kitchenette. ADUs are growing more popular since they can be used for a variety of purposes. You can use them as a separate home office, a school learning pod, an art studio, a guest house, or (if the rules in your area allow it) as an income-generating rental unit.

“I think it’s one of the wonderful aspects and things that make it attractive,” Nova says, and she agrees. “It’s a practical addition that may be made to a house.”

David Angotti, the CEO of, built an auxiliary dwelling unit (ADU) in his backyard two years ago to maximize storage space. Due to the disease and the fact that his entire family had to begin working from home, Angotti immediately converted a storage room in the back of the house into an office because the main house had gotten too congested. “It’s been a lifesaver for both our sanity and productivity,” Angotti says.

The cost of an auxiliary dwelling unit (ADU) varies greatly based on its size, the features and level of completeness desired by the homeowner, and the amount of labor required. A one-room studio apartment may cost as little as $30,000, while an entire house may cost as much as $250,000. Nova believes that costs between $300 and $400 per square foot would be reasonable in most large cities.

Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about expanding your home.

Assume you want to finish your basement, attic, or add an auxiliary dwelling unit (ADU), or all three. In this instance, the first thing you should do is contact the local building permits department to find out what types of improvements are legal and what permits you will need. A single phone call could prevent many problems from occurring in the future.

The next stage is to assess your current space and determine how much more space you will require to suit your needs. You shouldn’t feel awful if you don’t have much working space. Bigger isn’t always better. “It’s remarkable how meaningful a small space can be,” Nova adds.

Look for the proper designers and builders to assist you make your plans come true once you’ve determined how you want to make the most of your space, whether you want to add on to it or change it. The sound staff can assist you in obtaining licenses, purchasing materials, and ensuring that the job is completed correctly. Find the proper designers and builders to assist you make the most of your space once you’ve decided how to maximize it.

“Accept that you may not know everything about something,” says Steckel. Find an experienced specialist who wants to help you finish your project and can offer you guidance and support as you work toward your goals.

Deena S. Hawkins

The author Deena S. Hawkins