April 19, 2024
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April 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Improve, Don’t Move—Add or Upgrade for Better Living Space

During COVID people spent time and money improving their homes and quality of life. We were all stuck at home and needed to create more spaces in our homes. Many of the construction jobs I completed at that time were decks and pergolas. Because we could not go out of our homes, clients were looking for more ways to enjoy the property they owned. There is no better way than extending your home to the outdoors. Another favorite during that time period were gas hookups for their barbecues. It provided an alternative to the kitchen.

I have completed many projects in Teaneck in all shapes and sizes. But what I am noticing now is that with rising interest rates, a crazy real estate market and a tough economy, families are opting to stay in their homes longer, and make them better, rather than moving to a bigger, more expensive home.

Picture the young couple who started in an apartment rental and purchased a home. As their family expands so do their needs for space. A growing family has two options. They can sell their home and look for something bigger or stay in their current home and expand to meet the new demands for space.

The first option seems to be the natural course of action, but with today’s high interest rates, lack of inventory and inflation, purchasing a larger home is more expensive than in the past. The second option of increasing the footprint of the home, or being creative with spaces inside the home, is definitely more economical. For a young family, bumping up or out to add a bedroom and bathroom buys more time in a starter home. For an older family with teens, college students and even young marrieds, the demands for space become even greater. Parents with grown children and grandchildren are looking for ways to make them comfortable when they come for overnight visits.

I got a call last month from a family with a request to add an egress window or door in their basement. This will allow for legal bedrooms and bathrooms in the basement.

An egress window also solves a safety concern, as it did for the Stein family (name changed to protect privacy). Their oldest son spends a lot of time in the basement playing and creating these amazing Lego sets. At times he actually falls asleep in the basement while working on his intricate projects. His parents wanted to make sure it was safe for him to spend so much time in the basement and wanted to install an egress window ASAP. We completed the job quickly and got all the necessary permits and approvals. At the end of the job, the owner told me they had been looking for a long time to buy a bigger house, but they really loved their current home. They just needed more space and wanted to feel at ease with their children and their friends spending so much time playing in the basement.

Another trend I have been noticing is the repeated request for finishing one’s attic. My clients are looking to add bedrooms and bathrooms as well as playrooms, offices and even man caves. The process for creating extra usable space in the attic is different for each house. I work very closely with the client’s architect to execute the plans and get approvals from the town.

These enlargements enhance quality of life and allow you to stay in your current home. Most of all when I do work in any home, I always consider how the construction will increase value in your home. Doing any work on your home is an investment in the resale price when you are ready to sell.

Please get in touch with me to discuss how I can improve your home, either through adding space or upgrading what you have. I will be happy to come see your home and give you my opinion and your options. Since most of the work is done inside, this is the perfect time to start this project. You will have the added space and comfort ready for the upcoming holidays and family gatherings.


Contact Raphael Inzlicht, IR Construct, at [email protected] or call 917/957-1618.

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