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Updating the Home as Your Family Changes

Blog entry by ReubenD posted 09-23-2014 01:53 PM 8851 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While the years of four kids and the wife and I trying to all fit through the one bathroom and still make it to school and work on time in our first 3 bedroom 1200 square foot starter house are many years gone, it seems the problems with space and efficient use of space never goes away. Now, it is the opposite situation as the oldest daughters have gone on to their own homes and our house is suddenly much larger than what we needed. While having too much room really does not seem a problem , when heating that much home and planning the upkeep is an issue.

While I suppose it is the natural progression of things as children move, we looked at many options on how to make our home that had been carefully selected and expanded to fit 6 plus guests comfortably into something more practical for my wife and I and our youngest that still has a few more years of high school. The obvious answer of selling this house and moving to a smaller home does not appeal for many reasons, but we did decide to change around the layout to make it into something that actually fits.

What we ended up with looks very different but it fits our lifestyle now and hopefully was done in a way that decreases neither overall value nor ability to sell for when the year comes that the wife can fully retire and we can move to warmer and gentler climates.

The “spare” guest room was next to the master bedroom with its half bath. That has been combined with our bedroom and converted to a master bedroom suite with dressing area, walk-in closet, and full bath and sliding glass doors to a small sitting area outside. Basically we took the design inspiration from a comfortable hotel bedroom suite. Since 5 bedrooms is really over-sized in today’s day and age for the typical family , aside from being more comfortable for us, it will hopefully be an attractive feature to future potential buyers (plus it is a really nice luxury after the years of sharing a single bathroom with the whole family).

The basement bar and recreation room is still there in spirit for use, but we added a full bathroom down stairs, and kitchenette behind the bar. The addition of a wall between that and the laundry room upstairs (the basement has an exterior door to the driveway already) and we actually have a reasonable efficiency apartment with private entrance. This will be offered up on either short visits or extended stays to the kids that have outgrown a “bedroom” and hopefully will give them the privacy they want as young adults while still allowing them to save up towards their own house at some point. Yes, admittedly, it is bait to keep the youngest daughter closer to home in some way as well as she heads off to college.

In the bigger scheme however a mother-in-law apartment may be a little more unique and draw better price and interest at a future date than simply another finished basement. The furnishing of this was kept very reasonable by looking at furniture packages designed for rentals and student housing as opposed to trying to select individual pieces.

The remaining 3 bedrooms are our son’s bedroom, a home office, and the still convenient spare bedroom for when all manage to make it home at the holidays. After the renovations though we can shut off the entire basement for as long as we wish with minimal utility cost, and the upstairs can be used as a more typical 3 bedroom house layout with ample room but space allocated toward our current lifestyle. When deciding how to utilize space as the nest empties, some time spent looking at what things add value in the future when the time finally comes to sell your home will make the changes far more cost effective and worthwhile.



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ReubenD

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4 comments so far

View MarcioWilges's profile

MarcioWilges

28 posts in 1479 days

posted 12-15-2014 09:38 AM

I can totally relate making so many changes because moving out requires a lot of variations every now and then. However, sometimes change is really essential to accommodate to everyone’s needs. Hence, it is highly necessary for families with children who are constantly growing. As parents, we need to always provide them with the best we possibly can and going through changes and adapting and adopting are just some of the things we can do for them.

-- Marcio Wilges @ http://www.platinumremovals.com.au/

View AmandaCarr's profile

AmandaCarr

1 post in 1267 days

posted 05-27-2015 01:38 PM

I would not suggest to move out of the house, simply because it’s stupid (no offense). All of the memories and time spent to make it look like this so.. do not do it! Yes, it could be challenging to prioritize the current structure of the house, but it is a way more practical if you ask me. A separate heating system could come in handy, simply for the most used rooms.

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Jockey

6 posts in 897 days

posted 06-02-2016 06:16 AM

I want to update my home so that’s why I am searching on the internet about it. This post is very helpful for me which is about Updating the Home as Your Family Changes. I think you have a great experience in this field which you shared here with us.
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EmilySalisbury

1 post in 111 days

posted 07-26-2018 11:07 AM

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