5 Things to Consider When You Need to Renovate for More Space

renovate for more space

Thinking of how to renovate for more space in your home?

Maybe you have a growing family, or maybe you just need some breathing space.

You need additional bedrooms, or you want to create that luxury ‘great room’ and you just don’t have the space.


Maybe you do!

Call in your professional design + build team and they will walk you through the 5 things to consider when you need more space. For the items listed here, City regulations and by-laws will need to be reviewed, please talk to your design + build partner.

house lift for more space

1. Basement Renovation

  • Reclaim your basement! It’s most likely the same square footage of your main floor foot-print and therefore has a lot to offer
  • Create additional bedrooms for a growing family, or for added privacy that a teenager wants; or for guests. Remember that you will need to include a window which acts as a means of egress
  • Do you have a sloping property? You may be able to create a basement walk-out to your backyard. Perhaps a newly renovated rec-room including a kitchenette and direct access to outside for easy spring and summer entertaining
  • Consider lifting your house and therefore, creating higher ceiling heights. See our previous blog on ‘A house lift

2. Build OUT

Do you have a teeny tiny kitchen? Every time you have guests over, everyone crowds into the already too small and inefficient kitchen. Even your day to day routine is difficult to perform in your inadequate kitchen. Consider creating an addition off your kitchen.

There are opportunities to create a ‘great room’ with an addition, and interior renovations that enlarge the space and create true indoor – outdoor living and entertaining.

If you live in a ranch style home, building an addition off the end could allow for more bedrooms.

Consider adding a powder room for guests at this point, if you do not already have one. This makes your home more usable now and saleable in the future.

*Analyze the real estate market, as discussed below under item 4.

3. Build UP to Renovate For More Space

If you have a carport or garage, consider extending your 2nd storey over these areas to capture this unused space for bedrooms.

Typically older homes weren’t built to maximize the allowable square footages of their property to that will make it much easier to renovate for more space. There may be opportunity to add bedrooms on the 2nd floor, or to create a 2nd floor where it doesn’t currently exist.

*Analyze the real estate market, as discussed below under item 4.

4. Build New? Analyze the Real Estate Market

custom home

  • Call an estimator or your real estate agent and they will estimate the value that your house has in its current size and state – in comparison to the marketplace at present.
  • Research your ‘dream home’, the one you hope to achieve by doing the potential renovations on your current space.
  • Now compare. If you do renovate for more space in your current home, what will be the cost? Compare this to the cost of the ‘dream home’.
  • Take into account – your location. Does your current home sit on a beautiful property, or is it an unattractive and small, non-private lot? If you have the worst house on the most desirable street, then staying will make sense.
  • Consider timelines. Is your dream home available for purchase and within budget?
  • Keep in mind that to renovate for more space in your current home could take months; so you should consider the convenience and the cost of living outside of your home during that renovation.

5. Move

You have gone through all the above evaluations and have decided that moving is the best. When you are looking for a new home, bring along your design + build team and they can help evaluate the space with you, give design possibilities and budgets.

I believe that most houses we are living in hold the potential to be our dream homes through a renovation. It’s about thinking through the options clearly, weighing the pros and cons and ensuring you evaluate all angles. Your designer and building partner will walk you through the process and enable you to make the right decision for your unique situation.


Nisha MacNeil is the lead custom home designer at Kerr Construction, award winning renovation company and custom home builder in Vancouver.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Kerr Construction.


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