Beyond Finished Square Feet

In a tight economy, builders and homeowners alike must figure out how to make their houses live and feel bigger without increasing their finished square feet (and therefore cost).

How do you do that?

Increase the volume.


Whereas square footage is two-dimensional, volume is three dimensional.

Consider two identical homes, except one has 10′ ceilings throughout, the other 8′ ceilings: the former literally has 25% more volume!

Other techniques to make homes feel bigger without increasing their footprint include:

–Wider halls and staircases;

–More (and larger) windows;

–Turning unfinished dark, interior basement space –now an afterthought in many homes — into very finished, high tech space (typically, a media room with lots of wires and cables, recessed lighting, and even in-floor heat)

–A modified “Great Room” design (few interior walls) featuring a combined Kitchen/Family Room — typically with a fireplace and elaborate surround as the focal point of the latter.

Take all this extra volume; add formerly wasted but now “technologically re-purposed” space (like the media room); and suddenly an already big, 4,000 square foot can feel positively huge!

Or, a 2,500 square foot can easily suffice instead of a 3,500 square foot home.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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