If a basement renovation or addition isn’t practical for your location or budget, you may be able to create additional living space in an area you already have – outdoors. Even small patio spaces can become cozy gathering spots with the right furnishings and decor. For a larger yard, create destinations that make it comfy to congregate, such as a fire pit or grouping of chairs with overstuffed cushions.
This is another area where climate will play an important role in your plans; adding a well-constructed enclosure to a patio can make it usable during all but the coldest months, while a pergola or other shading can lend necessary relief to an area that bakes in the summer sun. Aside from the hardscaping, look at other ways to soften your outdoor space and enhance livability, such as functional shade trees and flowering vegetation that attract birds and butterflies.
Add curb appeal.
While you’re considering the upgrade options outdoors, don’t forget to think about your home’s overall exterior appearance. Not only is it the first impression guests have of your home, it’s your own view every time you pull into the drive and it’s one that should make you proud. Reworking the landscaping to highlight architectural features and freshening up the paint can make a big impact. Adding decorative elements like shutters or new lighting or doors can also update a tired exterior.
Choose the Right Skylight
Skylights can serve multiple functions, depending on your home and needs. Understanding the different types of skylights can help you choose the right fit.
Solar-powered fresh-air skylights rely on the sun’s energy to open and bring air and natural light into your home. Some models, such as those offered by Velux, feature a rain sensor that automatically closes the skylight at the first sign of precipitation.
An economical choice, these static skylights are intended to fill a room with natural light.
Adding a solar blind to a skylight can result in more savings via potential tax credits, as well as reduced energy usage. The blind blocks heat, but when open allows warm rays to supplement the home’s heating system.