Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 1/19/2020

When buying an older home, you might wonder how to get more livable space out of that low-ceiling basement. There are two ways to gain height: raise the foundation or lower the floor. Raising the foundation requires lifting the entire home off its current foundation, building a new foundation, and resettling the home. For most homeowners, the sheer number of things that can go wrong with a project of this magnitude makes it an unlikely option. An alternative is bench footing, a method of lowering the floor of the basement that results in a higher ceiling.

Bench footing is a straightforward technique regarded by contractors to be an optimal approach for supporting your building while providing room for more structural support and depth. With bench footing, professional contractors do not need to dig deep into the home’s foundation. Instead, they can lower the basement floor and add structural support from there.

How Is It Done?

The process is straightforward, but don’t try to do this one yourself: Hire a professional contractor. Bench Footing costs less than other methods because it doesn’t require you to dig underneath the existing footings. Instead, a new floor is dug through the existing basement floor. A new foundation is laid inside the existing one, creating your new basement floor and an additional wall inside your existing basement. It is important to consider that the width of your bench footing is determined by the depth you want to add to your basement.  For every foot in depth that you add, you will need about a foot of width for your bench footing.  The floor space of the basement will decrease in area by the thickness of the new wall. 

The result is a ledge or “bench” all the way around the outer wall of the basement. That’s why they call it Bench Footing. A savvy contractor can make use of the space above the bench by installing cabinets, reading nooks and other built-ins. Others simply inset the entire wall to the new location. 

Why Choose Bench Footing?

If you need to increase your usable space but you are unable to add another story or extend your home on any side, making better use of your basement is the most valid option. In addition to being less damaging to your existing home, bench footing is less costly to complete and doesn’t change the exterior aesthetic of your home. This is particularly important if your home is in a historic area or has a strict association.

To get the best results with your bench footing, hire a professional contractor with several years of experience and with many positive reviews. Consult with your real estate agent for recommendations for a local contractor who can help you with your project.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 8/11/2019

If you intend to list your residence in the near future, you may want to complete various property renovations. In fact, there are many reasons to perform home renovations before you add your house to the real estate market, and these reasons include:

1. You can revamp the look and feel of your home.

If your home has a drab interior or exterior, now may be the perfect time to update your residence. That way, you can reinvent your house and make it an attractive choice for homebuyers.

As you look for ways to renovate your house, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection too. A house inspection typically is requested by a homebuyer after a seller accepts an offer to purchase. However, performing an inspection before you list your residence may help you establish home renovation priorities.

During a home inspection, a property expert will assess a residence both inside and out. A homeowner then will receive an inspection report that provides insights into a house's strengths and weaknesses. And with this report in hand, a homeowner can allocate time and resources to prioritize home renovations and find ways to upgrade his or her residence before listing it.

2. You can increase the likelihood of a quick house sale.

A house that boasts outstanding curb appeal is likely to make a positive first impression on buyers. Thus, this home may be more likely than others to stir up lots of interest among buyers, which may lead to a quick house sale.

If you want to speed up the house selling process, you should perform home renovations. Because the sooner you update your residence, the sooner you may be able to accept a competitive offer to purchase your home.

3. You can boost your house's value.

Home renovations may help you bolster the value of your home. These renovations also can help you differentiate your residence from other available houses – something that is exceedingly important in a fierce real estate market.

When it comes to renovating your home, it may be helpful to work with a real estate agent. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you may be better equipped than ever before to plan ahead for home renovation projects.

A real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with the best home renovation experts in your city or town. For example, if you want to improve your home's interior, a real estate agent can offer interior decorator recommendations. Or, if you need to perform roof repairs, a real estate agent can help you find the top local roofing companies.

Before you list your home, complete home renovations – you'll be glad you did. If you perform myriad house renovations, you could help your residence stand out in a crowded real estate market. Best of all, home renovations could make it easy for you to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience.