Some people purchase a home realizing they will one day sell it and move on. Others, purchase a property and hope to stay in it for the rest of their lives. Your home is where the most time is spent, where memories are created, and where your family feels safest. For us, the latter is true. We spent years saving and searching for our dream home and planned on allowing our kids to grow up there. The only problem is, our family grew bigger than we had imagined, and well, our house no longer feels like home.
We found one of those beautiful Santa Monica houses for sale some time ago, and as much as we love the place, it just no longer accommodated our family. I looked into other properties in the area, but none could compare. Either they didn’t have the character I was looking for or they were too expensive.
Collectively, my husband and I decided it may be a better option to take out a loan and have some renovations done on the house. With a few tweaks, we were not only able to upgrade our house to suit our needs, we were able to save a lot of money (which is a plus with a growing family).
Here is a look at some renovation ideas you might consider if you too have a growing family, but don't want to or can’t afford to move.
Energy-Efficient Upgrades - Making your home more eco-friendly won’t necessarily increase the size or improve convenience, but it saves you a lot of money. When you have a growing family and a shrinking budget, you want to find savings anywhere you can. We opted for sunpower solar panels, a tankless water heater, and updated windows and doors.
A Teen Bedroom - Our property has a nice basement area, but as you can imagine, it’s appearance was creepy. Since our kids are too big to stay in the same room anymore, we turned the basement into a room. Installing wood floors and sheetrock was the first step. Then we had a blank canvas to create a space our teenager loves. There was even enough space in the basement to add a desk and chair for studying and a little futon to host their friends when they come over.
A Man Cave - If you need an additional bedroom, office space, playroom, or more storage the attic is a great place to renovate. We turned our attic into a “man cave” for my husband. As you can imagine, having energetic toddlers and emotional teenagers running around, having a place to retreat for a break was a must for him. Repurposed wood for the walls, a nice area rug for the floor, a flat screen, recliner, desk, mini fridge, and a few chairs and he was as happy as a kid in a candy store.
Additional Bathrooms - Having one bathroom in a large family household never works out well. Thankfully, we figured out how to fix that problem. We had part of the basement segmented off as another bathroom. It was small but easily fit a sink, toilet, and stand-up shower. This was perfect for our growing teens to share. Then, we decided to sacrifice some closet space in the master bedroom to have a master bathroom installed. Now we have our own restroom, the toddlers have a tub to splash around in in the main bathroom, and the teens had a place to shower without all the arguing.
We love our growing family, but we also love our home. When we thought we’d have no choice but to move, the thought was devastating. However, with some careful research and budgeting, we were able to make our current home fit our needs. Although dealing with the stress of renovations for several months was a lot, in the end, it was all worth it. Everyone has their own space, we can stay in our family home, and we saved a lot of money in the process.