Adding Usable Square Feet


When we bought our Florida home it was a 4 bedroom with a vaulted living room that was open to the 2nd floor.  I often looked up in that room thinking it was wasted space plus it was difficult to heat/cool.  We only expected to live there for 3 years but as life we have it we were there for 10.  As the kids got older we really needed a 5th bedroom to give the each of our 4 kids their own space.  At the 7 year mark we added the 5th bedroom and never regretted it.


There was potential for a huge bedroom just above the living room.


Here’s another angle.  We decided to dig in and figure out how to make it happen as the project seemed fairly simple.  This wouldn’t be a DIY in any way and it was a hire-a-team-of-professionals and file for a permit sort of thing.

I heard that a neighbor with our floor plan had added a 5th bedroom so I knocked on his door one day.  He was very gracious and took us on a tour.  He described the process and it was indeed pretty much as we expected!

We hired The Handyman Company to complete our new room.  They had certified electricians, builders, HVAC etc and were able to work together to get it all done.  If you are in the Tampa area I would recommend them.

My terms for the project are not very specific but you will get the idea.  In the living room they built what looked like a box around the room where the new floor would sit.  They ran beams in 2 directions to run the AC ducts for the new living room ceiling.


The transformation downstairs wasn’t hugely dramatic.  We gained a ceiling and a chandelier otherwise the room remained the same.


They did have to add some duct work and returns but it was relatively simple they said.


After the ceiling was in the dry wall went up and life went back to normal quickly in the living area.


Amazing how easy it was to get used to the ceiling and it felt totally normal after 7 years of lofted space!


From the hall upstairs we were able to peer out and watch the transformation on the 2nd floor.  The structural beams went in as you saw from below and then they covered it with plywood sheets.  You can see a sliver of AC duct in the foreground between the floors.


Once the wood floor was in it was safe to walk out there and we couldn’t believe how big the room was.   We needed that usable square feet so much more than we needed a vaulted living room.  Lots of dusting, sweeping and vacuuming went on that night and for many nights.


A closet was added and we also had a window seat built so the closet didn’t seem oddly bumped out from the wall.


Here you can see the mirror closet doors were hung and the window seat as in place.  We had an outlet added by the window seat so one could perch and charge up.


The door was framed out and feeling official!

IMG_7591 Door is hung and walls are painted.  Electrical almost done and carpeting soon to rolled out.


Existing windows and original walls made up 3 of the 4 bedroom walls.


Added white curtain panels around the room from Ikea and big galvanized tubs from Tractor Supply for storage under the window seat.


Adding a room was the best investment in our own home.  We needed the peace and harmony of each child having their own space especially as they got older.



Any time you can add USABLE square feet within your home it adds not only increases the value of the home but also the functionality.   We added the room because we *needed* it but banked on the fact that buyers would want that bonus bedroom, playroom or office more than a vaulted living room.

We didn’t know if or when we would sell the house but we did in fact sell it and the room was a draw for potential buyers.

A little food for thought if you have vaulted spaces 😉

About Laurel Dane Designs, LLC

Making our final house into a home one room at a time. This is our 11th and final home so it is unique. Every detail in this home is aimed at creating our FOREVER home. I've worked on many of my homes and clients homes so theres plenty of inspirational for all home styles here!

4 Responses

  1. Desperate Craft Wife

    Gave us the space we desperately needed and helped sell the house. So glad we put the room in😊

  2. Desperate Craft Wife

    I’d plan for $20k for all- construction to carpet to curtains. Of course, builder amounts vary and town to town prices may vary.

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