The benefits of a house elevation project are well known and should be obvious to most homeowners along the coast – lower flood insurance premiums, better protection against floods, and better views – but one benefit people don’t often consider is the fact that in many cases, a lifting project is going to give you more usable space.
Think about it: if you lift your home eight feet higher, which is the height of a fairly typical lift project, you now have an eight-foot tall area (plus the height of whatever your crawl space used to be) beneath your living space.
In some cases, this effectively creates an entirely new first floor! Visit Structural Solutions of NJ for more information about NJ House Raising.
While most people won’t be lucky enough to be able to transform that area into genuine living space – that would be a bad idea, since it will be below flood levels – you CAN make good use of it after your NJ house raising project. Here are some ideas:
Create A Car Port – On some coastal properties, a raised home often sits above a car port, a kind of open garage that frees up driveway space, offers a little protection from the elements, and frankly, looks pretty cool. Some people enclose them with latticework, others leave them completely open, parking the car in a space between pilings.
Use All That Extensive Store Space – We all struggle with finding room to store all that stuff we accumulate over the years. Attics, sheds, closets – they fill up fast. Filling up something with the same footprint as your entire house, however, is something else altogether. If you have a concrete foundation, this can be as simple or complex as you like. A hanging light or two and you can store kayaks, canoes, summer furniture, bikes and more down there. If you want to go all out, install more lighting, get some shelving and such down there, and turn it into a “basement” of sorts.
Turn It Into A Workshop – Even better than using a garage (which many shore homes don’t have), after your New Jersey house lifting project, think about turning that space into a workshop. It doesn’t need to be fancy. As long as you have some outlets you can have a work bench down there, some tools, storage space, and plenty of room to tinker ‘till your heart’s content.
Create A Recreation Area – This is a great way to take advantage of your house raising in NJ project. If the space is tall enough after your lift, pick up a ping pong table at a yard sale, maybe some air hockey, and create a little rec area. Again, it doesn’t need to be fancy. A little outdoor carpeting, a college fridge for drinks, and you’ll have a for the kids to romp with their friends without worries about them ruining the house.
More Room For Rover – If you have a pet, they’ll appreciate having a cool place to retreat from the sun during those hot Jersey Shore summers. If you’re on pilings rather than a concrete pad, you can even train them to do their business down there, out of the way so you won’t step in it (or smell it). Just be sure there is proper ventilation! This idea is best suited for homes on pilings, with the new space enclosed with latticework.
And these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Put some thought into it and you’ll come up with something creative that will suit your lifestyle!