Who You Callin’ Short? – Seattle Homes Reach New Heights

If only I could get one of those new suburban homes and put it in a city neighborhood“. Most Seattle real-estate agents hear this wish from their clients at least once a week. People want to live in the city, they even love the look of the old homes, but when it comes to space and amenities, they often pine for the master suites, walk-in closets, and multiple bathrooms found more readily in the suburbs. So what is a space-envious city-dweller to do? Remodel, of course!

lifting classic Seattle craftsman home to add basement For many turn-of-the-century homes, though, a simple remodel will never create the spacious home its owners are looking for. The adventurous home owner then turns to more extreme options. Just like the big project developers, Seattle's home owners often look up and Seattle's Downtown is not the only neighborhood raising its height cap. Height maximums are increasing in a number of city neighborhoods to allow for taller townhome, condo and apartment buildings and even single family homes. Taller, larger homes have been sprouting up in droves, built by owners (and investors) in search of new views and more space.

Of course, the traditional way to “go up” is to add another story to the top of your home. You can see examples of this all over the city. However, in true Seattle style, another “less traditional” option is becoming popular: jack up your entire house, put it on stilts, and build a new floor underneath. Sounds crazy, looks crazier, but it can be done!

This home in north Fremont is getting much more than a face lift – they are lifting the whole dang thing. After this adventure, they also plan to add another story to the top to bring their home to the max height allowance for this neighborhood.

Jack up the house

If you would like to take on a project like this yourself, check out the following links for more information on the dos and don'ts of adding from the bottom:

HGTV – Remodel Ideas

Renovations – Return on Investment