Architectural Development, Inc., Newsletter 5, August 2012


Architectural design creates inherent value in a property both for resale investment and for personal use.

Here are four basic areas to consider:

  1. Find opportunities through design to expand the usable living square footage. “Hidden” space within an attic or basement can be developed much more cost effectively then through a major envelope expansion of a structure. Attic space can be developed by structurally upgrading the floor and through the use of dormers to add light and volume. Basements also can be made into legal and viable rooms through finishes, proper water proofing and if needed lowering the floors to create the needed heights. Although the legal height of a room is 7 ft.- 6 inches, it is best to go 8 ft. or higher if possible. For air and light, the general requirements are that there needs to be operable windows equal to 10 % of the square footage of the room. Thus a 100 sq. ft. room would require 10 sq, ft. of operable windows.
  2. Implement investment risk management through design. When renovating or building, it is important to review and implement all the basic needs that are warranted for future resale value. These include having proper layouts, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, timeless and consistent materials usage, etc.
  3. Value enhancement: Make something the best that it can be and not something that it is not. If it is a large property it is wise not to turn it into a two bedroom home as it will not meet the future needs for a family. Conversely, it is best not to take a smaller home and divide it into a series of cubical bedrooms. In San Francisco, we have a diverse community of owners whose needs run the spectrum from family homes to small “jewel box” residences. Additionally, with smaller households and an aging population not everyone is looking for large homes to maintain.
  4. Create personal use value: Each client has particular requirements that need to be addressed, whether it be for grand entertaining, family gatherings, hobbies or to simply be able to stay in a home through older age. This may not always create monetary value but personal value. For example, recently there have been more requests to develop elevators in homes. This need has arisen due to the fact that it is often cheaper to stay in an existing house then to have to move later in life due to mobility issues.

Our Firm’s goal is to develop architecture to its ultimate aesthetic, functional and investment value while reflecting each client’s unique needs and aspirations.

We enthusiastically look forward to being of service to you and as always, I extend a gracious thank you and appreciation to our referrals and clients.