Chicago’s Great Open-Plan Homes

From Margaret Everton on March 3, 2011 in Chicago

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While the concept of ridiculously oversized mansions may be passé, the desire for open space is not. So many homeowners have looked to opening up the floor plan of their existing homes. In this economy, and with a greater restraint on unnecessary consumerism, homeowners aren’t building oversized homes any more—“and no one can afford to move up to larger houses, but people still want to have that spacious feeling,” says Mike Dew, owner of Oak Tree Construction in Schaumburg.

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In fact, most of today’s great renovations are not only increasing the value of the home, but allowing for greater livability overall. “People who are doing this are planning on staying in their homes for an extended period of time,” says Randy Franz, owner of the R&W Construction Co. in Cary.

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Rather than sweeping renovations overall, homeowners have been wise to focus their projects on pinpointed needs. And space is definitely one of them. Most owners who are looking to knock down walls and barriers are working with homes at least 20 years old—from an era where interior space wasn’t always used efficiently.

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While most homes are suited to these open plan renovations, many details have to be taken into consideration, such as what lies behind the walls and what role they’ve played in the security of the overall sturdiness of your dwelling. Talk to a contractor to understand your home’s fundamentals and begin thinking about how you can open up a new world for yourself, without the need for anything close to a McMansion.

Photo Credit: Exceptional Properties, CB2, Changing Landscapes

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