Belmont, MA Renovations Add Function without Adding Square Feet

When our clients moved to their Belmont, MA home in 2012, they knew they wanted to update and improve the functionality and flow of their kitchen. They waited a year before scouring Houzz and Angie’s List in search of a reliable contractor to handle the renovation. “We had used contractors before when we lived in Boston and we were always frustrated when people didn’t show up and there were unexpected delays. A kitchen renovation is so disruptive that reliability was a priority in selecting a contractor,” explains the homeowner.

After meeting with a number of contractors, the couple selected Morse Constructions to both design and build the kitchen. “Morse’s bid was very detailed and well-thought-out. It gave us confidence that they would get the renovation done in a timely fashion – and they did,” says our client.

Morse improved the functionality and traffic flow in the kitchen by relocating a doorway to the mudroom and an adjacent room and expanding the opening into the dining room. Additionally, relocating appliances and adding an island resulted in a great cooking space. Four years after the renovation was completed, the homeowner still exclaims, “I love my kitchen so much!”




Belmont MA kitchen renovation


Belmont MA kitchen remodel


At the same time that the kitchen was remodeled, the homeowner asked Morse to add a first floor bath to an existing laundry room and to bring light into the adjacent family room. We took just enough space from the adjacent large room to create a full bath with plenty of room left for a laundry area. A spacious bay window replaced existing small casements in the adjacent family room, creating a light-filled space that doubles as a guest room for overnight visitors.

Belmont, MA bathroom renovationBelmont, MA bath and laundry room

Belmont MA living room renovation

Our clients were so pleased with our work that they brought us back in 2016 to create finished space in the attic. Now, previously unfinished space is a private home office at one end and a treasured hang-out area for the homeowners’ two children at the other.

Belmont MA attic renovation

Belmont MA home office renovation

For now, our Belmont clients are done renovating, but they have been wonderful about recommending Morse Constructions.  “I’ve been telling my friends, if you want great work done in a professional manner with reliable scheduling, Morse is an excellent choice,” sums up our client.  

To see more photos of the Belmont project, please visit our photo gallery or our Houzz profile. If you would like to discuss a renovation project, we would love to speak with you. Please contact us today!

Tags: kitchen renovation, Belmont MA home renovation, bath renovation, attic renovation

Top Renovations to Increase the Value of Your Arlington or Belmont Home

Welcome to the second in our series of interviews with Boston area realtors about the home features that are hot in specific areas. If you missed our first post on top features in Cambridge and Somerville homes, you can read it here. In this post, we speak with Debbie Lewis, a Certified Buyer’s Representative with True Home Partners, a partnership of five, full-time Coldwell Banker real estate professionals. Debbie filled us in about what homebuyers want in Arlington and Belmont properties.

Q:  What are the “must haves” among Arlington and Belmont homebuyers right now?

A: It is going to depend upon the price point and whether you’re looking for a single family or a condo, but 99% of my clients want an open concept floorplan where the living area, dining area and kitchen flow together. They want kitchen islands where people can hang out. They want a nice, clean bathroom, ideally with some storage. If the buyer has young kids, they want more than one bedroom on the same floor. Good storage is also really important. You can never have too many closets.


Q: If a homeowner is renovating, what would you recommend they invest in to enhance the value of their Arlington or Belmont home?

 A: You can’t go wrong with kitchens and baths. Unless the homebuyer lives on takeout, he or she is looking for lots of kitchen counter space, a stove that is vented to the outside, and great storage. If it’s a condo with a smaller or gallery kitchen, be creative with storage options and have nice updated countertops and appliances.  An extended countertop that you can also eat at is great for smaller spaces.  Stainless steel appliances continue to be really popular. In bathrooms, I would definitely do double sinks in the master bath and a lot of buyers really like a separate walk-in shower stall and bath. If space is at a premium, buyers can maximize the utility of a bathroom by giving it two entries. This is especially useful for single floor condos. For example, a bath could be entered from a bedroom or from the hallway. Sometimes there is a pocket door separating the toilet and sink from the tub or shower so the bath can be partitioned into a powder room when entertaining guests.

Homeowners should also think about first impressions. Spiff up the exterior, hallways and entryways. If you have extra space in the entryway, for god’s sake build a coat closet! Here in New England, we have all the winter stuff and need a good place to store it out of sight. Buyers in the $500,000 price range can be flexible on that and make do with coat hooks, but single families in Belmont and Arlington should have ample coat closets and a mudroom.

Q:  Have you seen renovations that detracted from the value of the home or were deal-breakers?

A:  This market is so hot that buyers often end up compromising on their “must haves” or overlooking things that they don’t like so much. I do see renovations where space could have been allocated better or where the scale of the rooms seems poorly thought out.  One property had a bedroom with an oversized master bath, but the bedroom had a tiny closet. I thought it would have been much better to allocate a bit more closet space and scale back a bit on the extra space in the bathroom. Or I see long runs of bathroom counter space in the master bath, but just one sink. Why share a sink in the master bathroom if you don’t have to!

People should be mindful of smart use of space. Think about how you really use space. Do you need a huge bedroom with a sitting/reading area if you only use it for sleep? So many of my clients who are downsizing say that extra space simply became the place for laundry, or clothes that needed to be hung up.  Most first-time homebuyers moving into condos want space in the living area versus the bedroom.   At the same time, unless you are providing a large closet, make sure there is at least room for a dresser in the bedroom! Even condo owners come with clothes that need to stored somewhere! Lastly, think about whether some square footage might be better used for additional storage or a small home office.


Want to know more about the smart use of space? You may be interested in reading our article on the beauty of built-ins. To see a renovation that opened up space in a traditional home, check out our open floor plan remodeling project in our portfolio. To find out more, please give us a call at 617-666-4460 or use our online contact form.

Tags: Arlington MA home renovation, Belmont MA home renovation