Blog Stories But Is It Legal?

But Is It Legal?

By Kim Parmon, December 12, 2019

It is super common in Portland to see homes with bedrooms on the second story.  Sometimes those bedrooms were part of the original floor plan of a home.  Often times, though, a previous owner during the home’s long history turned a former attic space into finished living space.

There are a couple of ways to tell if the second story square footage is legal or not.  If the head height on your staircase looks like this there’s a good chance the upstairs square footage isn’t legal:

Other signs include: low ceiling height throughout the finished space, stair treads that are either very shallow or very steep, and floor joists that are spaced too far apart.  Does this sound like a house you are looking at buying, or maybe one that you already own?  Fear not!  With some smart planning this issue can be resolved.

My clients bought the house pictured above.  They worked with an architect to change the pitch of the staircase by extending it further into the kitchen below and the hallway above.  When they finished this project the house went from being claustrophobic feeling without a functional floor plan to spacious and bright:

It was quite the transformation!  Changing this one element elevated the house considerably.  A new owner takes possession of this great house today.  I know she will enjoy the functional, usable second story, along with all the other great work my clients did.  Congratulations all around!

Kim Parmon

Principal Broker | Earth Advantage Certified | OR

She/Her

Kim Parmon Principal Broker  Lead Listing Agent Earth Advantage Certified | OR kim@livingroomre.com Oregon is the fifth state that Kim has called home in her life, and this one is sticking!  After moving multiple times in her childhood, Kim fully understands how empowering homeownership and having roots is.  She loves waking up every day in this beautiful place and wants everyone to experience what it feels like to live in their dream home. As a kid, Kim spent her free time wandering through open houses and exploring construction sites for the fun of it.  After careers in the professional ballroom dance world, the entertainment industry, and the service industry, Kim stumbled into real estate as both a passion and a profession through the purchase of her first bungalow.  After renovating it with her husband and selling it for enough of a profit to pay off their debt as well as buy a new house to live in, everything clicked: she decided to get her real estate license and help her community experience the emotional and financial benefits of homeownership.  Kim put down roots in Portland in 2015 and has cultivated a referrals-based business throughout the years.  She understands that real estate is a service and the experience she gives her clients is first-rate.  She works hard to anticipate needs.  She is responsive, thorough, empathic, and a skilled negotiator who enjoys market analytics and strategy as much as she enjoys connecting with her clients.  Her ethics and reputation are the cornerstones of her business and the happiness of her clients is the yardstick that she measures success against. Kim merged her business with the best agents in Portland at the beginning of 2022, which has allowed her to give her clients more resources, more advocacy, and a top-notch real estate experience.  She is honored to be a part of her incredible team and feels lucky to go to work every day. In her free time, you'll find Kim enjoying lazy evenings by the fire with her husband, daughter, and rescue dogs.  She loves dancing, live music, exploring all of the beautiful places around us in the PNW, enjoying a cider and a good meal with friends, and browsing Powell's for a great new book. Andee Ziegler  Licensed Listing Team Operations Manager andee@livingroomre.com Loving where you live will change your life. Everyone deserves that joy. For me, real estate has been a way of nurturing my community and doing what I can to help people find stability, grow generational wealth, and create a little space of their own in the world. For 15 years I found the most joy in helping first-time homebuyers, guiding my peers through their first major investment and dreaming up what home means for them. I’ve done restoration work on homes from a variety of eras, 1894 Victorian farmhouse to classic 1950’s ranch. I enjoy empowering new homeowners with the knowledge I’ve garnered over the years, from systems to finishes.  In 2022 I joined forces with some of the best realtors in the biz and shifted my focus to operation management for listings. This welcome change opened up space in my life: more cake, less pants.   Andee Zeigler | Licensed Listing Team Operations Manager | andee@livingroomre.com Jessica LeDoux | Lead Buyer Agent | Broker Licensed in Oregon | jessica@livingroomre.com  Karim Alaeddine | Operations | Principal Broker Licensed in Oregon | karim@livingroomre.com  Jenessa VanZutphen | Buyer Operations Manager | Licensed in Oregon | jenessa@livingroomre.com 
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  • T: 503-438-5101
  • kim@livingroomre.com

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