Sean McIllwain, MOD Boulder Real Estate

Sean McIllwain, MOD Boulder Real Estate

If you’re looking to increase your living space and improve the value of your home, one option to consider is “popping the top” on your house. This involves adding a second story to an existing single-story home, which provides additional living space and better views. In Boulder, where space is at a premium, popping the top can be a great way to make the most of your property. Let’s explore the benefits of this POPular renovation option. (See what I did there?)

One of the biggest benefits of popping the top is the increase in living space. If you have a small or outdated home, adding a second story can double your living space and give you the extra room you need. This can be particularly valuable if you have a growing family or if you work from home and need a dedicated workspace.

Here in Boulder, the scenery is one of the main reasons people choose to live in the area. Popping the top can provide you with a better view of the mountains, the city, or other beautiful local features. With the addition of large windows or a balcony, you can take full advantage of the stunning surroundings.

Popping the top is also a great way to increase the value of your home. By adding more living space and improving the views, your home becomes more desirable to potential buyers. This can be particularly valuable if you are considering selling your home in the future.

Popping the top on a house can also have environmental benefits. By increasing the living space in an existing home, you are reducing the need for new construction. This can help to preserve open space and reduce the environmental impact of new developments.

If you decide to reach for the sky and add that second story, know that the process can be complex, as it requires structural changes to the existing home as well as compliance with local standards. For example, in 1981, Boulder passed a solar access ordinance, which provides solar access protection to properties in the city. The purpose of the ordinance is to protect properties so that their access to the sun, for solar energy, will not be blocked by neighboring structures, and in some cases, vegetation. With this in mind, it’s important to work with a reputable architect who has experience with this type of renovation. They can help you navigate the process and ensure that your new space is safe, structurally sound, and lest we forget, stunningly scenic.

By Sean McIllwain. Sean is the founding broker of Mod Boulder Real Estate. Call 720.252.6051 or visit