Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part series. Is it possible to double your home's living area without adding a single square foot?Yes, and it's no joke. To pull it off, though, you need to change the way you think about the property right outside your home's walls. Rather than seeing it as leftover land to be prettied up with a few flower beds, consider it an integral, functioning extension of your home's interior. The ground outside every house offers tremendous potential living space -- often several times the total square footage of the house itself. Yet more often than not, this valuable real estate is drastically underutilized. Even when a property is nominally "landscaped," it's usually treated as a static showpiece filled with cutely shaped planting beds, meandering plots of grass, and other two-dimensional treatments, none of which improve its usefulness as living space. It's understandable why so few people make full use of their outdoor area. ...
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