Winner: Spacious Master Suite Loft: After

Who: Lynne A.
Where: Fernandina Beach, FL

The end result was worth the wait. This 700-square-foot master suite loft is a spacious, Zen-like hideaway in the treetops. By day, it's sunny and warm; by night, it's romantic and cozy. There are skylights; ample closets and storage space, including dressing and makeup areas; an electric fireplace; and a separate room for the toilet. Once plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and some framing were installed by the pros, this became a total DIY project. The finished loft grew the house (and taxes) by more than 50 percent and my pride-of-home by 100 percent.

Who did the work: I did most of the work myself.
Cost: $25,000 to $50,000
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