When you need more space in your home, there are several choices to consider and your budget will give you the right direction. Sometimes you just have to be more visual and you can get that by changing the pattern of your walls or eliminating them altogether. Most homeowners open up their kitchens to one, or more, adjoining rooms with kitchen/family rooms and kitchen/dining room being the most popular. Lastly, and the most expensive choice, you can add more living space (square footage) to your existing home. However, it is more cost effective when you re-purpose your existing space like an attic or basement, rather than putting on an addition which requires excavation, a foundation, framing and roofing.
Re-Purpose Existing Space
When homes are built, attic and basement are left unfinished. The Attic can be used as a storage room and the basement may be used as a children’s unfinished playroom, a workshop, gardening shed and etc. the uses are endless.
Here are some of the best places to look when you need more finished living space:
* The basement or attic has plenty of space when you finish it. This is where you’re most likely to put an extra bedroom with full or half bathroom. Attics are less expensive to repurpose as they don’t require the same access requirements to meet fire codes.
* Modify space from one room to another, i.e. bathrooms can be added or made larger by incorporating space from an adjoining room or closet. One project done by my handyman business expanded a master bedroom closet by taking space from an adjoining bedroom. We removed one wall and built a new wall, using underutilized space in a guest bedroom.
* Recover dull space lost in the walls, i.e. under stairs. When measuring custom closets for one homeowner, we explained that they could extend their closet another 4 feet with a sloped ceiling and they loved the idea.
* Create niches for special activities like a home office in the kitchen or a library along one wall of a large hallway. There are often unused walls and corners in the living room or family room that can be used to store all our new electronics including DVDs, CDs, etc.
* Find more space in storage constrained areas by getting rid of things you haven’t used in several years. Alternatively you can move things you use only once a year, to less desirable storage areas such as the garage, attic, etc.
Create More Visual Space
* Remove some walls to create a pass through between rooms giving you more visual space with the same floor plan. This is mostly done between kitchens and adjoining living/family rooms. A sliding window with a counter from the kitchen to an outside deck, makes it much easier to enjoy outdoor meals.
* Combine small rooms into larger ones by eliminating walls, or make open living spaces that integrate former hallways (lost space) with rooms so you can take advantage of the added space.
* Garden windows and skylights add natural light and enable indoor gardening when you bring the outdoors inside with larger windows or patio doors.
* Raise ceilings to create visual space. It’s cost effective when reclaiming unused attic space often found in split level homes.
Add More Living Space
It is time to consider an addition when you need another bedroom or want some separation between the parents’ space and the children’s rooms. Putting an addition on your house is often cheaper than selling your house and buying a new one but you’ll make trade – offs in cost and stress – the chaos of remodeling versus the challenges of moving.
Outdoor living spaces are very popular today as families look for ways to relax and entertain more at home. Read some remodeling books to help you find the ideal solution for your home. Another great way to get ideas is to go on some of the house tours (sometimes called kitchen tours but you see lots more than the kitchens) in your community.
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