How to address the unused spaces in your home

The conversion from covered porch to sun room allowed this space to double as a family room.
The conversion from covered porch to sun room allowed this space to double as a family room. | Source

How to address unused space...

Most homeowners face one of these problems, either not enough space in their home or too much space. Let's take a look at what we can do to resolve under utilized areas of your home. While some may appreciate having a home that has an expanse of unused space, others may feel it is a wasted opportunity to create a special area. Here's a guide to help you determine what your needs are for using that wasted space.

Your current needs

Is there any need? By examining what your needs are you may be able to pick a solid direction to go into for making the most use out of the space. Once you can narrow down your needs, assuming you have some, it is time to start planning the space out.

Questions to ask yourself first

Will additional construction be needed? If the answer is yes, check to make sure it is a project you can handle yourself. Hire a contractor for any big jobs that will involve electrical work, and be sure not to interfere with the internal structure of your home. Damaging or removing a load bearing wall can be ruinous. Never tackle any job that goes beyond your own expertise. If you have questions hold off on any construction until you have the answers.

What can I afford? Believe or not, even the most simple of changes made to your home can end up costing more than you anticipate. Come up with a reasonable budget and stick to it. If the new space is going to be an additional bedroom, be sure to check your local building laws regarding what constitutes a legal bedroom. In some states a bedroom must have a functioning closet to qualify. Also bedrooms that are added in basements often times need not only a closet but a window large enough for a human being to comfortably fit through.

How often will I use this new space? To really make it worth your while make sure the room will suit several needs. Rooms that serve several functions will be the best investment long term and can actually improve the value of your home. If the new space is not likely to be used frequently consider keeping any changes simple and inexpensive. A reading nook, for instance may only require adequate lighting and a comfortable chair to create a usable space with limited investment. Be realistic as to what you can accomplish and keep it as simple as possible.


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