With winter drawing close, your family will be restricted to living indoors for four or five months. It can be a long winter if your home feels cramped and restricted. Here are a few cost-effective ways to make better use of the room you do have.
Use your dining room for something else
If you have a reasonably roomy kitchen, you can convert it to an eat-in design. This way, you can free up your dining room for an alternative purpose. For instance, you can turn it into a home office or a space for the children to do their homework in while they stay close to a parent in the kitchen.
Rethink the guest room
Many homes have a dedicated room set aside for guests. Rather than setting a room apart for an infrequent need, you can simply make arrangements for out-of-town guests with an air mattress or pull-out couch. The guest room itself can turn into a rec. room, a home office or an extra bedroom for anyone who needs some privacy.
Look at nonliving spaces
If you have an extra-large garage, a full-height basement or an attic that you don’t use for anything much, a $10,000 investment can easily convert each one of these into a living space. You just need to put in new floors, ceilings and walls.
You mustn’t overlook even the tiniest nonliving space
You don’t need a large attic or garage to get some extra living space. Small crawlspaces can work, too. A $3000 investment is all you need to turn a tiny crawlspace into something like a powder room.
You can put a home office in a closet
If you need a desk to sit at when you work on your taxes or bills but have no spare room for one, you can consider turning a closet into a little home office. It doesn’t even have to be a walk-in closet. You just need to take out a couple of shelves in a regular closet and replace them with a work surface that’s the right level to work on when you pull up a chair.
Move your washer dryer upstairs
If most of your home’s dirty clothes come from the bedrooms upstairs, but your washing machine and dryer are still downstairs, you can try to move them to a little-used part of an upstairs hallway. If you stack your washer and your dryer and place them close to a bathroom, you will save a lot on setting up new plumbing and wiring.
Redo the floor plan
If yours is an old house, it is likely that you have trouble with an inefficient floor plan – little rooms and lots of wasted general space. You can knock down interior walls and erect new ones for no more than $4000 a wall. Making more efficient use of your floor space can make room for a new room or two.
Put in a shallow closet
You can free up a great deal of space in a room by putting away unused stuff in a closet. If you don’t have a free closet, though, you can build a shallow 10-inch deep unit along a wall. According to Case Design, a major Williamsburg home remodeling service, losing 10 inches to a new cabinet won’t feel like much of a loss. It can help you put away a lot of clutter.
Build a bump-out
A bump-out is a little extension that you build on an exterior wall. You simply knock down a section of wall and build a short extension out. Since there’s no foundation work involved, bump-outs can build out some space at no more than $150 a square-foot.
Alan Rosinski is a DIY addict. He enjoys blogging about remodeling nad design projects to help inspire other homeowners.
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