Repurpose Your Rooms (Guest Post By Jeff E. Brown)
Repurpose Your Rooms: Redesign and Renovate
Modern homes often have storage spaces that could easily be put to better use. Your attic, basement, and even laundry room can be turned into a more functional area that may boost the value of your home while give you an enjoyable space.
Define the Dream
Repurposing any space starts with defining your needs. Whether you want a sweet home theater or it’s time to build the man cave, you’ll want to start by considering how the space will be used. This information will play a vital role in structural changes like windows, walls and storage.
For instance, a future craft room in the basement will need plenty of natural light, so you’ll want to add some window wells for larger fixtures. On the other hand, a home theater will require less natural light but will have different power and wiring considerations. Confer with other family members for feedback, and talk to your friends for additional ideas you hadn’t considered.
Look for the Wasted Space
It’s normal to look at your basement when it’s time to add more living space, but there may be other areas of opportunity lurking in your home. If you never use the formal dining room, then it could be the perfect gaming room for the kids. A small dining nook that goes unused can easily be converted into a welcoming sun-room that you’ll never grow tired of. Maybe you have a massive living room that’s lacking in storage areas.
You can always add some built-ins, a wall-length closet, or even a fireplace and entertainment center to tie it all together. If you have a huge garage that goes unused, then it may be time to update that space. Make an honest assessment of your home so that you’ll know where to start. If you have ten-foot ceilings in your home, then you can also get creative in your kids’ rooms with elevated play areas. A very wide hallway can even become a storage area with some cleverly placed cabinets.
Get Structural, After an Inspection
Don’t be afraid to make structural changes to your home, but consider having an architect or engineer look over the space for you first. An attic can be transformed into an amazing bedroom or office, but it needs the proper supports in the joists. Two rooms that feel cramped can be converted into one functional space with the removal of a wall, and an engineer can advise you on the placement of any new beams or pillars to keep the structure sound. In basements, you may want to add larger windows, and exterior wells can keep those fixtures dry and functional.
If you’re dividing a very large room, then you may not want the permanency of a wall. In this case, you can use tall bookshelves to create a temporary boundary that will serve your purposes nicely. Finish off the top be mounting reclaiming windows between the bookshelf and the ceiling, or just leave this space open.
Do the Grunt Work Yourself
Any type of home renovation like this can be expensive, but the bulk of the cost is actually in the labor. If you’re willing to do the bulk of the work on your own, then you can bring the overall cost down substantially. You may still need to hire a professional to check out the structure or take care of electrical and plumbing issues, but you save by doing most of the carpentry and finishing work yourself. Keep yourself safe and on track by following these tips:
• Develop a timeline to help yourself stay focused and get the job done in a reasonable period.
• Put together a checklist of steps you need to take so that you won’t miss something important.
• Use appropriate safety gear, including goggles when cutting wood and ear plugs when using power tools.
• Pay close attention to detail when moving items around to avoid damaging the home.
• Invest in the right tools for the job. You can also rent specialty tools like wetsaws for tile and pneumatic nailers for wood flooring.
Save on the Furniture
When you repurpose that forgotten corner of the living room into a peaceful little reading nook, you’ll find that there are also clever ways to save money on the new furniture. If you have an old dresser with a few broken drawers, then you’ve got the makings of a funky little bookcase. Just toss the old drawers, add shelves at the right height, and give it a fresh coat of pain. You can also take the top off a dresser, leave just the bottom drawer, and turn it into a fun little bench. Look around your home for chairs, lamps and tables that aren’t being used and repurpose them for your new space.
There are countless ways to reclaim the space in your home and turn it into something more functional. Don’t be afraid to make the dining room a guest room or to turn that tiny little back bedroom into an amazing walk-in closet for the master bedroom. You can turn your laundry area into a mudroom if it’s large enough, and the forgotten back corner of your garage can be the workshop you’ve always dreamed of. The possibilities are endless, and you can even make the task fit in your budget by doing most of the work yourself.
Jeff E. Brown, freelance writer, DIY self-taught handyman.
Jeff E. Brown is a freelance writer and a self-taught handyman with a knack for lifehacking and DIY projects. Based out of his home office where his two dogs keep him company while he types, Jeff loves writing about home improvement topics, teaching others all the tips and tricks he has learned since he moved out of an apartment and into a house. When he’s not writing, he loves organizing barbecue parties in his garden. You can contact Jeff via his landing page.