Can I Create a New Room Without Adding Square Footage?

Posted by Jim Walker on Jul 29, 2018 6:51:00 PM

Whether you need an extra room to accommodate an expanding family, to create a private home office, or to provide storage space, sometimes you won’t want to lose lawn space by adding extra square footage. In these instances, it’s best to consult with a designer and contractor to brainstorm a creative work-around.

Basement Remodeling

The most cost effective way to increase usable square footage is to remodel an unfinished basement. Since the structure is already in place, it’s relatively inexpensive to pull new wiring, add plumbing, install drywall, lay flooring, and create a fresh and well-lit space from a previously bare-bones or dingy basement. If you’ve already completed a basement remodel and still need extra space, consider one of the following options.

Convert Your Attic

Remodeling attic space is the second easiest tactic to add a room within your home’s existing footprint. When you convert an attic into a bedroom, guest quarters, home office, etc., you’ll need to check building codes and restrictions, have an architect assess whether the new room requires added structural support, and speak with your contractor about extending plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.

Keep in mind that attic remodels are typically required to have their own staircase access rather than just ladder access.

Construct a Mezzanine

A mezzanine is a sort of half-attic, a loft that may be added to homes with tall ceilings. While a mezzanine may not be able to accommodate a full bedroom, it’s the perfect solution for a loft bed, a children’s play area, or even a small home office. It also requires fewer permits and is relatively easy to build.

You can access a mezzanine either with a ladder or a staircase, the latter of which allows for the creative incorporation of extra storage space or even a small room of its own.

Build Storage Overhead

Sometimes, the need for an extra room can be eliminated entirely when better storage solutions exist. For example, if you can better utilize basement storage or expose the eaves in your home to accommodate extra storage (if it has a pitched roof line), you can find new ways to store items you use infrequently and/or seasonally. Often, this allows rooms with distinct purposes to be combined, be that siblings sharing a room, an office that doubles as a some-time guest bedroom, or some other combination.

Budget Existing Room Borders Better

Of course, the most obvious way to create an extra room within your home’s existing footprint is to add extra walls. While this option is the least popular since it automatically steals square footage from surrounding rooms, it can be the right choice. In some instances, the conception of an open floor plan does preclude a necessary number of private bedrooms, offices, guest rooms, libraries, etc., while simultaneously creating unused floor space. Open visual lines are always attractive, but sometimes delineating spaces rather than opening them can be the right solution. In other words, test convention with what works best for you and your household.

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Topics: Home Remodeling, Home Additions