Sometimes, you just need another room. Whether you’re hoping to start working from home and want to create that much-needed separate office or you’re adding to your family, a new room is required, and you’re determined to find a solution.
Selling your existing home and moving to a property with more available rooms is perhaps the most conventional solution to the above problem. However, while this solution sounds simple, in reality, it’s anything but: selling a house is never a given, the process can be expensive, and there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to find a new property that suits your needs and budget – oh, and there’s the huge stress that moving itself always tends to create, too.
So, is there an alternative option, or is it “move house or make do”? Thankfully, there are solutions, and we’ve highlighted five of the best below…
#1 – Use your outdoor space
You may be in need of an extra room, but that doesn’t mean that that room has to actually be in your home itself; making better use of your garden is a genuinely fantastic – and surprisingly easily-achieved – option that you will definitely want to consider. The addition of a garden building to any outdoor space is immediately transformative, adding benefits both in terms of function and style – you’ll have a new room to use exactly as required, and you’ll also have a beautiful new construction to admire in your garden.
One of the greatest benefits of this option is the elimination of a major administrative burden many people encounter when trying to add a room to their home; most garden buildings will not require planning permission from your local authorities. What’s more, it’s also worth mentioning that installing a garden building is also less disruptive than some of the items on this list; as it’s a separate structure, you can simply continue to live as normal during the construction, and then move into the building when it is complete. As a result, you should be able to look forward to a straightforward construction process from start to finish.
#2 – Go below-ground
When seeking to add an extra room to your home, exploring the vertical options (i.e. going up – which we will discuss in more depth in a moment – or down) is always worth doing, as it allows you to make the most of the existing footprint in your home. However, in the UK, there’s a potential catch in one direction: basement conversions might be commonplace in the USA, but here, basements are actually fairly rare – which can make it seem like “up” is the only viable option available to you if you want to add an extra room.
However, the absence of a basement does not mean you can’t explore the space under your home – even properties without a basement can have one added, with the newly-created area then used as an additional room for any purpose. While many people shy away from the idea of expanding below-ground due to fears about natural light, this issue can be overcome with light wells, pale decor, using daylight bulbs in artificial lighting, and similar measures.
If you have an attic space, then it may be possible to convert the area to use as an additional room. While the process is far from simple – and not all attics are suitable for a conversion – it’s a measure that, as with going below-ground, allows you to add an extra room within your existing property.
The amount of work required to convert your attic will depend on the characteristics of the space itself, as well as limitations that may be involved – for example, beams or (if you live in an older property) a chimney stack. However, if possible, attic conversions can be undeniably beautiful, offering a serenity removed from the rest of the house and, with the addition of a few skylights, easily flooded with wonderful natural light.
#4 – Transform your garage
Garages are undoubtedly useful, but ultimately, they can be thought of as a “bedroom for your car and/or various household items” – which, if you’re in need of an extra room for human purposes, could mean the area is not necessarily being used to its best potential. As a result, if you’re happy to rehome any belongings stored there and commit to keeping your car on your drive, repurposing your garage could work well.
While garages are rather cold and uninviting, they can be transformed into a livable space successfully. There’s a few different options: you can add insulation, secure the door, paint the walls, and add a heating source for a halfway-style conversion; it’ll still look like a garage, but one that you can use as a room if required. Alternatively, you could opt for a full conversion, doing all of the above tasks, but then seeking to replacing the door entirely with a wall.
#5 – Turn an existing room into two
We’ve left this option until last due to the fact that it does have a few limitations, the most significant of which is the limited potential size of the room you’ll be able to create. Essentially, if you need a large area, then this option might not work out: unless your original room is unusually large, the end result of this type of change is two rather small rooms – which may not be suitable for your intended purpose.
However, if your goal is to create a new room that is distinct from other areas of your home (rather than adding a room in addition to creating more space in your home at the same time), then this option can still be considered. You’ll need to add a stud wall and a door to divide the space, but when complete, you should have two distinct areas that can be used independently from one another.
If you’re in need of an extra room but aren’t inclined to move to a new property, one of the above options could well be the right solution for you.