Interiors Column - December 22/January 23
5 Ways to Add Extra Space in Your Home – Without Moving by Helen Say
If you're thinking about how to add more room in your home and can’t or don’t want to move, we’ve created this short guide to the best ways to achieve it. After all, moving costs can make buying a larger home somewhat unrealistic. So, improving rather than moving makes good financial sense, especially since it may increase your home’s current market value too.
- Improve the Interior Layout by Knocking Through
You don’t always need to extend to increase the space or to add value to a house, sometimes it’s the layout or room size that is wrong. Improving the spatial flow or maximising the views to the garden can open up the space and bring in more natural light. An architect can offer suggestions for improving an open plan room layout, perhaps by removing internal walls to open up a through living room or a kitchen-dining space, or to create a larger room from several smaller ones.
- Create an Open Plan Kitchen Diner and Living Space
One of the most popular home transformation projects to add more space in a house is knocking through between an existing kitchen, dining and living room to create an open plan kitchen diner. This is better suited to our modern lifestyle of treating our kitchens as the hub of the home, not only for eating and cooking, but relaxing, entertaining and family time too.
If you don’t want to go completely open-plan, consider installing sliding pocket or bi-fold doors between rooms, which will enable you to open the space up or close it off as and when required.
- Add an Extension
Extending your home can take many different forms. You don’t always just need to extend outwards; you could also consider extending upwards by adding one or more storeys. Then there are cellar spaces to extend down into, or - perhaps one of the most popular – extending to the side of a house with a conservatory or a porch.
- Convert Your Loft
If your loft space is suitable, adding a loft conversion will offer additional space for an extra bedroom, home office, or playroom. This may be as simple as installing skylight windows, laying down a proper floor and adding a staircase to make the existing room habitable, or adding a full dormer extension. The latter will give you extra headroom, but position these to the back of the property rather than the front or side, so that they are less visually intrusive.
- Convert Your Garage
It can be tricky to disguise what a converted garage once was, but don’t let that put you off as they are great for creating extra ground-floor space without the higher cost of an extension and, with good design, a garage conversion should blend seamlessly with your existing property.
A good way to add extra space in a house is to ensure a garage conversion can be used for a kitchen extension into an open-plan kitchen-diner, or as a playroom, office or home cinema room.
The good news is that under current planning regulations many types of home extensions and improvements can be carried out under “permitted development” rules, but it’s always best to get advice from a planning expert for embarking on any major home improvement project.