In an ideal world, you’d live in a massive house with more space than you know what to do with. But for most people, that’s not a reality. House prices are on the rise and most people can’t afford the space that they’d like. It’s a real struggle when you’re in a house that’s too small but usually, there is a solution. Often, it’s not that the floor space in the house itself is too small, the problem is with the way that you’re using that space. That means there are certain things you can do to increase the floor space and make the house feel larger without having to move into a bigger, more expensive place. If your home is starting to feel cramped and you want to open it up a bit more, here are some simple ways you can do it.
Clear Out Some Stuff
Before you start making any other changes around the house, you should have a look at the stuff you’ve got in there and consider clearing some of it out. Kids have an amazing ability to generate mess and when you’ve got a big family, the house will soon fill up with old toys and games and other things that you don’t really need anymore. It’ll slowly creep up on you until one day, you look around and it feels like there isn’t a single bit of space left in the house anywhere. The natural reaction is to think that your house isn’t big enough but, more often than not, you’ve just got too much junk in there. Even if it isn’t taking up floor space, having clutter everywhere makes the house feel a lot smaller than it is.
If you can start to declutter areas of the house, you’ll have a lot more free storage for the things that you do need. That gives you a good opportunity to have a reorganise and free up some space around the house. You’d be surprised just how much difference it can make. If you’ve let things get on top of you, decluttering might be a bit of a daunting task. The best way to do it is take it one room at a time. Look at every item in turn and ask yourself when the last time you used it was. If it’s been a while, you probably don’t need it anymore. You’ve got to be ruthless when you’re having a clearout, otherwise, you’re never going to get anywhere.
Take Out The Furniture
Obviously, the furniture is the thing that takes up most of the room in your house. I’m not suggesting you just live in a house without any furniture, but removing it from a room can give you a better idea of how you’re using the space. When you remove all of the furniture from the room and look at it while it’s empty, you get a better idea of what you could be doing with it. Then you can start putting things back in and try organising it in different ways. If you’ve built up the furniture and swapped things out over the years, you’re probably not using the space in the most efficient way possible. Emptying the room will also help you to identify any fixtures that are taking up too much space. Radiators are a common one; if you swap out your normal radiators with column ones like these ones on https://www.onlyradiators.co.uk, you’ll give yourself a lot more space. When you start putting the furniture back in, you might also identify certain pieces that take up way too much room. If you replace these with something a bit smaller, you can give yourself a lot more floor space.
As well as thinking about how you organise your furniture, you should think about how efficient the furniture itself is. There are so many great pieces of furniture that double up as storage units and it can save you a whole lot of space. For example, swap out your normal coffee table for an ottoman that has storage inside, or switch dining room chairs for a bench with storage inside. That way, you can get rid of some of the other storage that you had in the room before, essentially swapping 2 pieces of furniture for 1 and doubling the amount of free space you’ve got in the room.
If you’ve got pieces of furniture that you only use occasionally, you’re wasting a lot of space with them. For example, if you’ve got a dining table with 6 chairs but there are only 4 of you in the family, those 2 extra chairs are a waste of space. But you still want to have them there so you’ve got enough seats when guests come over. Foldaway furniture is a great solution here. You can put those 2 chairs away somewhere when you’re not using them and open up a lot more space. Fold down dining tables are great too; when you’re not eating you can half the size of the table and give yourself more room, then open it up when it comes to mealtimes.
If those simple changes don’t open up enough space you might have to do something a bit more drastic. Building a whole new extension is an option but that’s going to be incredibly expensive and you’ll have to deal with planning permission and all of the upheaval of building. You’re much better off looking at room conversions first. Most people use the loft in their house to store the Christmas decorations and a load of other junk that they don’t really need. That’s a real waste of space because it can be a whole new room. Loft conversions don’t come cheap but they’re nowhere near as expensive as a new extension. Visit https://www.homebuilding.co.uk for a handy beginners guide to loft conversions. They add a lot of value to the house so it’s worth doing. You can borrow money against the house to pay for it and you’ll get the money back when the value of the house increases.
As well as the loft, you should also consider converting the garage. If you use it for parking then you might not want to but so many people just use it as storage for junk and park in the driveway. If you’re the same, you’re much better off making it into another room in the house.
The layout of the furniture in individual rooms is important, but what about the layout of the rooms themselves? This is a big problem in older houses that were set up for a different way of living. If the rooms in your house aren’t sized according to their use, you’re probably wasting space. For example, you might have a huge bathroom next door to a smaller living area. If you can move the walls and take a bit of the excess space from the bathroom and add it to the living area instead, you’ll have a lot more room. Taking out walls and making 2 smaller rooms into one larger one is another great way of adding space. People often like to do this with their kitchen and dining room because you can turn 2 fairly cramped rooms into one open plan living space.
You can also do it the other way and add walls in. If a space is a lot larger than it needs to be, adding a wall and breaking it up so you can use it as 2 different rooms is a more efficient use of that space. Putting up and taking down walls is a pretty disruptive job and it can be quite expensive but you can completely transform your house by doing it. If you want a cheaper option, use screens to break up a larger room and get more use out of it.
Add A Basement
Building an extension on the side of the house that adds to its footprint requires planning permission which you might not be able to get. But you shouldn’t need to get permission if you just want to add a basement to the house. It’s a great way of adding a whole load of new space to the house without having to eat into your garden. Check out https://www.idealhome.co.uk for some great examples of what you can do. Only some houses are suitable for a basement so you’ll have to check whether the earth underneath the house is right and make sure that the water table isn’t too high. Digging out a basement is obviously going to disrupt your home life and you’ll have to move out for a while so, before you make any decisions, think about whether you’re prepared to do that or not. Remember, adding a basement will add value to the house as well so think of the cost as an investment that you’ll get back when you eventually come to sell the house.
Living in a house that’s too small for your family is tough. But the good news is, you can make these changes around the house to open up more space and make the place a lot more comfortable for you and your family.