Thursday, February 27, 2014 / by William Culp
Recycling isn't just for cans and bottles. When expanding your home, repurposing room can save money and energy as well. To begin, take a critical look at what you already have. If you see any space you don't currently use—say, that downstairs powder room that rarely ever sees traffic—then you can repurpose it to fit your needs. This concept of “stealing” space from a neighboring room is called space reconfiguration and it is much cheaper than a major remodeling job.
What's key is finding space that can work in a new way. That space may be as close as the next room, particularly if there are unused or underutilized areas in your home.
There are two main ways you can do this:
Converting. Dying for a home office or a small in-house fitness space? A garage, attic, side porch, large closet, or basement can all be converted to fit the use you have in mind. The pre-existing structure and frame will make the process cheaper and easier to complete. This goes for major additions, like a bonus room, as well. Building up, or placing it above the garage, will be easier than creating a whole new foundation.
Carving. If you have an oversized kitchen or a big formal dining room, consider putting up walls to carve out a new space from the existing one. Maybe a small area can be carved from a larger area to create a powder or laundry room. Or, do it the other way around. If your bedroom is bigger than you really need, expand your bathroom into a deluxe master suite.
When looking to convert or carve new space, it's important to utilize what's already around you, and this includes things like plumbing. Putting a new laundry room next to a kitchen or bathroom will be easier than sticking it on the second floor, because the piping is already nearby.
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