Do you need more space in your home – maybe for a home office or a play space for the kids? Many homeowners have the same needs. Fortunately, there are several home transformations that can provide you with space that’s productive and useful.
Sometimes even minor changes can make all the difference. Perhaps you have an unfinished basement, empty garage, or even a sunroom that could become a comfortable and useful space within your home with a simple makeover. Here’s what you need to know.
Porch or Sunroom Expansion
Porches and sunrooms make great spaces for work or play, as long as you can add walls and windows to keep out nature. A porch enclosure system provides shelter from the elements including afternoon heat, winter snow, and spring rain, creating a valuable space you can enjoy in nearly any weather. You can install the system yourself, but if you’re not handy or lack the tools, it’s better to have your qualified dealer do the work for you.
Other factors to consider when turning your sunroom or porch into an indoor space:
- Consider installing window treatments to prevent intense daylight from overheating the space.
- Add a rug or carpet on the floor to make the space more inviting.
- Plant a tree near the porch to provide natural shade.
For many, unfinished basements are a waste of space. Working with a qualified contractor, you can turn your basement into a cool, comfortable space away from the rest of your house.
Finished basements make great in-home offices because they provide privacy and seclusion from the chaos upstairs. Basements also make good family rooms because they’re more private than many living rooms, so you don’t have to keep them pristine (in case company drops by).
The problem with unfinished basements is the threat of water. Some basements leak during heavy rainstorms or at times of the year when the moisture content of the soil around the house is high. Before a basement can be fully finished, it should be waterproofed. Waterproofing can be an involved process.
If you fail to waterproof your basement before finishing it, mold and mildew could be the result. This can have a significant impact on your health and the health of the people in your household – not to mention your home’s structure. Moisture problems often lead to wood rot, which can require extensive repair.
A contractor who is hired to finish your basement may need to seal cracks in the foundation and then seal the walls themselves with special waterproof paint. If the basement floods regularly, a sump pump can help keep the water out. Your contractor may even suggest installing a French drain or a dry creek bed around your property to give the water someplace to go during heavy rainstorms.
- Think twice about taking on this task as a DIY project, unless you are an experienced contractor.
- Vet your contractor and choose a professional with previous experience finishing basements.
- Work with your contractor to install additional lighting, as basements can be relatively dark places.
Spare Room Optimization
It’s not too hard to convert a spare room into a more useful space. It may be that you need to purchase extra furniture to make the space as useful as possible. You may also decide to “spruce up” the space with some cosmetic changes.
Focus first on changes that will help make the space as comfortable as possible. Consider factors like temperature, quality of light, and airflow throughout the room.
Is the room stuffy during the afternoon or chilly at night? It may be that the room needs better insulation in order to maintain an even temperature. If the windows aren’t efficient, using heavy curtains to block the sunlight in the afternoon could also help.
Once the lighting and temperature of the room have been optimized, then you can focus on cosmetic changes. Some fun ideas to make your spare room a more beautiful place to spend time:
- Paint a faux wallpaper on the walls using a stencil.
- Install a flashy but comfortable rug to make the space standout.
- Install functional but attractive shelving to either hold office supplies or toys (depending on your plans).
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Finishing a garage is similar to finishing a basement, except garages are far less vulnerable to moisture problems. Actually, the most important part of finishing a garage is getting it insulated, so it’s less susceptible to temperature fluctuations.
Just like with a basement finishing project, it’s important to work with a qualified contractor to get the work done. While it’s less likely that you’ll make a mistake that could lead to wood rot in your garage, finishing an entire garage is an extensive project that many homeowners would find challenging.
- Consider installing a garage enclosure to provide ventilation and daylight to improve the conditions inside your garage.
- Garages tend to be dirty spaces that need to be cleaned before they can be used. Deep clean the garage after your finishing project to get rid of chemicals and dirt that could be left residually.
In many homes, attics are unused spaces. When properly finished, attics add valuable square footage to your home. Work with a contractor who can insulate your attic and add proper lighting to make your attic a useful, comfortable, and flexible space.
- Work with your contractor to ensure that your attic will be comfortable. Remember, heat rises! You’ll need an HVAC system that can prevent your attic from being a super-heated space in the summer.
- Customize the space with painted walls and a good rug. Make it feel like your own!
Work With an Expert
No matter what your project, make sure you’re working with an expert who can perform your installation without doing damage to your home. Working with a pro helps ensure the project will be finished quickly and efficiently!