How to create more space! (Without building an extension)

19 May 2020

Rennovation Extension Tips Hoppy

If you're looking for clever ways to achieve more space in your home without an extension, look no further! Here are loads of clever ideas to help you think outside the box and make the most of the space you have available. And the great news is that most of these projects don't need any major building work.

But first....

It's worth remembering that getting a quote is costs nothing! If you've been re-thinking your space during lockdown because your home priorities have now changed - perhaps you're working from home, or spending more time in the garden, then we're here to help at any step of the way: whether that's finding the trusted tradespeople undertake the work, checking the cost of a job, or getting some nifty ideas for free.  

Now, pens at the ready! Read on for new ways to achieve space in your home:

Convert your loft space

Loft with velux window

Want out? Why not go up?! Starting with the biggest of building projects on our list, loft conversions are a fantastic way to add space and value to your home. If you're thinking of going up it's important you check whether your home has any restrictions or existing approved applications.

The good news is that loft conversions fall under Permitted Development; this is a set of rights given to homeowners allowing them to carry out some building works without needing planning permission. There's no standard Permitted Development allowance, so it's up to homeowners to check if the building work meet the criteria detailed to be considered approved. 

Increase in roof heights is the most common cause for not meeting the Permitted Development criteria. The minimum required height for a roof is 2.2m, and anything below that means the roof has to be raised or the floor below lowered, both of which require extensive work and planning permission from the local authority. Having a look down your road to see if any of your neighbours have carried out a loft conversion is also a good place to start - talking to them about their experience can help you save a lot of time and money.

Hoppy have put together another helpful Guide to Loft Conversions which goes into more detail about what types of loft conversions are available along with approximate costs.

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Transform your garage into additional living space

converted garage

Another way to get more ground floor living space is to convert an attached garage. Apparently only 22% of Brits store their cars in a garage overnight, with over 4 million of us converting our garages to living space in the last 20 years (source). 

How to best utilise your garage will of course depend on where it is located in relation to the other living areas of your home, but extending your living room, creating an open plan kitchen / living area or perhaps a downstairs guest bedroom with ensuite for visitors are all great places to start. 

Converting your garage should also fall within Permitted Development provided you're not extending the building, but as with loft conversions it is best to check with your local authority before commencing any work.

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Utilise unused space around the home 

Your home may be a treasure trove of hidden spaces just waiting to be utilised!

Start by looking around your home and thinking how any "dead zones" could be repurposed. Then think about what storage or furniture solutions you're lacking to come up with a plan. We've listed a few suggestions below to get you started.

Alcoves are an ideal place for built in storage. To help maximise the feeling of space, try building cupboards in the lower part of the alcove, then fit a mirror to the wall behind with bookshelves above. The mirror will reflect light, helping the room feel bigger and the cupboard and shelves will provide useful storage space.

If you have stud walls in your kitchen or living room, it might be possible to create built-in shelving here such as a wine rack or bookshelf - removing the need for freestanding furniture and freeing up valuable floor space.

Under the stairs is another great area to gain extra space whether it be creating a ground floor cloakroom or useful storage. Maximise this space by carefully planning its usage.

understair storage

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Get creative with walls, room dividers and doors

There are so many possibilities to change up your space with minimum investment by removing non-supporting walls, cleverly utilising room dividers or getting creative with doors around the home.

Opening-up non-structural walls between rooms will help create a greater feeling of space. This works particularly well in properties where living and dining rooms meet. 

If your house is already open-plan, you can use room dividers or open shelving to separate living from dining areas without the feeling of being closed in.

room divider

Re-think your internal doors by using fully glazed doors to allow light to travel through. Or use sliding doors for a real space saver.

Use built-in furniture solutions

When it comes to furniture - it's all about quality, not quantity. Filling a small room full of small furniture will only make it feel cluttered. Investing in a few larger pieces of furniture combined with built in or bespoke storage will help maximise your space.

Ideas to consider here include creating a window seat to not only provide additional seating, but also useful storage; utilising an alcove for TV and storage space; installing floor to ceiling wardrobes to maximise bedroom storage space; and finally fit a bath panel with built-in bathroom storage.

window seat

Whatever your home needs, Hoppy's here to help. We can help you find trusted tradespeople to help advise you on your plans, and get you started with a free quote of the costs involved create the space you need.

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