6 ways to increase your home’s living space
Renovation ideas that don’t require major construction
Do you want a bigger home but don’t want to build a major addition? There are ways to increase your living space within the existing footprint of your home. Whether you need more space for a growing family, a home office, entertaining, or other reasons—check out these ideas!
Convert an unfinished basement
Converting a basement is one of the most popular ways to increase your home’s living space. Finished basements are particularly good for playrooms, movie rooms, man caves, and guest rooms for visitors. Basements can also be a good place to add a bathroom because it can be easier to connect to your home’s existing plumbing.
Basement renovations do have challenges. You often need to work around water heaters, heating systems, and clothes washers and dryers. Depending on the renovations and local codes, you may also need to apply for permits or pass a building inspection.
Convert an unfinished attic
Using your attic is another popular way to increase your home’s living space, particularly when you want to add a bedroom or home office with natural light. Challenges can include the flooring, insulation, and heating and cooling because unfinished attics are frequently built as storage rather than living spaces. Like with basement renovations, there may be permit or inspection requirements you will need to meet.
Enclose an outdoor porch or patio
Enclosing your porch or patio is a good way to add living space or an office to your home. These renovations give you space with a lot of natural light but come with the same heating, cooling, and insulation challenges as converting an attic.
Open up the walls
When your home has many small rooms, knocking down an interior wall to create a more open floor plan can add space to your home. Popular renovations include taking down walls between dining rooms and kitchens or family rooms, which can brighten your home and make it easier to socialize with family and friends. However, it's important to retain load-bearing walls—those that support the structure of your home.
Build a backyard shed or accessory dwelling unit (ADU)
Sheds aren’t just for lawn mowers anymore! If you have space in your backyard, you could build a detached structure to use as an office, studio, or playroom for kids. Include a bathroom and your ADU can be a guest room or in-law suite too. Accessory dwelling units can be easier to build than major additions to your home and the construction can be less disruptive too.
Build better storage
Your possessions can take up a significant amount of room in your house. Renovating garages, closets, basements, laundry rooms, and mud rooms to create more efficient storage spaces can help your home feel bigger. Built-in bookcases and shelving can free up space in living rooms and home offices. Decluttering your house by selling or donating possessions can help too!
Last reviewed and updated November 2023 by Freedom Mortgage Corporation.