Making the space of a house more welcoming, useful or just plain larger doesn’t have to mean adding a whole wing onto the frame. Some home building projects are just about repurposing a space or adding utility through other means. From mudrooms to screened-in front porches, these projects are small enough to fit in a modest budget and won’t include enough changes to warrant a full team of builders and contractors to pull off.
Here are three projects that add usable square footage to a home’s interior that some homeowners may be able to do themselves.
Adding a Room Over a Garage
Adding extra rooms to a home’s footprint can often involve arduous steps like clearing the addition through regulatory authorities or even the dreaded homeowners’ association. One way to avoid this is not building out, but building up. Adding a room above existing structures like the garage adds usable space without eating into surrounding yard space, and the foundation of the garage is often already set up to accommodate added weight. This room can be used as a spare bedroom or just a bonus room to be used for seasonal storage.
Add a Sunroom
Porches—front, back or on the side of a house—can be turned into year-round spaces by enclosing them and making them sunrooms. In order to qualify as “livable” space, the area will likely have to be heated and accessible from the main house. Depending on the climate around a home, the structure could be fully enclosed with windows and solid doors, or screened doors and windows could be added to increase airflow.
Add a Bump-Out Addition
Another low-cost and relatively simple addition to a home is the bump-out. These small extensions can be scaled to how much added space the homeowner wants, and they can be varied based on what kind of attributes the owner wants to add to a room. A larger bump-out can increase square footage considerably or be designed to add more windows and bring more light into the interior. In bathrooms, bump-outs can give needed space for a new bathtub, while in a bedroom the added floor and wall area can create a walk-in closet.
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