It’s not a good situation.
You have stuff. You have people. You might have a family pet or two. And the equation just isn’t working anymore; you can’t fit it all into your single family home.
Nor can you move to somewhere bigger.
The above is a situation that an alarming number of people find themselves in. It’s frustrating, making you feel like you are trapped in a horror of your own making. Somehow, the things you need to fit into a single space seem to multiply while the house gets smaller.
If moving is off the cards, then you have three options: up, down, or out.
Yes, it does sound a bit bizarre on the surface, but trust it: these are your only options, unless you want to part ways with a huge number of things and/or people. While you may tell yourself that you can hold on until the kids go to college, remember that they might well return to live at home once they have their degree. Relying on the passage of time isn’t going to do it.
So that means you have to make a change: up, down, or out.
“You’ve said that twice now and I still have no idea what that means.”These are your three options for extending your space. That doesn’t mean in terms of an actual physical brick extension; they cost a lot of money, time, and effort. All things that might not be feasible in a vibrant family home.
They are, however, changes you can make to expand the space you already have.
“Okay, so… up. That’s got to be an attic conversion.”
It is indeed. Attic conversions are a genius way of adding more living space without changing the footprint of your home. They are also a lot less work than people imagine, especially if the loft is in a good state to begin with. As long as you secure the floor so it can weight-bear, and have the space for an additional staircase to it, then it’s a viable idea.
Basement conversions are not as popular as the attic version. This might be because people think they will be dark, which is just not the case – it’s possible to ensure there’s still natural light into a basement. One great option is to move your entire living room into the basement as a kind of “relaxation zone”, leaving the rest of your house free for storage.
“And out? Isn’t that going to be an extension?”
Not necessarily. If you don’t want to dig down for the foundations for an extension, then you have other options to make the most of your outdoor space and backyard. Log cabins, metal buildings, or even just a shed with some electricity wired to it – they all provide extra living space.
“Which one is right for me?”
That’s completely up to you, but as a general guide, your budget could make the decision for you. In price terms, the most affordable method is out, then up, then down – so let that be a starting point on what to research.