2020 Stay-At-Home Additions: Turning Extra Room Into Functional Space
February 03, 2021 by Jeff Hadley
For the majority of 2020, nearly every family has experienced an increase in the amount of time spent at home. Whether working from home, homeschooling, or just staying at home due to Covid-19, the word “home” has a whole new meaning for everybody these days. Many people find themselves spending the bulk of their day (if not the entire day) inside their personal residence. Suddenly, what was once your family’s living area now doubles as a conference room for virtual meetings, overrun by exercise equipment or classroom essentials for your young children. It can feel a bit chaotic and overwhelming. The first few months of stay-at-home mandates required patience and flexibility for most as they adjusted to the idea of home now also being a classroom-office-gym. As the year comes to a close, however, and the uncertainty of returning to normal continues, many homeowners have decided that a major renovation is what’s needed for their family’s new lifestyle.
Here are some smart Stay-At-Home Remodeling Projects to create more space to help stay focused and build boundaries between home-life and work-life.
Whether you’re needing a dedicated work space for yourself, or an uninterrupted study spot for your kids, now is the perfect time to remodel your home office. This could mean turning a spare room into a fully functional conference and office area for virtual meetings, including new built-in shelves or cabinets for storage; adding a Murphy bed for creative functionality; or perhaps constructing a wall to an otherwise unused corner of your home to create a closed-off den. Another home office concept could be to add an exterior door to an existing office, allowing clients to come to your home, or--if the layout of your existing floor plan allows--building an office addition to create an entirely new room in your house.
Basement or Attic Conversion
Many people have several hundred square feet of unused living space either in their basement or attic. Converting these extra areas into a functional room is an excellent option for creating a home office, gym/exercise area, or even turning it into a guest room to free-up another room on the main level of your house. While basements and attics are, of course, part of the home, they offer a feeling of seclusion and separation, making them an ideal spot for a quiet, focused space perfect for uninterrupted work time.
Garage conversions have long been a popular way of creating extra square footage without needing to build an actual addition. Anytime a homeowner is able to increase the overall size of a home, this also increases the value and equity of the structure. For many people, the garage is simply a storage space – boxes lined to the ceiling with holiday decor, tools and unused yard equipment. Our suggestion? Sell, donate or store it all in a shed or off-site location, and turn that valuable square footage into one or more rooms for work, school, exercise, or entertainment.
For some, the idea of working within the walls of their home is simply too distracting for quality focus time. Or – as is the case for many homeowners – the above four options just aren’t doable as there simply isn’t the necessary space inside the house itself. And sometimes, an addition to the current floor plan is not feasible for the layout, or within a person’s budget. The solution? A separate detached structure in the back or side yard of your property designed specifically for your needs. Dotingly referred to by many as a “she shed” or “man cave,” this type of build allows for complete separation from the home itself, making for a perfect not-so-home office, classroom or gym (not to mention a quick one minute walking commute to get there). Moreover, California has removed much of the red tape requirements for permitting Accessory Dwelling Units (such as backyard cottages, secondary units, in-law units, and more). This makes building a detached structure an innovative, affordable, effective option for adding much-needed space to your daily lifestyle.