As your family grows, so does the demands they put on your home. The older your children get the more they need their own space.
In the past, most families would have simply moved to provide their children with their own room, as they got older. Sadly, the fact that the costs of moving and housing have risen in most areas means that for many this is no longer an option.
As a result, more and more families are looking for ways to make better use of the space that they already have. They are increasingly converting their garages, sheds, basements, lofts and outhouses into accommodation for their children, or elderly relatives.
If you find yourself needing to do this here is an overview of how to quickly, and cheaply, turn a space that was designed primarily for storage into one that can be used to sleep, work or live in.
Don’t be tempted to cut corners
When converting a space from storage to living accommodation your first step is always to check what is required under building regulations. Bear in mind that in the event of an accident, fire or flood, failure to comply with these when converting the space can invalidate your insurance.
Those regulations are in place to protect the health of your loved ones and keep them safe. Therefore, you need to comply with them.
It is never a good idea to use materials or methods that do not meet the standards laid down by the law. Doing so may save you money, but it could lead to injury or loss of life.
Windows and doors
Often the trickiest part of the project is meeting building regulations about providing enough light and an exit that will be suitable in an emergency. Unfortunately, the only way to save money on this aspect of the conversion is to shop around for the cheapest units and install them yourself. Making your own curtains or blinds will also save you a lot of money.
You can however save money when it comes to the walls. The cheapest option is to leave the walls as they are, and just apply a coat of paint. This may not look brilliant, but remember you can always board them out or plaster them later.
On the face of it, leaving the floors as they are is the cheapest option. However, you have to think about how comfortable and practical a cold concrete floor would be in the winter.
You need to bear in mind the additional cost of heating a room like this. You may save money on flooring materials, but higher heating bills will soon eat up those savings. A far better option is to buy some cheap wood flooring and install it yourself.
To make the space comfortable you will have to provide adequate lighting. The easiest, and often cheapest approach, is to opt for standalone lamps. This means you will not have to run new electrics, which will save you a lot of money.
If you would like more advice about turning storage space into living space, click here.