As real estate prices continue to climb, the cost to trade up an existing home for a larger one has increased substantially. As a result, more and more Canadians are choosing to renovate their homes, rather than relocating. In fact, it was recently revealed that renovation spending in Canada reached a record $68 billion last year, outpacing spending on new home construction. While the hunt for more square footage can be challenging, homeowners shouldn’t feel like a costly second story or complete addition are the only options.
Here are five great ways to create or optimize space in your existing home:
- Finish the basement. This one renovation holds limitless potential and can increase the resale value or income potential of your home. Think about the possibilities: a home theatre, office, spare bedroom, basement apartment or recreation room. The key to doing it successfully is to focus on what’s behind the walls, especially since moisture is a common issue in basements. Choosing the right insulation is critical. Look for products that are vapour permeable, dimensionally stable and mould and moisture resistant. Many contractors say they use Roxul products for that assurance. For example, the Comfortboard IS semi-rigid sheathing board paired with Comfortbatt batt insulation combats thermal bridging and protect against mould and mildew growth. An added benefit of this type of stone wool insulation is that it’s also fire-resistant to 1,177˚C (2,150˚F). As well, for interior walls and ceilings, Safe ‘n’ Sound insulation is ideal because of its ability to absorb noise and indoor traffic sounds, ensuring your new-found space is a peaceful one.
- Create an open-concept feel with light and colour. If your home wasn’t blessed with towering windows, installing French doors and pot lights can encourage light to travel more freely, creating the illusion of space. Likewise, choosing a paint colour for walls, trim and moldings that is lighter and cooler in tone (think soft grays or blues) will help to reflect light and give the room a more open feel.
- Remove non-load-bearing walls. Homeowners have the opportunity to rethink the layout of their home by removing non-load-bearing walls. Removing structurally unnecessary walls can make your whole home feel larger and improve the flow, lighting and function of your home.
- Convert your garage. For many homeowners, the garage becomes an overflow room for storage––and is often a walk-in headache. Instead, convert it into another living space, like a guest bedroom or home office. Install carpet and quality thermal insulation such as Comfortbatt to keep in warmth and block outdoor noise.
- Choose furniture and accessories carefully. Adopt a minimalist’s eye. Begin looking around your home for furniture or accessories that overwhelm the space. Interior designers recommend choosing low-profile or small-scale furniture for rooms with less square footage. Dual-purpose items, such as ottomans with storage chests inside, are a budget-friendly way to save on space while staying organized.