Office/Gym/Pantry – Is It Time to Add Space to Your Home?

 

Does your home feel too small? Well, from time to time, one needs change. You probably need a bigger office, a different home care room, work from a home office, a kitchen, and you feel the need to have a bigger home. Moving can be hectic, and also, besides that, you may not want to relocate from your current home based on other factors. If there is room for expansion, then with a building permit, you can remodel your space and make the necessary additions. Here are some tips on how to do it:

1.  Get The Necessary Permits

Major structural modifications will need a permit before you can begin working. Different states have different rules. Therefore, it is your responsibility to have a home building inspector give the go-ahead on the work.

An approval protects you from being on the wrong side of the law, and it also enhances the safety of the occupants. However, if the inspector pointed out some red flags concerning the addition, you can correct those problems and call them in for a second inspection. If they are satisfied with the corrections, you will get your permit and proceed with the work.

2.  Consider A Loft

Conducting a loft conversion is one of the most manageable and trendy ways of extending your home and taking advantage of unused space. If you have been yearning for an extra living room, lounge, office space, or attic bedroom, this might be it. A loft can be a great addition to homes with high ceilings. You can add an extra storage area or even a functional living space. Additionally, the occupants may also enjoy the view from up there. You will have to add ventilation or windows, insulate the walls, reinforce the floor, and furnish as desired.

3.  Finish Your Basement

A finished basement is another popular option to add extra living space, a gym, a game room, a library, a pantry, a home bar, etc. If you already have an existing basement, the renovation costs will not be too high.

Depending on the choice of room addition that you need, each may require different levels of plumbing or electrical work done on them. For example, adding a kitchen may need more of those than adding a library. Therefore, it is necessary to consider your budget before doing so. Again, if you do not have a basement, digging out is the other option to set up that extra space which is also a very expensive investment. Essentially, this is why you will need a building permit to ensure that it is done safely.

4.  Get Rid of The Fireplace

The fireplace has almost lost its glory in most modern homes. Most modern contractors do not consider it a fancy addition, especially with the many options of modern heating equipment available. Furthermore, all you want is to maximize your living room floor space. Therefore, if you live in one of those traditional homes, it is possible to easily knock out the chimney, especially if it is not load-bearing. A proficient building contractor should be able to point this out and advise accordingly on how to phase it out without damaging your home.

5.  Consider A Garage Conversion

Doing a garage conversion adequately means getting rid of parking and storage. However, a garage conversion can add adequate living space, kitchen, or home gym without diminishing your equally essential yard space.

The fact that a car fits in also means that you might not need to enlarge the room, making it a perfect room for conversion. A garage conversion will mostly need a new interior fit-out and a few modifications depending on the space you want to convert it to.

6.  Under-Stairs Area Conversion

The area under the staircase can often make a good storage addition, especially for extra shelves or cabinets, or office space. It is possible to reclaim that space and free space in other areas as long as you have adequate floor space. If you need extra lighting, especially office space, hire an electrician to fix that seamlessly.

Before making additions to your existing home, ensure that you have all the facts in mind depending on your expansion. Each conversion needs a different modification, and you should ensure that it works within your budget.

 

Moving Mayhem: Should I DIY my Move or Hire Pros?

 

Moving is among the most challenging tasks you will ever have to do, merely because of the number of separate tasks that must be completed. A common decision you’ll need to make is whether to move yourself or hire professionals. Both options have pros and cons, and it is important to look at all your options before making a decision. This guide will help you evaluate which path is best for you.

 

DIY Move

 

Pros

 

Save Money

Relocating on your own will cost you only the cost of packing supplies and maybe renting a truck. Relocating containers are another excellent cost-cutting alternative.

You Set the Schedule

When you move yourself, you can set the schedule on your own time. When something pops up that causes a change in your plans, there will be no cancellation costs for changing your relocation date.

You Have Greater Control

If you are in charge of the relocation, you have complete influence over how your belongings are treated, how the moving vehicle is loaded, and when the relocation occurs. You make all the decisions regarding the entire moving process.

You Can Avoid Being a Victim of a Scam

While the majority of moving firms are trustworthy and dependable, others are out to con you your money. Moving oneself reduces the likelihood of this happening.

 

Cons

 

Great Deal of Hard Work

Moving is hard, which is why so many people employ professional movers. Not only must you carefully pack all of your things in wraps and boxes, but you must also make sure they make it onto and off of the truck without being damaged. If either of your homes have stairs, you’re in for a long day.

Physically Exhausting

Without using the proper form, lifting heavy boxes and furniture can seriously injure your back. Even if you recruit the assistance of some muscular pals, you are still vulnerable to serious injury.

Inadequate Experience

If you aren’t in the moving profession, odds are you don’t recognize how to move heavy objects, safeguard your furniture, or pack or drive a moving truck. Lack of experience puts you in danger of damaging your belongings or injuring yourself.

You Might Take More Days Off Work Than Expected

Moving yourself would almost certainly necessitate more time away from work. You may save money up front by moving yourself, but if this comes at the cost of taking off work, it may no-longer be cost effective.

 

Hiring Professional Movers

 

Pros

 

You’ll Have Much More Time to Concentrate on Other Activities

With a moving company loading, transporting, and sometimes even packing your possessions, you will have more time to concentrate on the many other things that need your attention—looking after your kids and pets, setting up utilities in your new home, and updating your postal address.

Less Responsibility

Hiring movers allows you to delegate responsibilities and reduce some of the stress of relocating. That way, they can keep an eye on everything, and you won’t have to worry about the minor (or major) details.

They Handle the Heavy Lifting

Leave the hard lifting to the experts. After all, these professional movers were engaged for a specific reason. They have the skills, tools, and physical ability to move your furniture and belongings safely and efficiently.

They are Experienced and Efficient

Most movers are experts who know how to protect your furniture throughout the move, how to safeguard your home’s walls, floors, and entryways, and how to position your possessions on the moving vehicle in the most effective way to preserve space and avoid a disaster. Hiring movers increases the probability that your relocation will go ahead smoothly.

Cons

 

It Could Be Costly

Hiring professionals can be expensive based on the size and distance of the relocation. A local household’s average relocation expense is about $2,300! What a splurge! Even if you’re only relocating down the block, hiring a mover will set you back quite a bit of money.

Less Flexible

When you hire professional movers, you lose quite a bit of control over your relocation. Life is unpredictable, and if an emergency stops you from relocating the day you scheduled your movers, you might be levied a cancellation fee to compensate for the inconvenience.

Impersonal

You probably don’t know the movers personally. Most people would agree, entrusting your personal belongings and valuables to strangers can be nerve-racking. That is why it is critical to conduct your research, read reviews, and compare ratings before hiring a mover to assist you with the relocation.

The option of whether to relocate yourself or employ experts is particular to your personality, requirements, and the details of your relocation. A DIY relocation will be considerably more challenging if you are relocating long distances or have a large property. In addition, if you have kids and other obligations to attend to, hiring a moving company will make the procedure much smoother and less stressful. Nevertheless, if you are unmarried, on a tight budget, have a tiny house, and have little furniture to move, a do-it-yourself relocation may be a better option for you.

Before making a choice, examine your situation: what’s most vital to you—control, safety, timing, simplicity of use, and price are all essential aspects to consider when determining whether a DIY move or hiring professionals is the right move for you.

 

The Ultimate Bathroom Organization And Storage Guide

Morning attitudes and chaos can easily be triggered by a lack of bathroom organization. Utilizing storage solutions allows you to add functionality and space to a tight bathroom. Floating or open shelving can add a modern touch over the use of traditional storage cabinets. These are great for everyday items like lotions, extra toilet paper, or even towels. Over the toilet and corner shelving can also make great use of wasted space. However if you are storing items above a toilet, you need to make sure to keep the lid closed as items can easily fall or become contaminated.

No matter what size your bathroom is, savvy storage ideas can help you add space and stay organized. Check out the below infographic for more tips.

Graphic created by Modern Bathroom.

The Organization Diet: Cut The Clutter

Declutter Your Home. De-Stress Your Life.

Have you been looking around your house and noticing more and more clutter? Have you been looking around thinking you need to straighten up? If so, decluttering your house might be a great weekend project. Did you know, decluttering can also assist in weightloss? Decluttering can help lower stress levels and increase your overall health.

Living in a cluttered space can make it extremely hard to find things when you need them. This can add additional stress to your life and waste your time. Research has found that being exposed to a cluttered or disorganized area makes you more likely to overindulge on unhealthy or fatty foods- resulting in weight gain. Higher levels of cortisol can be found in those who find their home environment stressful. When your space is stressful, you are more likely to feel depressed and you have a higher risk of poor health.

The noble news is that making some adjustments to declutter your space can make it more tidy, restful, and decreases stress. Check out the below infographic for more information on how clutter can impact your life and simple steps on how to get organized.

 

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Graphic created by Closet Works.

 

5 Ways to Improve Storage and Organization in Your Home

It is extremely easy to get caught up in a cycle of disorganization. Most homes do not have adequate closet space, so storage is a major challenge. However, a few tips will help a home get more organized and become less messy.

1. Turn Toy Room Nightmares into a Dream Space
A child’s playroom is probably the messiest space in the house. Usually small toy pieces are everywhere. It is possible to create an organized place for a child to play. To maximize space, it is wise to net stuffed animals from the ceiling. This keeps them out of the way but within reach. Most parents opt for a toy box, but this rarely works. A child digs to the bottom and leaves behind a big mess. Instead, it is smart to invest in clear bins. Since a child can see the contents, there will be no need to disrupt everything at one time. Each container can be labeled as well. If a child is too young to read, the labels can be made of pictures.

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2. Clothes for All Seasons
Most people have clothing that does not fit into the closet. There are numerous ways to organize a bedroom closet to make the most of every inch of space. Hanging organizers will work well for shoes and accessories, but an even better solution is a complete closet system. This includes drawers, cubby storage, and hanging bars that ensure everything has a dedicated place. It is important to avoid too many shelves. Even though they seem helpful, they take up precious space. Also, having them placed too high can make it difficult to remove and neatly stack items.

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To keep things organized, it is important to group items according to color and style. For example, dress pants should be kept separate from jeans, and polo shirts should be in a different place than long sleeve dress shirts. Shoes should be neatly stacked in rows on the bottom of the closet.

Each season requires different types of clothes. It makes no sense to keep sweaters in the closet during the summer. Since space is limited, it becomes necessary to find an alternative place to keep them until winter. A great idea is to purchase tupperware containers that can slide under the bed. This is also a great place to keep comforters and sheets as well.

3. Entry Door Storage Solutions
When a person enters the home, he or she is likely to take off his or her shoes and jacket. It is important to have a place to hang and keep these items out of the way. With a large family, it is common to see piles of shoes all over the house. To hide the clutter and keep things neat, it is wise to create a space with built in hooks and cubbies. These pieces of furniture come pre-made, but it is also possible to build a custom piece that fits specific measurements. It is simple to gather a few cabinets, beadboard, and a shelf to assemble a simple place to sit, take off shoes, place them neatly, and hang coats, purses, and backpacks.

4. Organize the Kitchen
Kitchens are heavily used, so it is essential to keep things neatly tucked away for mealtime. To keep the pantry in order, it is essential to create a space that conveniently displays contents. Shelves, baskets, and drawers will keep things looking tidy and easy to find. Instead of organizing containers according to size, it is better to group them according to contents. For example, cans of soup and vegetables should be placed apart from snack foods.

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Besides storing food, the kitchen is filled with all sorts of pots, pans and other cooking devices. Since cupboards are usually filled with dishes and cups, it is important to find furniture that is functional and creates more storage. One of the smartest pieces of furniture for the kitchen is a mobile island. Not only can it be used for extra counter space to prepare food, it usually contains drawers and cabinets that can store extra items out of sight. Since it is not permanent, it can be moved anywhere. It is a great place to keep small appliances from cluttering the counter tops. Some larger kitchens have ornate hutches that add beauty to the room and also create a place for loose items. It is possible to find a piece that is made from wood for a traditional look or metal for a more modern feel.

5. Garage Junk
It seems that people store everything but cars in a garage. To clean up the space and make it more useful, there are certain tips to follow. A garage usually houses garden equipment, tools, and other junk that has no place in the house. Determining a functional garage layout is key to organization. Installing built-in cabinets and modular storage is a smart idea. These can house sporting equipment, gardening supplies, and holiday decorations. Cabinets should be sized appropriately and include mounted pegboards. This will make best use of the space and allow items to hang from the walls. Some people enjoy shelving units that are sturdy enough to store bulk items like pet foods and large containers of cleaning supplies. Adding a workbench against the wall will create a space for projects. Having a dedicated area will increase the odds of completing tasks before moving onto something else.

Home organization does not need to be complicated. The above ideas are just a few ways to declutter the area and effectively store things neatly. It creates a pleasant space that has increased function and helps a person become more productive.

Tips and Ideas when Remodeling Your Basement into a Man Cave

Basements have many purposes: they can function as family entertainment rooms, spare bedrooms, and even separate apartments. However, one of the most time-tested uses for a basement is the coveted man cave, a safe haven for men away from the rest of the home décor. Hidden away underneath the main living space of the rest of the house, the basement offers the perfect location for a man’s sanctuary. These are a few tips to successfully transform a basement into a fully functional man cave.

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Install insulation
While insulation is always a good idea in a basement to regulate the temperature and keep the room energy efficient, the insulation in a man cave is doubly important. Many activities in the man cave, such as watching sporting events and playing games, can become very loud. This may disturb the other people living in the home. Consider adding insulation to the ceiling in addition to the walls in order to reduce the amount of sound traveling upstairs to the other residents of the house. Foam insulation is the best type to use in a basement man cave because it will repel moisture and mold while it traps air leaks.

Use durable materials during construction
When building any basement room, it is necessary to use inorganic materials to help discourage mold from forming in the lower level. However, using other indestructible and easily-cleaned materials can also improve a man cave. Try using durable plastic floor tiles in the basement. They look very much like ceramic tile or solid wood planks, but the plastic does not warp or crack, and it never needs to be refinished. Additionally, the plastic is very easy to mop or vacuum clean when snacks and drinks are spilled.

Create a flexible floor plan
The perfect man cave needs a lot of space for activities, and it needs to take into account that those activities may evolve over time. While it may be necessary for a bench press station to be near the recliner now, that recliner may move to the other side of the room in a few months to make room for a new pool table. When more space is open, more options are available to add new activities, such as a dart board, pinball machine, or professional card table. An open floor plan also allows plenty of room for friends to participate in these activities.

Install electrical outlets
Many man cave activities require electrical power. From electric guitars to video games and flat-screen televisions, the basement cave offers many different possibilities for manly fun. It may also be necessary to have enough outlets to engage in several of these activities at one time, especially if there are friends in the man cave. Consider also adding a small dorm-size refrigerator to the basement man cave to keep beverages and snacks nearby and cold. With all of these options, be sure to have more than enough electrical outlets available. Make sure that there are enough circuits in the main service panel to handle all the new outlets too.

Plan the lighting
Depending on the type of ceiling in the man cave, the best type of lighting is to use overhead lights in the ceiling panels. This illumination works best in a suspended ceiling. When planning the lighting system in the basement, take into account any windows that will allow light to shine into the room, and then add accent lighting with lamps and wall-mounted lighting fixtures to increase the brightness of the basement. There should be enough light in the basement to make all activities visible. Consider using multiple switches throughout the room, and try adding dimmer switches to some of the lights. This will allow control of each area to get the best level of lighting for the activity. For example, dimming the lights over the television area will create the best lighting for watching a movie, while brighter lights will be necessary over the pool table.

Provide storage
Man caves without storage and clean-up supplies can very quickly turn into the messy frat house that no one wants to visit. Include a small closet for storing cleaning supplies and storage bins that can help keep the man cave tidy and usable. Have a place to store snacks and beverages, as well as a location to dispose of any trash left over from these refreshments. Keep decks of cards, poker chips, and other gaming accessories stored in an organized location. There is no need to make a big deal about keeping the man cave clean, but have the proper storage containers in place to maintain some sense of order.

Splurge on a basement bathroom
Adding a bathroom to the basement can be a very expensive endeavor, but this feature allows everyone to stay secluded in the man cave for longer periods of time. The bathroom does not need to be large or overly accessorized, but creating a self-contained room with a toilet and sink makes it convenient for anyone spending a prolonged time in the basement without disturbing anyone in the rest of the house. A basement bathroom makes the man cave an island of its own without any interaction with the upstairs world.