Five ways to renovate for more room

Wow, what a weird month it has been. With us all spending a lot more time at home, you’ve probably looked around and considered a few changes you might want to make when it’s safe to do so. Or, perhaps having your whole family in your home 24/7 has made you realise your bubble has outgrown your home?

Rather than looking to sell and buy a bigger house (particularly with the market uncertainty at the moment), you could renovate to get your much-needed extra space. With that in mind, we asked a few of our builders for their best tips on how to get the most from a renovation.

So, what do our builders reckon is the best way they’ve seen to create more space? Phill Claffey, of Character Building Ltd in Gisborne, recommends the classic add-on to create open plan living. “Adding on to create an open plan kitchen/dining/lounge flowing onto a new deck always creates more space. It sometimes will also create a new bedroom with surplus space from old kitchen/dining/lounge.”

Ian Chamberlain, of Chamberlain Carpentry & Joinery in Taupō, has a note to bear in mind when considering extending rooms, though – “If doing additions it’s normally best to add onto the end of a building and/or push out the whole side of a building.”

Richard Poff, of RTP Builders in Christchurch, also recommends opening up your living spaces – can a wall can be removed between your kitchen and dining to create more room? “Many older houses (1940-1960s) often had a doorway (and sometimes a server hatch as well) connecting these two spaces. With a bit of care and cunning, this can sometimes be sorted without the need to get a building consent – it will depend on whether the wall is used as part of the roof bracing.”

If you are happy with your kitchen/dining space, but need another bedroom, Paul Riedel, from Straight Up Construction in Omanawa, has another great suggestion. “If you have an old three-bedroom house, adding an ensuite and enlarging a bedroom is good value. Adding a master and ensuite can sometimes increase your home’s value by more than $120,000.00 quite quickly. That’s a big return!”

Or if wardrobe space is an issue, try this tip from Richard: “If adjoining bedrooms are large enough, a built-in wardrobe can be constructed between the them. The total loss to actual floor space is around 800mm, and can be taken from the larger room. The space is then halved with each gaining access via a sliding door.”

Richard also recommends you go as high as possible, “usually within 200mm or so of the ceiling”.
“If possible, three narrow doors are better than two wider ones. This is because the middle of the ‘robe can’t easily be accessed with two doors.”

Or if you have older wardrobes with poor access, he has a handy fix for that, too! “There is often a lot more space inside them than apparent from the opening. Again, gains can be made by removing the existing doors, etc, reconfiguring the internal space, and fitting new sliders. This is usually able to be done without triggering the consent process.”

We have a ton more great advice from our builders, so stay tuned for more hot tips. In the meantime, click here to find an NZCB Builder near you…

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