If the cooler months have your family feeling a bit cooped up at home and in need of more space, New Zealand Certified Builders (NZCB) is here to help. We had a chat to NZCB Canterbury president and director of RTP Builders, Richard Poff, who is a bit of an expert on how to get more space out of your home, and have gathered all his best tips here.

“Extra space can often be obtained by just utilising better storage options. I am by nature a bit of a collector, so speak from experience.” Richard says.

  1. His first suggestion is to build your bookshelves/display units higher than traditional height (generally 1500-1800mm high). “Ceiling heights are generally 2400mm, at least, which means your builder can give you one or two extra levels for those gathered ‘dust collectors’.

    “There are some excellent shelf units that work well in garage areas, too, he says.

  2. If your laundry is piled up and you’re in need of more space, Richard has you covered. “Consider how much extra space can be gained by changing to a ‘condenser’ type of washer/dryer. There are some very good units on the market. Basic specs are front-loading, they only require a cold water supply, and all water is drained via the usual waste pipe,” Richard says.

    “The last point has the big advantage of not requiring any venting to the outside. This means that your one machine can be put under a bench, and on an internal wall. It may free up quite a bit of room that an extra cupboard can be built into.”

  3. Sometimes, removing interior walls can be a great way to create more space, but you’ll need an NZCB builder to check the wall before you get too excited! “This will require checking the actual structure for load-bearing requirements. A wall between say a living and dining area could be removed, either entirely or changed from a solid wall to a set of sliders. This gives some choice as to how the space is used,” Richard says.
  4. Richard also says carefully adding built-in wardrobes can give you extra storage space without losing too much floor space.

    “Two larger bedrooms that are ‘back-to-back’ may give the option of putting a built-in wardrobe between them. The total floorspace ‘loss’ is about 800/900mm, and it can be taken either from the larger room or shared between them.  This is often possible in an older type of house.”

  5. Or, if you’re trying to find space in a smaller bedroom, Richard recommends considering a mezzanine bed.

    “With regard to ceiling height, one or more levels of drawers can be constructed for the bed-base or mattress to sit up on.  This makes use of otherwise wasted storage space under the bed.”

If any of these ideas have got you thinking about your next home renovation project, you can find your nearest NZCB builder here.