Don’t forget these areas of your home when it comes to renovations

Your home is probably the most expensive purchase that you’ll make, so it is essential that you make the most of it.  You want to make it feel like it’s your own, a place that reflects you and is somewhere that you enjoy living.

Changing the décor and putting in furniture is easily done by you, but if you are renovating the property then there’s a lot more to consider, including which rooms to change.

While the obvious renovations are things like bedrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms, don’t forget about the other spaces in your home that you could do up and make use of.

There are often rooms such as the attic, cloakroom, utility room and basement that become dumping grounds for clutter and things we rarely use.  If this sounds like you then read on to see how you can better use these random spaces and rooms in your home.

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Initial considerations

First, you need inspiration. If you are lacking in inspiration then take a look at websites such as Pinterest and before you know it you’ll have stacks of ideas and will no likely be buzzing with enthusiasm for everything you want to do to your home. Make a mood board if necessary!

Next you will need to take into consideration who will do the work for you. Local contractors may be a good idea to take the hassle out of the work – get to know them and see what their thoughts are.  They might even have a better idea you haven’t thought of.

However, this can be costly, so if you’re DIY savvy and have friends or family members capable of giving you a hand then you could save a small fortune.  But do remember that hollowing out a basement, renovating a kitchen and other large scale projects can require professional knowledge as well as having to follow certain building regulations, so it’s recommended you leave those to the professionals.

Here are some of the rooms you may not have considered renovating that could make a big difference to your property:

Basement

Not many people in the UK are lucky enough to have a cellar or basement, so if you are, think of it as a valuable extension of your home. It can be tempting to use is a storage dump, where random things you no longer use are stored. However, if you declutter your house well enough, you may well find that you don’t actually need much storage space.

Try cleaning the area up, give it a lick of paint, and consider hiding any exposed piping and wiring with fake walls. That way you can make it into a liveable space, split it off into smaller rooms, or if your basement is already quite small, then you can turn it into an extra room.

A straightforward renovation that most people can afford and have to do on their own is just to cover up the basement look. For instance, hiding the piping and any exposed wires under some trunking, painting the walls the same colour as the rest of your home, and looking at wood flooring north east for easy to maintain flooring can make a huge difference.

With a blank room to furnish, you could do whatever you want with the finished project, as long as it complies with UK building regulations.

One option is to turn it into a self-contained studio for a lodger and then you can even earn money from this otherwise wasted space!

Garage

Most garages are not utilised properly due to the ease and speed of merely storing your car outside of the garage on the driveway instead.  Get rid of those grim shutters and instead, replace it with brand new roller doors. The better quality your garage doors are, the more secure they will be for whatever use you have for your garage.

Another practical use of your garage is to turn it into another usable room, such as a home office, bedroom or hobby room. Of course, this is only possible if you don’t plan to use your garage to actually store a car! Again, you will need to check that it meets regulations, especially if it is to be a bedroom.

Our converted garage is currently part office and part storage for Ben’s handmade furniture business.  It’s previously been a playroom for the kids and we want to change it into an Airbnb guest room in the future!

Utility room

A utility room is something that is usually forgotten about despite it being potentially one of the most useful places in the house. Older British homes typically don’t have a utility or laundry room, so it’s not uncommon to see the washing machine and dryer in the kitchen, like we have. However, for those of you lucky enough to get extra space to dedicate to laundry, here are a couple of ideas to give it a little more love.

First of all, don’t treat your utility room like a dump. It’s a vital part of your home that serves a crucial function, so treat it much like you treat your kitchen. Clean it up regularly to make sure you have plenty of storage space for things such as extra linen and washing items.  Keep it organised so housework is less of a chore.

You could also add a couple of unique additions to your utility room to make it even more useful. For example, if you have pets and your utility room leads to your garden or a side entrance, then you could install a pet washing station. This gives you a chance to clean off muddy paws, or even dirty shoes and boots before they come into the central part of your home.

You could store your ironing board in your utility room, or perhaps build a sliding one that is convenient to use and store away and drying racks for when you can’t hang washing outside or put it in a dryer.

You could even set up a sewing machine to give you a convenient location to repair all of your damaged clothes, sew on buttons that came off in the washing machine, or even build a shelf to store your shoe collection and add hooks for coats – make it your mud room too!

With some organisation and storage solutions you can make the utility room into so much more than just a place to wash clothes whilst making the rest of your home clutter-free.

Cloakrooms and storage closets

Some cloakrooms might be big enough to house a desk or even an extra toilet. These renovations aren’t common in the UK due to the amount of storage space people need, but like the cellar, that can be sorted with a bit of decluttering. As mentioned before, by selling of some of your unused possessions, you could make extra money to put towards your renovations and clear up rooms that were exclusively being used for storage.

 

If you find yourself stashing boxes in a storage room and leaving them inside to gather dust, or throwing stuff in just so you can forget about it, then you might just be wasting this space. Consider clearing it out, giving it a good clean and then installing something else inside.

 

What to read next:

Exterior improvements that will boost your home’s value

Costs to consider when buying an older property

When to skip DIY and call in the pros

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