Adding more living space to your home can seem daunting, but with some strategic changes, you can gain valuable square footage without the headache of a major remodel. Follow these eight straightforward steps to carve out extra room in your existing home.

Take Inventory of Unused Areas

Start by taking an inventory of any unused nooks, corners, walls, ceilings, or closets that could potentially be converted into livable space. An awkward area under a staircase, for example, could become a handy home office or reading nook. Getting creative with existing but neglected spaces is the first place to look before undertaking any major construction projects.

Install Pull-Down Beds

Install the best pull down beds that tuck up and out of sight into closets or walls to create instant spare sleeping space without sacrificing existing floor area. Also known as vertical or wall beds, these clever hideaways feature a bed that folds vertically to conceal the mattress and frame against the wall. Simply lower the bed at night and raise it back into its undetectable stored position during the day.

Build Upwards with Lofted Spaces

Consider adding a loft if you have tall ceilings. Lofting over an existing room instantly adds usable square footage. For safety, be sure to include proper railings and confirm any construction meets building codes in your area. Loft spaces keep costs down since major construction to exterior walls or the roof can be avoided.

Finish the Basement or Attic

Consider turning your basement or attic into a livable space. Be mindful of ceiling height requirements, with at least seven to eight feet of clearance needed for most living areas. Proper insulation, ventilation, electricity, and climate control also need to be added to make basement or attic spaces functional. However, finishing these unused voids in a home’s footprint often presents the most cost-effective way to add space.

Build Out Interior Walls

Do you have an oversized hallway, walk-in closet, or double garage that has more space than you utilize? Consider framing interior walls to partition areas into smaller usable rooms. Bedrooms, home offices, nurseries, and hobby rooms can easily be carved out of these oversized interior spaces. Building codes do specify minimum room sizes, so be sure to check the guidelines for your region first.

Expand with a Modular Addition

Modular furniture and spaces utilize the principles of modular addition and arithmetic to maximize usable space in homes. The central idea is that pieces can be rearranged and combined in different configurations to serve multiple purposes. For example, a modular couch could have chaise lounge extensions on both sides that can be attached or detached as needed. Sections of the couch could even be repositioned at 90-degree angles to create a personalized sectional configuration.

Invest in Multi-Functional Furniture

Squeeze more use out of every inch by outfitting rooms with furniture that serves multiple purposes. Murphy beds, trundle beds, and sleeper sofas can instantly turn living areas into extra bedrooms when needed. Dining room tables with drop-down leaves, folding room divider screens, stackable patio furniture, and modular shelving also promote dual-purpose use from single furniture pieces.

Repurpose Outdoor Sheds or Garages

Finally, take a look at freestanding structures in your backyard or garage spaces detached from the home. Could a storage shed be insulated and wired for use as a home office, artist studio, or guest cottage? Even converting part of an oversized three-car garage into a family room or teenagers’ lounge could add valuable living area.

With strategic planning and a willingness to think outside the box, it is possible to carve out more livable space from your existing home. Follow these fundamental steps to gain the extra elbow room your household needs.