As we settle into the New Year working from home remains and now the kids have joined in too! If you are planning a home extension or remodel, space to work and learn is most likely high on the agenda. Here are some of the ways you can add additional working and learning spaces to your home, whatever your budget.
Divide Up Existing Space
Open plan space may not be as fashionable and desirable as it was just a year ago. With the whole family spending most of their time inside, the noise and distraction created may not be ideal for home working or schooling. Consider re-dividing up the space, but instead of the solid wall and door solution look at adaptable alternatives like screens which can be open or closed depending on your requirements throughout the day.
At this family home on N4 a Crittall Screen has been used to create separation between the two reception rooms whilst still letting light and views through. This is a creative, and trendy, solution to dividing up space without compromising style and light. If a Crittall screen is out of budget – prices start at around £4,000 for something like this, then look at cheaper alternatives. Perhaps a custom made timber framed divider, floor to ceiling curtain or even using large pieces of furniture such as bookcases or shelving units.
Convert the Garage
A good starting place if a full extension is out of the question is converting an existing garage. As cars have got larger many older garages are no longer fit for purpose and more often than not become disused dumping grounds. So why not convert this into a dedicated playroom, second sitting room or home office. Depending on your requirements the space may be large enough to add that handy downstairs WC or Utility room too. Adding purpose built storage into the space, along with a good and much needed clear out, means the items currently stored can remain in the garage too.
However, if you don’t have a redundant room waiting to be transformed, or you would prefer a degree of separation between work and home, then a garden office or outhouse may be the way forward for you. A new purpose built structure in the garden can be designed bespoke to your site and needs, giving you greater flexibility in the working environment you create. Location within the garden and position of windows and doors can all be done to make the most of light and views, while adding a small WC and Kitchenette will provide you with a practical solution.
Something to also consider is the possibility of the outhouse doubling as a summer house at evenings and weekend, creating good storage to hide away office supplies and an adding seating area or an outside deck fashions a space that can be used by the whole family all year round – an outbuilding really can become an extension of your home and garden.
First Floor Extension
Many Victorian terraced homes have an outrigger to the rear, housing a kitchen on the ground floor and a bedroom above, over time the ground floor portions have been extended leaving the potential of the first floor to follow suit. A first floor extension gives way to the possibility of adding an additional room upstairs or enlarging an existing box room to create a home office or additional room for the kids to have their own space.
Sometimes the only way is up, if you live on a tight plot or don’t want to handover any of your outside space to a new extension then the loft may be your best option. Loft extensions can be costly, with prices starting at around £30,000, but they can add heaps of value to your home along with space – you will be adding an additional floor to your property after all! Covering the loft can be as small as adding a bedroom or office space within the eves or doing a full L-Shaped dormer extension to gain upwards to 2 double bedrooms and a new family bathroom. There is a huge amount to potential to unlock in your attic.
Mezzanines can be a great use of the loft space too. If you have high ceilings on the floor below or a low roof pitch, then creating a mezzanine can be a great way to add additional floor space without having to alter the structure of the building.
Repurpose Existing Spaces
If home extensions and conversions are out of the question, or you want to incorporate a workspace alongside current living space and not in your new extension area then consider what can be done with the existing spaces. Chimney alcoves, landing and even under the stairs are all great little nooks to add in work from home spaces. Placing or having a desk or bureau built under the stairs or into the alcoves either side of the chimney makes for a practical and affordable way to add a private working space for either yourself or the kids. Designing a solution that can be hidden or folded away will ensure that come the end of the working day it can be packed away neatly and the room will be returned to its original purpose.
If you are considering a home extension in 2021 or are looking to explore the possibility and options available then give our friendly enquiries team a call 0207 495 6561 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help.