Finding Storage Space in a Small Home
LESLIE: Dave in Kentucky is a very lucky man. You’re expanding to your family with a baby due in December. What can we do for you with your ever-growing population at your house?
DAVE: We’ve got a very small home. It was originally built as a lake cabin down in southeastern Kentucky. And two bedrooms upstairs with the small living room and kitchen dining areas in the basement with a walkout to the lake. We have no closets. Shower only. No bathtub. Looking to try to expand. We want to add an addition on but, in the meantime, we want to be able to add storage for stuff for closet space or ways to do that.
TOM: Well, there’s nothing about having a kid that is small. You know, I learned that when I had …
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Makes you reevaluate your space.
TOM: Yeah, I had … when I had my first child, everything seems to come in very, very large boxes. So it definitely becomes a challenge.
Well, David, sounds like you have to prioritize. I mean how are you going to find that space? Well, first of all, you’re going to, obviously, get rid of stuff that you have. Secondly, you’re going to look into the nooks and the crannies and the architecture of the existing space that you have and try to figure out where you could squeeze some more out. For example, in my house, I had a stair that underneath there was a big crawlspace. So by cutting a hole in the wall, we were able to pick up a huge closet there. In the attic there may be space there that could be finished out and used for storage. Those are the spaces that you have to look at first.
And then, secondly, in terms of the addition, well, the first stop is to make sure that there’s no rules or regulations with your municipality that’s going to prevent you from adding the addition on. And then, beyond that, our recommendation would be that you always find an architect that really can get to know all of the plans that you have for your home and for your family and design all of that stuff in mind. And really think about some of the issues that might be important moving forward. You know, there’s a big trend today towards universal design. Right, Leslie?
LESLIE: That’s true. It’s really important to think about how you will evolve in your space and be important to think about how you can best design the space so it grows with you; whether it’s your growing family or whether you’re aging. And I think, Dave, since you have a wonderful location on the lake, you might want to think about if either your room or the baby’s room is going to have a nice view of the water, why not create a whole window seat area whereas the entire window seat is filled with storage underneath that opens out, whether into drawers or a chest; something that might pop open for storage. This way, you’re making use of the space and the view.
TOM: There’s a good start for you, Dave. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.