One of the top requests we receive from our clients is that they would love to gain more square footage without having to move or build an addition/extension onto their home. While we can’t necessarily increase your home’s square footage, we can design a layout that maximizes your existing square footage with a renovation.

We can help you reimagine your existing space with a home renovation so that your home can gain more “usable” square footage—all within the walls you already have.

But first, let me address the other two options:

Can a home renovation be a better choice than moving? 

If you factor in all of your potential moving expenses, a home renovation is often a better financial option. A renovation can save you money, and you won’t have to go through the hassle of moving, not to mention leaving behind the sentimental value your current home might have.

If you’re interested in the potential costs of moving versus renovating, our article “Should I move or complete a home renovation?” explains it in detail.

Can a home renovation be a better choice than an addition or extension?

An addition or extension to your home can be considered a type of renovation. However, these can come with a few disadvantages:

  • The physical space of your home will get larger, so it will cost more to heat and cool, and you’ll pay more property tax, insurance, etc.
  • Depending on your addition or extension, the space might not bring as much of a return on investment (ROI) as other renovations
  • Additions or extensions are generally much more expensive and still require the nearby spaces to be renovated to match the aesthetic of the new space

We’re not here to say which option is best for you. But we believe it’s crucial for any potential client to research before jumping into a significant change—whether that’s moving, creating an addition, or completing a home renovation.

We can help you with exciting designs and building ideas as part of a home renovation project. So, let’s talk about some of the most important spaces in your home and how we can help you gain more usable square footage.

How can we gain more usable space in your home with a renovation?

If your goal for your home renovation is to improve flow and allow for design options that will create more usable square footage, we can help suggest ideas that can make the most impact.

Removal of walls and partitions - Get more “usable” square footage with a home renovation

Wall and partition removal

Most of the ideas in this article will require some of your existing walls to be removed or reconfigured. Removing walls or partial walls will not only open your space up visually but will also allow us more freedom to create a design that will work best for the shape of your entire space. 

Built-in storage everywhere

Adding storage throughout your home will ensure everything has a place, as clutter can equate to chaos. With less clutter, your home’s existing floor plan will be used to its maximum, and visually, you’ll feel more peaceful and relaxed.

Built-in storage everywhere - Get more “usable” square footage with a home renovation

Look for under-utilized spaces

Conduct an audit of your space – what areas of your home do you spend time in the most? What areas do you use less frequently? What lifestyle changes have spurred the underutilization of the space? What sort of changes do you expect to happen in the future?

Examples of things to consider and make a note of with your audit – and can be solid options of space that we can help transform into additional useable square footage:

  • You’re planning to have or expand your family
  • You’ve gone back to the office, so your home office is vacant
  • Your guest bedroom doesn’t need such a large closet
  • Your main bathroom and ensuite both don’t require a bathtub

These are all essential questions to ask yourself and ponder before you embark on any home renovation.

Basement renovations for more useable square footage

If your basement is unfinished, it’s teeming with unused square footage potential. Depending on the style of your home’s build, finishing your basement can add anywhere from 25% to 100% more square footage. It’s a significant amount of space that offers endless opportunities.

Basement renovations - Get more “usable” square footage with a home renovation

Often, finishing a basement starts as what is essentially a blank canvas. You can take your basement renovation in nearly any direction.

  • Into fitness or enjoy working out? Add a home gym. 
  • Running a side hustle or working from home? Create the perfect office space.
  • Love hosting family and friends? Build a games room with a wet bar. 
  • Enjoy the latest blockbusters or Oscar-nominated films? Include a home theatre.
  • Need an in-laws suite, extra bedroom, or bathroom? Put it in the basement.

Even if your basement is finished, we can help redesign it so that it’s more functional for your family. We’re frequently requested to add a bathroom or bedroom to an existing basement or to revise the laundry and storage areas. 

There are a couple of drawbacks to renovating your basement. Firstly, if your space is currently unfinished, when your new basement is complete, the City of Winnipeg will adjust your home’s square footage, potentially resulting in more property tax. Secondly, there are likely higher ROI-value renovations that you might want to consider over renovating your basement if you are planning to move short-term.

But pound for pound or inch for inch, a basement renovation is a fantastic option for adding a large amount of usable square footage to your home. Read our Winnipeg basement renovation guide for more ideas and tips.

Kitchen renovations for more useable square footage

Planning to add more usable square footage to your kitchen is a great choice. Kitchen renovations are highly sought after, have a high ROI, are helpful for entertaining family and friends, and can impact everyday life. Everyone wants more space in their kitchen, so let’s cover a few options for your kitchen.

Pantry-style cabinets

Depending on the design and location of your walk-in pantry, removing the walls can save valuable space. Pantry-style cabinets that extend from floor to ceiling can create similar functionality.

Pantry cabinets with pull-out shelves - Get more “usable” square footage with a home renovation

Pull-out shelving

Create deep and extended cabinets that are easy to use. We can install lazy susans, pull-out shelving, built-in racks, and more. Many cabinetry add-ons can make the space above or below your countertops vastly more accessible.

Kitchen island space and location

Similar to your kitchen pantry, your kitchen island can save space through reconfiguration or changing its layout and design. As part of our kitchen design process, we can create an island that fits within your kitchen and offers benefits like hidden storage or space for your microwave.

Kitchen peninsula

If the size of your kitchen does not allow for a suitable island, we can help you with the next best thing – a kitchen peninsula. Similar to an island, a peninsula is still connected to your main wall of cabinets but takes up less space by only requiring access from three sides instead of four.

Use an L-shaped space

If you’re short on kitchen space, plan for an L-shaped or galley-style kitchen. This configuration is ideal for your kitchen renovation as the layout is long and wide, resulting in more countertop and cabinet space.

Plan your kitchen zones

Based on how you use your kitchen, create kitchen work zones—prep, cook, clean—to help maximize the spaces you’ll use most versus spaces you’ll use less. Look to set up multiple work zones with sensible overlap. For example, if you’re an avid baker, configure your refrigerator between your baking zone and cooking zone so that both can happen in unison by installing your oven separate from your cooktop.

Read our article, “Top kitchen design tips to improve functionality and efficiency,” where we cover kitchen zones, layout options, and work triangles in depth.  

Bathroom renovations for more useable square footage

Floor-to-ceiling cabinets in your bathroom - Get more “usable” square footage with a home renovation

We can also squeeze more usable square footage into your home with a bathroom renovation.

Floor-to-ceiling storage 

Like a pantry cabinet in your kitchen, we can build floor-to-ceiling cabinets in your bathroom. You can use the space for all of your bathroom needs, from personal hygiene products to additional linen storage.

Vanity storage

Use the space under your sink or behind your mirror to the fullest. Get a vanity that accounts for your plumbing fixtures while allowing you to tuck your everyday items nearby. You can also create hidden storage behind your vanity’s mirror for smaller items and accessories.

Remove the bathtub

One of the quickest ways to gain additional space is to remove your bathtub from the equation. Many clients opt for a glass-enclosed, custom-tiled shower, allowing us to build a zero-to-low threshold entry point for future accessible needs. If you can’t part ways with your bathtub, there are other options – but we recommend a bathtub with shower kit installation, so the space is multi-purpose if you’re tight on square footage.

Skip the bathtub - Get more “usable” square footage with a home renovation

Consider removing your toilet separation

Having all your bathroom fixtures in one open space makes the space feel larger and allows more freedom for other design and layout decisions. 

Get creative with leftover space

Perhaps more so than your kitchen, your bathroom renovation can result in some leftover space—but let us help you use it. We can create custom cabinets and closets and add racks, hangers, and other space-saving or utilization solutions nearly anywhere.

We have experience helping clients gain more usable square footage!

Our clients love our interior design ideas for creating more usable square footage with a home renovation. We can work on each area of your home—your basement, kitchen, bathroom, and everything in between. We have an amazing track record for providing value and superior craftsmanship—just check out our Google Reviews.

Do you want to discuss your home renovation project and schedule your consultation? Please contact us today!