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  • Marcus Lansky


Weigh Your Options for Converting Wasted Space into Smart Storage

Are you running out of room in your home, and running out of ideas for what to do? Sometimes, the best solutions are already within your four walls. When it’s time to turn your wasted space into smart storage, here is how to ensure the work is done right.


Most of us are living with unused space in our homes, and with just a little tweaking, those dead zones can become useful. U.S. News suggests going through your home with fresh eyes. Consider any wasted areas, whether it’s unused space under a stairwell or a gap between studs you could turn into built-in shelving. Sometimes, homes are laid out poorly. Perhaps removing a wall or a half-bath is the key if what you have isn’t as functional as a pantry or closet would be.

By creating more organized spaces in your home, you could increase its functionality which could raise its value. Be sure to document any changes you make, keep receipts, and take before-and-after photos.

Hiring a contractor

Now that you have decided to change your living space finding a contractor is pretty easy, but finding a good contractor can be tricky. As Building Advisor points out, the success of your project depends on whom you hire. Find someone you trust and feel comfortable with, and remember you’ll need to be able to communicate about all sorts of details, from your preferred materials to timelines to navigating any unforeseen problems. There are three categories contractors fall into:

Licensed contractors and handymen. The license number is normally on business cards and business signage. Uniforms and vehicles identify them as contractors, and a written contract for work is supplied before beginning. They will pull building permits as needed.

Unlicensed, working within legal boundaries. These workers are typically less expensive than those with a license or who work under a licensed contractor. Telephone manners, uniforms, and vehicles may or may not easily identify them as contractors or handymen. They carry liability insurance, but may or may not offer written contracts. They may or may not pull building permits.

Unlicensed, working outside legal boundaries. These workers will offer the least expensive quotes. They will often request large deposits before beginning work, which is illegal. They will not pull building permits, and will not offer a contract. There is no legal recourse for work performed outside of legal restrictions.

Ask around

No matter how large or small your job is, you should ask for references before selecting a contractor. Talk with family members, friends, and coworkers to see who has a recommendation. Also, check with the Better Business Bureau and the local planning commission for names. Whoever you consider hiring, ask if they have performed similar work, and get related references. Better Homes & Gardens recommends getting several bids to help with your decision since it can give you a better idea of what prices are appropriate.

After the work is done

Home renovations tend to produce a substantial amount of dust and debris, and even if your contractor is great about picking up, there will be some cleaning to do after your project’s completion. You’ll find dust becomes airborne, meaning your curtains and carpet will trap particles, as well as your vents and furnace filter. Use a post-construction cleaning checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything. If you’re strapped for time, it’s an especially big job, or you’re sensitive to the particles, hire a professional to do the cleanup for you.

Chances are that you have wasted space in your home which could be redone for better use. Think through your options, store your items while the work is being completed, thoroughly clean up after, and don’t forget to add organizing your belongings

to your plan.

Having a new space is more satisfying when you consider what you own before you make major changes. In the end, you’ll enjoy having more elbow room and being more organized.


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