How to find extra space in your home for visitors and relatives

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You might think that your family home is already full to bursting point, with kids, pets and all the things that come with them. Then you get a call, and your friends are coming to stay! How will you accommodate them? And what about when a parent or grandparent can no longer live independently? Can you fit them in too? Let’s find extra space in your home that you’re not already using…

You may think that there’s no room left in your house for more people. What with kids filling the bedrooms, your home office in the box room and a loft full of storage, how will you ever find space for visitors or if a relative needs to stay with you in the future? Here are a few places you could easily turn into living accommodation to find that extra space and future-proof your home:


Let’s face it, you never eat in the dining room anyway! You’re sat at the kitchen table or (if you’re anything like me) you’ve got your dinner on a lap tray in front of the TV. The dining room is an already-decorated, well-insulated, downstairs space that could be easily turned into an extra bedroom if needed. Just pop in a bed, choose the right mattress (a small double/queen size could even be enough for your guests) and you’re ready to invite pals to stay! This is especially great if you have a downstairs loo across the hall or under the stairs.


This is a space that’s just crying out to be converted, especially if it’s also integrated into your home. Simply add the insulation, windows and wiring needed to bring it up to building regulations – check with your local planning office for information before you convert. The great thing about garages is that they tend to be long, so there’s space to build a partition wall at one end to add an en-suite shower room.

You new garage room is all on the ground floor so it’s easy for less mobile people to get around and is a great way to enable elderly relatives to stay with you but retain their independence. Simply add a comfy bed, a British-made riser recliner chair, storage and a TV and you’ve got a ready-made granny annex. It’s also a future-proof space for teens to move into when they want to feel more grown-up and for returning adult children to stay while they save up a house deposit!


If you’ve got enough space in your garden, you could add an extra building outside to accommodate guests. In terms of planning permission, garden buildings that are ancillary to the main house can sometimes fall under ‘permitted development’ so check with your local planning office to find out what’s possible to add to your garden before you begin building!


I know your loft is full of storage and Christmas decorations, but imagine just how much extra space you would have if you decluttered and turned it into another room? Similarly, if you’ve got any space at the side or back of your house, or above the garage, perhaps you could build a permanent extension to your property?

But you have to do it properly to ensure that it’s safe for your family and guests to use and go through the planning process to make sure it’s legal! Loft conversions and extensions aren’t a low-cost option so won’t be right for you if you’re on a budget – but why not get a quote for the job then you’ll have a clear idea of how much it’ll cost. Any loft conversion or house extension can give you tons of additional space and even add value to your home, so might be worth saving up for.

Let me know where you have found extra space in your home in the comments below. I’d love to hear how you’ve made the most of your space to accommodate friends and relatives or future-proof your home.


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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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