Expand storage space in your home

A remodeled closet can improve storage space dramatically and give homeowners the extra space needed to move in extra family members.

With an increase in multi-generational living, the need to accommodate additional furniture and belongings may require home improvement projects — both big and small.

Garry Tissue of Tissue Construction has helped make necessary adjustments for area homeowners who not only have older children living with them, but also are moving their elderly parents back in. Tissue has overseen creating entire apartment suites, constructing outbuildings and reconfiguring existing spaces.

In addition to creating additional storage space for extra items, Tissue has made changes to cabinetry in order to address safety concerns and accessibility. If there are young children and elderly parents who take medications living in the same residence, taking extra precaution is important. Due to increased fall risks, houses need to be clutter free and this too necessitates additional storage.

With more than 35 years of experience in construction, Tissue has learned designing for extra storage space is just as important as building for it.

“Every family’s needs are different, which is why I started doing design work many years ago,” Tissue said. “Often, people could not find a house plan that was just what they wanted, and how a space ‘works’ is just as important as how it looks. It is often a matter of details that make the difference.”

Sometimes when older parents move in with their adult children, there is a need for long-term storage for items that don’t need to be readily accessible. This may be when the option to construct an outbuilding would be more feasible for the homeowner.

Tissue said that a standard 10-foot by 10-foot building would typically cost in the neighborhood of $3,000 to $4,000. This would be a simple build without insulation, but that could be added for a minimal cost. The greatest concern when it comes to storage of any kind is preventing mice from bedding and damaging items.

If storage needs are minimal, existing closets can be revamped to increase practical storage.

Tissue has designed and implemented various closet makeovers and said the average walk-in closet redo typically will cost a homeowner approximately $500 to $700 and can improve storage space dramatically.

Some homeowners also place long-term storage items in their attic, but it is imperative that the roof is specifically designed to support extra weight and this can be determined by a professional. If items are stored in a crawlspace or attic, homeowners should add insulation if it is not already in place to create a climate controlled environment.

Some homeowners will remodel a basement into living quarters by adding daylight windows and a bathroom. It is often more reasonable to have an older child live on a lower level and have an elderly parent live on a main level to avoid having to use stairs and risk possible injury.

If a family member moves out, the extra room then can be refurnished to house out-of-town guests.

Whether taking on a large or small project, it is wise to consult a professional who can help determine the most cost effective way to maximize storage space.

“Since every home and family are different,” Tissue said. “It is a good idea to have someone with a fresh perspective — but also necessary experience in design and construction — look at your particular situation.”

Stacie Rose is a features writer for The Daily News.

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