How to Make the Most of Your Existing Space

How to Make the Most of Your Existing SpaceFeeling squeezed into your current home? You have three basic options: buy a bigger house, build an addition or do more with the space you already have.

From Kitchen to Kitchen Lounge
Today’s kitchen is a place where the whole family tends to congregate. While Dad cooks, the kids do their homework at the island and Mom pays bills at the desk. Our work frequently involves reconfiguring the kitchen to give it more of a “lounge” vibe.

As homeowners start rethinking their kitchen space, they often factor in their dining room, too. Not long ago, removing a formal dining room was unthinkable. In recent years, however, homeowners have started to ask themselves, “How many times a year do we actually use the dining room?”

Looking to create more living space that you can enjoy on a daily basis? Taking down a wall to merge that little-used 12×12 dining room with your kitchen can make a world of difference.

In the Pocket
On the other hand, sometimes it makes sense to divide a single room into two. For example, one of our clients had a two-bedroom house but wanted a third bedroom. We are building out a wall using a double pocket door to section off a portion of a large living area and create an extra room. Opening the doors will make for a six-foot-wide passageway between the rooms, allowing the family to reincorporate the space later if they like.

Bonus: Installing pocket doors in a smaller room generates more space by eliminating the “swing” area of a standard door.

From Unusable to Usable
Do you have little nooks and niches in your home that can’t quite fit furniture and thus go unused? They might be good candidates for storage in the forms of a built-in or small closet. Or, they might provide the perfect home for a stackable laundry unit.

Would you like to add a half bathroom somewhere in your home? Areas that are seemingly unusable — e.g. under staircases or in corners — might offer a solution. For instance, we’re transforming the corner of one client’s dining room (including a china cabinet) into a half bath with exterior window. The trim work and molding match those of the dining room, so the bathroom looks like it’s always been there.

Usable Space Before
Usable Space Before
Usable Space After
Usable Space After






Attic RenovationsRight Above Your Head
Attic renovations are a great way to increase your livable space, but they can be tricky. Some attics were built to be finished spaces, while others either can’t support the weight or don’t meet certain zoning requirements.

If you have the right type and size of attic, you might be able to add a master bedroom/ bathroom suite, office space, kids’ playroom, etc. And if your attic is too small or lacking in other ways? You still might be able to build out the space for storage.

The Chimney Has to Go
If your home has a chimney, taking all or some of it down can free up lots of space. In its place, you can install a high-efficiency boiler in the basement that vents directly out the side of the house. Removing the chimney may create more floor space, allow you to take down a wall or make other improvements.

Deck, Patio RemodelThe Great Outdoors
Think of your outdoor space as part of your home. Adding a new deck or patio and one or more points of entry can do wonders to pull the exterior into your interior. Bonus: Outdoor projects are almost always less expensive on a per-square-foot basis than indoor renovations.

To discuss any of the ideas covered in this article — or anything else you have in mind for your home — please call us at 781-648-2835.



Custom Contracting, Inc. 1267A Massachusetts Ave. Arlington, MA 02476 Phone: 781-648-2835 Fax: 781-648-0907 Email:

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