The vast majority of home buyers are extremely pleased with their decision to purchase a home. But there is one common regret – not getting enough space, especially in terms of storage.
Surveys from Trulia and Nerdwallet that included thousands of home buyers found 20% of Gen Xers and 19% of Millennials wished they had bought a bigger home with more space. When you’re looking at resale homes you’re limited to the storage space that currently exists. But if you’re building a new home you have the luxury of maximizing storage so you don’t run into space issues.
How to Decide How Much Storage You Need
Right now you’ve probably maxed out the storage space in your current home. To make sure that doesn’t happen again, you can do two things to determine how much storage space you need in your new home:
- Take inventory of all the overflow items that you don’t have stored or put away.
- Measure the size of all your current storage spaces, including cabinets.
This will give you a very good idea of how much square footage should be allotted for storage. It will also give you a better idea of the types of storage you need so the appropriate features can be factored into the design.
Now Go Bigger for the Future
When you’re building a home it’s important to plan for the future. Now that you know what your current closet and storage needs are, go bigger.
How much bigger largely depends on where you’re at in life. Do you plan on having another child or possibly moving your parent in at some point? Have you picked up a hobby that you want to pursue more in the future? Are you going to buy an RV after you retire?
Even if you don’t anticipate a need for extra storage in the near future it’s a good idea to add around 20% more than you currently need. After all, you only get one shot to design your dream home.
Making Storage a Priority in Your Home Design
During the design phase of a home build you have a lot of important decisions to make. Square footage is a top consideration, but how you use that space is even more crucial. Here are a few ways you can incorporate storage into the design.
This is the biggest storage consideration for most home buyers. A survey from the National Association of Realtors discovered that 60% of home buyers will pay more to get a master walk-in closet. They’re honestly worth the extra cost and square footage because walk-in closets are much more efficient.
A sizeable closet should be in every bedroom, but there’s no reason to stop there. Consider adding a closet in the front entry, hallways, family room and bathrooms. Spreading closets throughout the house will help your keep clutter in check and put things where you need them.
Should you spring for taller cabinets? Almost all home owners agree that it’s a good idea. Upgrading from 36” to 42” or even 48” upper cabinets will add an extra shelf to each one. That adds up to a lot more storage space in the kitchen and utility room.
Kitchen islands are extremely popular design features today. They dramatically improve the functionality of a kitchen by adding extra countertop and storage space. The two biggest design considerations are the size and whether you will include a sink, stove or refrigerator as these features will reduce the amount of storage you have in the island.
You never know how useful a walk-in pantry is until you have one. Even a small walk-in pantry makes it easy to find what you need and gives you a lot of storage space for food, containers and even small appliances.
For many families, the garage isn’t just a place for parking the car. It also becomes a storage facility for seasonal items, lawn equipment and sporting equipment.
When you’re designing your new home the first thing that will come to mind is how many cars the garage will hold. You may not have three cars, but to maximize your storage space and keep a spot available for your vehicles it’s usually a good idea to add the extra room. The height of the garage is also a factor. If you go a few feet taller than the garage door you’ll be able to add a lot of overhead storage.
It’s easy to get distracted by all of the design elements that impact the look and feel of your home. The unseen spaces, like the attic, become an afterthought. Plan ahead by making the attic space an extension of your home.
Consider size, ceiling height and accessibility. The easier it is to get into the attic the more likely you are to use it as a storage space. You may even want to consider designing the attic so that it could be converted into an extra living space in the future.
If you’re building a new home, myHouseby can help you get the storage space you need. Our personalized home plans, augmented reality tools and virtual tours give you the ability to see and experience a house before the build process begins. You’ll have a better idea of whether the home design meets all your needs compared to using blueprints and model home tours alone.