December 20, 2012, 6:00 am

What to Do With Extra Space in Your Home

by: MD    Category: Properties
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Do you have any extra space in your place?

One of my good buddies had a bunch of us over to his new place last month. This guy is a really handy dude. He built his old house with his father. Yes, he literally built a house. I can’t even build Ikea furniture.

As he was showing us what he had done with the place, he mentioned that he had tons of additional space now since he turned empty space into a liveable room. We then started discussing what one could do with additional space in a home, especially rooms that are never used.

What can you do with extra space in your home?

Airbnb.

You can rent out your empty room to travellers from around the world. I recently met someone that was renting out the guest bedroom every single weekend for a decent chunk of change. I became fascinated with this idea.

What’s this all about? I checked out the official Airbnb site to see how they explained their own service:

“Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 33,000 cities and 192 countries.”

Sounds like fun to me. I’m sure that it’s easy to be skeptical about this since you’re letting strangers into your home. However, it’s worth giving this a shot. You take some pictures, set the rate, and the availability. Why let that additional room go to waste? Why not make some money out of it? Plus, you might meet someone pretty cool.

Couch Surfing.

Have you heard of CouchSurfing? It’s like Airbnb without the money. It’s like a social network for travellers. You also don’t even have to offer a full room. You can share a spot on the couch or a mattress in the living room.

What does the official site have to say about this service?

“Couchsurfing is a community of over 5 million members in 97,000 cities — and every country — around the world. Our website connects travelers and locals who meet offline to share cultures, hospitality and adventures – whether on the road or in their hometowns.”

What do you exchange for allowing the traveler into your home? That’s up to you. Your new friend from across the world can teach you their native tongue or they can simply cook for you.

Once again, you have to be really open minded here because you’re opening up your doors to unknown vagabonds. The good news is that you can meet a seasoned traveller that can share all sorts of stories with you.

Of course, this natural isn’t for everyone. Now, what if you absolutely do NOT want any strangers in your home?

Turn it into a gym.

This will cost you some money to get started, but it will save you money in the long run on gym memberships. A home gym is also super effective when you don’t like to travel to a gym or you get intimidated by all of the fancy equipment at the gym.

What do you really need to turn empty square footage in your home into a gym?

  • Space to do your pushups and air squats.
  • Resistance bands.
  • Some dumbbells.
  • A kettlebell for swings.

Have you ever tried working out from home? With those tools and some extra space, you can get an amazing pump!

Create a working space.

Do you have a specific space where you can just focus on your work? You can buy a desk and comfy chair to create your own working space. This can be your home office or where you go strictly to focus and get things done.

Those were the best ideas that I could think of for extra space in your room. I would love to hear from you guys about what you would do with unused space in your home.

Would you let strangers into your home? Would you rather have your own home gym?

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Comments

Couch surfing is such as awesome way for people to see the world and meet others.

With the arrival of a baby, I actually needed extra space so I built my dream office/podcast studio in my backyard this past summer. Basically I took the unfinished shell of a shed and added insulation, big energy efficient windows and door, electricity, pot lights, flooring – the whole works. I even have an espresso machine, and it is heated. In summer I will have the cooling of our 100 year old apple tree over head. If anyone wanted to do something similar I can highly recommend it.

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Just make sure you are the OWNER of your property before you rent it out via AirBnB. Otherwise, it’s a lawsuit or big boot waiting to happen.

@Sam Good point. I should have mentioned that in the article. We don’t want any pissed of landlords.

@Quinn That’s a cool story. Did you do everything on your own?

Thanks. I had the shell custom built by a company that specializes in sheds but did the rest myself. I was going to use a home depot shed kit but they use 2x3s instead of 2x4s so not ideal for insulation but you could do it that way. Spend about $3500 all up – $2000 for the shell which went up in about 3 hours.

I have a friend who traveled to Europe and met with people whom he met on Couchsurfing. He had a great experience since the locals he met showed him places he wouldn’t have found by himself as a tourist. But like you mentioned, I’m not entirely comfortable with the thought of letting strangers into my home. I could use more working space though.

@Felix you definitely need a curious mind and a free spirit to let so many strangers into your home. I love meet new people. I just like to be alone sometimes.

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