Posted February 23, 2016 by Gabriel Posternak

Room swapping - a different way to renew your home

Kids are growing and their room got too crowded? You start to work at home and need an office? You want to workout but you hate to go to the gym? Maybe you find yourself needing a new space but you can’t move right now, so room swapping may be the perfect solution. And though you might think exchanging rooms can't be a solution, it can be the option you need to finally feel comfortable at home. Here's how you do it!

Make a plan

Maybe you find yourself with an extra room after a home declutter or have some attic space after a roof upgrade and you want to repurpose it as a bedroom or an office... but are you sure all family members think alike? Sit with all of them and tell them your plans to get everyone on board.

A small attic space can be better for a teen who wants more privacy than square footage, and you can get a more comfortable office space with his/her bedroom. Or you may think that the new clean basement can be a great gym but someone else might want to share this space with a home theater, so be open to suggestions before starting to move things.

It’s easy if everyone benefits with the swap, so if you are designing an office for yourself you can compensate with a paint job or decoration upgrade for someone else’s bedroom. If you are planning a common area space like a playroom or a gym, take care that it meets the need of the entire household from de design.

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Calculate a budget

Remember that the main reason to room swapping is to be cost-effective, so you have to know how much money all the moving will cost. Ideally, the cost would be zero but let's face it - not all rooms will be already prepared to suit the needs of the new occupant. So, perhaps you'll have to make some changes here and there.

You need to consider the cost of the materials plus the professional help you might need, because not everything will be a DIY job. Big or complicated paint jobs, flooring, electrical wiring, extra heating or insulation will surely get in the “hire a contractor” category. And before and after moving you might need carpet shampooing and drapes dry cleaning, floor waxing and deep closet dusting, that is usually done by professional home cleaning services.

Of course, like any other home improvement project, add a 20% extra for contingencies.

Schedule

Before the actual room swap, you will have some work being done in different spaces of your home, so the smart move is make a start-to-finish schedule for everyone.

Make sure you detail all the things needed from every family member -like clean closets and put clothing in boxes or empty bookshelves and drawers- with clear deadlines. Fix dates with the contractor and the cleaning services and make them match with your own schedule.

Remember that the key to success of the whole project is following each step on time, or you will have half of your house like war zone and everyone in a bad mood.

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Actual moving

According to your schedule, you can swap rooms gradually, as soon they are ready or all at once. Maybe you move first the kid to the attic when ready and then start your office with the empty bedroom. Or you might want all the workers and dirt at the same time in your house -with you on temporary set- and then all the cleaning and moving on the same day.

Does it bother you more a temporary office/bedroom or dirt for an extended period? There is your answer! Make sure everyone knows what to expect and gets ready to help when the room swap takes place, like in any other moving.

Room swapping can be a great family project and get you all the satisfaction of an actual remodel, but is not for everyone. Go over our tips and think whether your house or your family is ready to it. A small house might need an addition or the lack of free time or will might call for a professional remodel made it whole by a contractor. You won’t save money if your plan fails half-way, so contemplate spend a little more and get the comfort everyone needs.

With all the things consider, are you ready for a room swap?

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