When most people think of an apartment, they see a towering, unappealing structure with inadequate amenities, small rooms, and tight quarters.
Following the pandemic, rental prices skyrocketed by as much as 50-100% from that of just a few years ago. Well-meaning people are finding it more difficult than ever to locate a place to live, while those who already own a house are battling with rising insurance rates, inflation and more. We are seeing a rising number of efficiency add-ons or apartments to existing homes across the U.S. as a means to increase income across the board for homeowners.
The definition of an efficiency apartment is a one-room apartment containing a kitchen, living area, and a bedroom, as well as a separate bathroom. Many homeowners that build efficiency apartments as an addition to their homes plan to utilize it as a second revenue stream; not only does it aid individuals seeking a place to live, but it also brings in extra cash for the homeowners to pay for their expenses.
Efficiency apartments are complicated projects, but the return on investment may be highly enticing to some. In this article, we’ll go over how to choose the best location for your add-on and what extra features you can incorporate to ensure it’s marketable, ethical, and lucrative!
Choose where your efficiency apartment will be located
Garages are the most common area for add-ons because they are generally used as extra storage space. A garage is the most viable space for building an efficiency apartment as it is the room furthest away from the main living area. You should also consider that the renter should be able to reach the efficiency through a separate entrance other than the main door. This will provide you and your tenant the privacy you both deserve.
Some people may choose to convert a dining room or living room into an efficiency, where walls may be created to keep the rooms distinct while remaining close to waterlines, electricity, and natural gas hookups, if necessary.
Amenities and Features
Once you’ve decided on a place for the efficiency addition. You’ll need to think about every aspect of home life and provide it to your renter in bite-sized chunks. They will need a full kitchen or kitchenette, a bathroom with a tub or shower, a living area, a bedroom or place to store a bed, and an entryway or separate door space for entering the apartment.
The kitchens in an efficiency apartment tend to be smaller than what you’d find in a studio or regular apartment due to the fact there aren’t many walls separating the space. A kitchen should consist of cabinets, a stove, a place for a refrigerator and dishwasher, and a sink with counter space. Normally this would be placed on a wall closest to the waterline hookups. Kitchens in these efficiency apartments should remain parallel to the wall to create more living space, and should also have ample storage space.
Bathrooms are also a no-brainer. There needs to be a minimum of at least a shower, a sink, and a toilet for the tenant and also a door for privacy. Efficiencies are exactly what their name implies, efficient. Therefore getting the place to feel comfortable and homey in a small area, it is important to logically think about how you can utilize the small space for multiple purposes.
If you think of it in terms of building the ever-popular “tiny home”, each distinct section of a home can fit into the same space with functional and moveable furniture. For instance, a murphy bed or a pull-out bed can be placed to ensure there is a place for entertainment and leisure, as well as for sleep.
Another popular way to share space is by creating a hanging dining table that fits on the wall so the tenant can easily hang it out of the way when they want to use the space for another purpose. Creativity is key here!
There are also plenty of ways to alter the walls and floors to offer more storage for the tenants. Creating shelf space, or shallow hatches in the floor can serve to keep cleaning items and other supplies out of the way and create efficiency in everyday life. If you’re interested in a new home addition or creating an efficiency apartment for that extra income, Varian Construction’s years of experience can bring your vision into reality. To find out more information call contact 239-514-0103 and we can walk you through the Varian process.