Extra space – the final frontier at home


Mums and dads cannot wait for youngsters to leave home so they can convert the extra bedrooms in to storage, bathrooms or space for hobbies.

As soon as children leave home and parents are sure they are not coming back, out goes the furniture and in goes exercise and playtime equipment.

Around 85% of parents admit to coveting their children’s rooms – and although more than a third (37%) just dump clothes and belongings that have not got a home elsewhere, many have other plans for the extra room, according to research by the AA.

Spare rooms are switched in to gyms (17%) or games rooms (26%).

With all the extra equipment and gadgets, the AA is urging families to check their home insurance sum assured covers the value of the new items.

Modern parents are less sentimental about their children’s rooms – the report reveals that a decade ago, only 1% would take over the space, whereas 26% admit to coveting the possibility of more living rooms now.

Offspring looking forward to a night in their old rooms are also disappointed to find that 19% of families change the bedroom in to a bathroom.

Other favourite conversions include studies (36%), a guest bedroom (31%) or dressing room (14%).

Not only do families have more space when children move out, but they reckon they are financially better off as well. Around 5% claim they save up to £1,000 a month on food and bills now they live without children, while 70% have cash in the bank because they spend less.

Some (15%) even let out the spare room to a lodger to make some extra money .

The AA’s Tom Stringer said: “When children move out, parents get the freedom to make modifications to their home which they may have wanted to make for a while but were unable to find the space for. Adding a gym or games room to a home can be a fun project for parents, especially if they’re retired.”

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