Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'The Expandables' Seek to Find Design Solutions for Space-Starved Homeowners

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'The Expandables' Seek to Find Design Solutions for Space-Starved Homeowners

Article excerpt

'The Expandables' aid homeowners seeking space

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TORONTO - When homeowners start to feel squeezed for space they may be inclined to scout out a bigger house, but Rob Evans says new isn't necessarily better.

"It's not easier to move because moving adds expense," said the contractor. "It adds a lot of money that's lost -- property tax, your real estate fees. Inevitably that place you're going to you're going to do work to, so keep that in the place that you're used to (living in.)"

"It's about growing with the house, with your family and taking a couple of steps back," said designer Mia Parres. "Everyone has a hard time doing that and that's what we're here for -- to show them it is possible."

Evans and Parres help space-starved homeowners in the new series "The Expandables," which airs back-to-back episodes Thursdays starting at 9 p.m. ET on HGTV Canada.

The families featured in "The Expandables" are faced with individual challenges of living within cramped quarters, whether it's due to the addition of children to the household or ineffective floor layouts that disrupt the flow of the home.

Evans and Parres each present their visions of how to help homeowners create a more functional living area better suited to their present-day needs. Once the homeowners select their favoured plans, the duo and their team go into rebuild mode as they redesign the interiors.

While homes undergo significant structural changes, Evans said taking out walls isn't actually increasing the square footage.

"The point is opening the space up," he said. "You can do damage to a home by being able to see the front door to the back door if you take all the walls out. You're basically taking your $700,000 home and it (becomes) one room. So, you need little design tips to have little bump-outs or a closet or a small new wall just to break up the space.

"It's about sight lines, it's about view, it's about layout. It's not necessarily about adding literal square footage."

Parres said they made use of many storage solutions throughout the series, with a banquette being a notable option.

"Instead of having a table and chairs with eight chairs around it, we'll push the table against the wall, given them a built-in banquette with storage underneath," she said. …

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