How to Renovate a Warehouse to Living Space

Written by tracie harris
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How to Renovate a Warehouse to Living Space
An old warehouse can be transformed into chic living space. (old sugar warehouse image by green 308 from

Loft living first became popular in New York City during the 1960s. Artists and other counter-culture types transformed old warehouses into residences. These were rough-and-tumble, and often illegal, renovations. Loft living has become more popular over time. It is now seen by many as the mecca of urban living. With careful planning you can turn a warehouse into your own incredible living space.

Skill level:


    Prepare for Renovation

  1. 1

    Visit your local zoning office. Transforming a space from industrial to residential might require a zoning variance.

  2. 2

    Read the building codes for your municipality. Renovating a warehouse into living space will likely require building permits.

  3. 3

    Evaluate the space. What architectural details will you want to include in the new space? Does the warehouse already have plumbing?

  4. 4

    Consult with professionals. A project of this scope will probably require an engineer or architect. Some projects may require both.

  5. 5

    Plan the space. Consider using 3D planning software. Renovating a warehouse into a liveable space will require adding a kitchen, a full bathroom, closets and some walls for privacy.

    Making a Warehouse a Home

  1. 1

    Choose finishes for your new home. The concrete floors, for example, can be cleaned and sealed, or you could install new flooring.

  2. 2

    Acquire a Certificate of Occupancy from your local government. This will officially make the warehouse a residential space.

  3. 3

    Decorate your new home. Lofts require a different scale of decoration from more traditional abodes. Large pieces of art, expansive sofas, and long dining tables help define the space. Many loft dwellers use modern pieces to contrast with the older details of their loft space.

Tips and warnings

  • Have an environmental inspector check the air quality of the building and for any residue of industrial waste.

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