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If you live in a major city, then you know that renting a nice apartment may cost you all of your money and the lint in your pocket, too. Well, one man out of Silicon Valley, California, refused to pay the outrageous prices for a two bedroom in his area, so he actually rented a one-bedroom apartment with a friend and converted it into a two bedroom himself. A little part of you may argue that’s ghetto… but another part of you can’t wait to do it to your next apartment.

The renter, who goes by the alias Hypurban on YouTube, began the process by measuring out the room he wants to convert. He measured the room from floor to ceiling and wall-to-wall, taking into account the position of windows and power outlets. Once he had the measurements, he made a run to the nearest home improvement store and the fun begins.

One lonely bedroom

One lonely bedroom

The Californian had a short list of supplies that includes 2x4s for the frame of the walls, Simpson strong tie assembly brackets, a full doorknob assembly kit, foam/leather straps, Styrofoam wall sheets and a pre-hung door with no frills. He made a spreadsheet that includes both measurements and the cost of the supplies and enters it all onto Blender to create a 3D blueprint of the room before he gets to work.

Blender is a 3D modeling software package geared towards video games or basic 3D modeling.  (You know, simple CAD work). With zero knowledge of CAD, Hypurban used Blender to essentially do CAD.  In this case, he was able to grab all the dimensions and how to cut said pieces in order to achieve his makeshift masterpiece. You CAD drafters out there, you should be able to whip these level conversions out in no time.

Once the frame was complete, Hypurban wraps all of the edges with the foam straps to ensure it never touches/damages the original room. When the guys move out, they need only take the frame with them and pretend it never happened.

Now, two bedrooms! Sort of like dorm living... I could handle it.

Now, two bedrooms! Sort of like dorm living… I could handle it.

So, next time you’re thinking about renting that fancy two-bedroom, ask yourself, “Could I rent a one-bedroom instead, convert it myself for $300 and use the money I save for a relaxing vacation to Fiji?” Well, here’s to dreaming.

Cabe Atwell

Cabe Atwell

The one-man ace engineering wrecking crew – If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire… the Cabe-team


  • Sammy

    Probably illegal.

    • Voogru

      Most everything is illegal.

  • Brian Webb

    The only relevant code that I can think that would make this illegal is that a bedroom must have a window for egress in an emergency. This does appear to have a window, but I’m not sure both bedrooms could open it.

    IMO it’s not very practical for other reasons:

    1) There’s alot of wasted space in the hallway to the two doors.

    2) It would have to be a pretty big room to fit two beds in this way.

    3) There’s no closet in the second “room”, so it’s not technically a bedroom.

    • Math Campbell

      I’d say it’s stupid because, wow, tiny rooms, but you rent what you can afford I guess…
      Not having a closet doesn’t make it not a bedroom. We have a 2 bedroomed apartment, no closets in either bedroom. No closets at all, in fact. Kinda sucks.

    • dave1305

      Local fire code limits residency to 70 sq ft per person for a bedroom in it’s original developer configuration. Meaning no add-on rooms.

  • joemckay

    Tenement housing is back! Fire regulations are stupid! Hooray for a relaxing vacations to Fiji and extortion!

    • joemckay

      Next week on make, turn a tiny subdivided room into two REALLY tiny subdivided rooms using Sketchup (a 3d software program) and materials from Lowes. Then charge twice what you are charging for your tiny room and go on vacation!

      • Clyde Shaffer

        You too can turn a single bedroom into a golden spiral!

  • Jeff Nme

    EPS (expanded polystyrene, AKA styrofoam) is highly flamable and might be the only real objection I can think of to this.
    Unfortunately, gyprock/sheetrock is also heavier, harder to cut and more difficult to dispose of (can’t just crunch it up into tiny fragments easily).

    • DrDenim

      Yeah. Adding a petroleum based wall in a tiny apartment is not great for fire safety..

      • Vangelion

        Foam insulation board is made with fire retardants for this exact purpose.

  • toyotaboy

    It’s projects like this that will only encourage rental properties to increase and force people to live in bedrooms smaller than jail cells. Why would anyone want to live in a city that badly?

  • onikoroshi

    Soo – no need for HVAC? A.C. nor heat?

  • Christian Beltrame

    What is the point of having a wall in between?
    So you can change without people seeing you? A curtain is better
    So you can have a private conversation? It will not stop sound, especially thru the gap at the window.
    In addition to being unsafe/illegal, I do not see why you would do it.
    Makezine should not advertise this kind of practices.

  • Rifle Creek

    Make: (more money)
    at the expense of basic life safety

  • richardstarr

    As long as it is not a permanent structure its no more illegal than if you put in a dividing screen or other piece of furniture.

    http://www.gaiam.com/s/gaiam/bamboo-screen-room-divider/05-0669.html?code=PSFST100&extcmp=pla_froogle?device=c&network=g&matchtype=&creative=39723928389&adpos=1o3&gclid=CMqRnorXi8ACFQeKaQod-mwAsw

  • rocketryguy

    Not to be a wet blanket, but as creative as this is, it’s an example of what not to do.

    I realize that most college age students are immortal, but this could be horrific in a fire for two reasons: One- it’s an egress problem waiting to happen, but even more importantly, Two- toxic fumes from the non-standard building materials.

    The latter could not only kill the inhabitants of such a subdivided room, but also neighbors, so that becomes a big sticking point with me. Killing yourself is one thing, but killing others is another.

  • agshare

    I bet his landlord was thrilled.2 for the price of one.wouldnt that be considered sub-leasing? what does his lease say about that?

    • Vangelion

      2 people move into 1 bedroom apartments all the time. Couples usually.

  • workhorse

    Interesting article but way to sell blender short. Blender’s modeling tools are far beyond ‘basic’ to say nothing of the nodal compositing, interactive unbiased rendering or any of the other dozens of features you care to glace over on their web page.

  • sam

    other than the use of redundant connectors, i’ve built temporary walls like these to help insulate places i’ve lived. I used clear plastic on the outsides of my walls, and filled them with standard fiberflass insulation.

  • Fum Baz

    Ironically, they are paying over $2k/month for this 1bdrm hence contributing to the greed of the landlord and perpetuating the real estate problem in Bay Area. Good job. These two clowns should have gone back to the shithole they moved from.

  • laceyday

    While some of the space could be utilized better,this could be useful to families with children who are different ages or genders. Everybody deserves a little privacy.

  • Rodney Johnson

    Interesting concept, a bit small for me, though if I was stuck with a roommate and a space that small then I’d consider it better then one bigger room for the both of us. And I know some people are way more into the “tiny house” concept then I am. As for the arguments about fire safety concerns I see all over the comments; I don’t think they set up a firetrap. While if you do use the wrong stuff,and don’t consider fire safety it could be bad, but they didn’t actually say what kind of form board they used, there are kinds that are fire resistant. also if you build the frame so that the wood support isn’t right up against the window then I would think if you needed to get to the window you could just kick in the foam board and get fairly easy access to it that way. and/or they could keep a box cutter in each “room” to get access to the window still with out much extra effort. so I think it’s possible with a little foresight to build the new walls in a way that would still be acceptable.