Anyone had L-shaped loft conversion in London terrace?

(11 Posts)
lamandler Sun 23-Sep-12 12:50:54

We are going through plans today for loft conversion. Initially we were going to stick with a dormer one room conversion on a small Victorian terrace but every builder we have spoken to says get another room built on top of the first floor back room too.

It's eating into our budget by about 8k. I think people use it as an office or another big bathroom, but if we go ahead we will put spare bed in for grannies over from Ireland!

Has anyone else had this done and is it good value for money? Our planner says just beg borrow and steal to do it as it is common sense and creates a small but valuable space....Easy to say except we've sold all the spare kidneys we can already !

minipie Sun 23-Sep-12 18:32:14

I haven't done this but have viewed houses with it done.

First question: could you afford and get planning permission to do a full length extension over the first floor back bedroom? In other words turning a 'natural 3 bed' into a 'natural 4 bed'. If you can then that is absolutely definitely worth doing IMO as then you can fit in a bedroom and a bathroom and a decent landing (just like on the floor below) into the rear part of the extension.

If you cannot do the full length but could only go about half way back (so, only enough for one small extra room) then I am more ambivalent about whether it is worth it. The extra room often feels a bit poky and the landing ends up pretty small. Having said that i do think it would add more than 8k to the value in most if not all parts of London so agree with your builder in that sense. Ask a local estate agent maybe?

If you do do this, then think about bathrooms - you will want to have a bathroom on the top floor if there are to be two bedrooms up there, and you will also want that bathroom to be accessible from both those bedrooms - so don't put it as an en suite to the main loft room, as then the granny room won't be able to access it wrought going through the loft room.

lamandler Sun 23-Sep-12 22:43:39

That's really good advice minipie thanks. Accessibility of bathrooms will be an issue as the design can't really work like that so definitely food for thought. I personally am not too bothered with an extra room, but it really feels like all the 'professional' advice is we would be mad not to.

EverybodysCryEyed Sun 23-Sep-12 22:51:42

Look at the average price per sqft in your area and i'm sure the area you add will be more than £8k worth

I don't think bathroom accessibility should be too much of a problem if it is an occasional guest room. Just get the basics done and have it as a bedroom. For the purposes of resale it gives people a blank canvas

ogredownstairs Sun 23-Sep-12 23:09:25

Yes - have done it twice, both times as a separate bathroom (with no ensuite to the loft room). Much better as you can have a proper loo and join the main drainage going out the back of the house (no nasty macerators). Secondary bonus is that it can be used by everyone in the house if needed. DS has the bedroom, which is huge but still has plenty of loft storage over the bay. (The niche that would normally be used to squeeze in an ensuite in the bedroom is a really spacious study area.)

I have seen it done as an extra bedroom too - could be great as a study or small spare room, but we really didn't need a 5th bedroom. I think it's definitely been worth it - better head height in the bathroom and the feel of a proper room rather than something squeezed in. I think it's true that everyone's doing it now - since we had ours done there's been a rash of applications in our road to extend existing conversions. (Our road is unusual as the back bedrooms on our houses have flat roofs - until recently you weren't allowed to go over the back, as there was no pitched roof volume to convert iyswim.)

minipie Mon 24-Sep-12 11:51:03

Can you not put the bathroom at the back of the loft room, i.e. where the window to the garden goes - then it would be accessible from both top floor bedrooms? That's what I had in mind.

What would you be using the loft room for, if the new back bedroom would be a spare room?

Alternatively, I like ogre's idea of using the new back room as a generous bathroom (you could also put linen storage etc up there), and putting a study into the loft where an en suite would normally go. would that work for you?

Candiicakes Wed 03-Oct-12 08:44:32

Adding on the extra area is definately worth it. I know from a friend who added this bit at a later date and it cost £15,000. You will get a saving by doing it now and it should add value. But if you can't afford it and its going to stretch your budget (remember you've got fittings, painting, carpets etc to payt for) then don't do it, or try shopping around for cheaper quotes.

lamandler Thu 04-Oct-12 22:23:33

The loft main room would be dh and my room. It's a two bed house currently. Will def talk to planner about putting bathroom at back though I am sure there will be some configuration that works better

lamandler Fri 09-Nov-12 14:30:02

Just a quick update this if anyone planning it - our council has turned it down as despite dozens of houses around us having it done as permitted development, they have just recently decided that as the extension isn't actually part of the roof they will no longer allow it.

I have been swearing for two hours now!

We are only second people in entire borough that have been refused angry

digerd Fri 09-Nov-12 17:32:03

I have seen " chalet bungalows" with 2 bedrooms in the loft but NO BATHROOM - no point as far as I'm concerned and would not consider, as the price is for the extra bedrooms.

LondonGirl83 Fri 14-Dec-12 23:04:40

Hi, if you don't mind me asking, what borough do you live in? Mine, Southwark allowed them, then changed their mind and then recently changed their mind to allow them again. There is a lot of confusion regarding how to interpret the rules.

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