Seems like an obvious question but not sure, would like advice...

(17 Posts)
VestaCurry Sun 30-Dec-12 15:36:37

We are taking the plunge next year and finally doing our loft conversion. We have the planning permission and architect drawings all sorted, plus the company to do the work (although we'll review this again before finally going ahead with them).

What we have in the plans is putting in a bedroom and another bathroom in the loft, so not an en suite. We can't fit a bath and separate shower in there, so it will be a bath with a shower over it. I felt this is actually more flexible in a family home, and could make a difference to the value, but not sure to what extent compared to an en suite up there. The house would then have 4 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (first floor bathroom has a large separate shower and bath, underfloor heating, all redone 3 years ago) . With a separate bathroom in the loft, the bedroom up there won't be a huge double but a decent size (don't have plans to hand to give size, but we know our huge bed will go in comfortably and wardrobes and shelves will be inbuilt so all space maximised). There's a small cloakroom on the ground floor too.

What do you think? The house is in a desirable London suburb with a real shortage of 4 bed houses, so we want to get it right. I never have the view that I'm in a 'forever' home. If for any reason we needed to sell, we'd obviously want to have made changes that maximise the price we'd get for it.

Obviously if we decide to change our minds and have an en suite, we'd need the plans redrawn. It would have been much easier to go down the 'en suite route' when we originally planned this, it was much more complex for the architect to design what we wanted. I still think it's the right thing to do but as it's a big financial commitment we want to get it really right. In terms of the doing the work, it's about £6k more to have the separate bathroom up there rather than en suite.

I personally would have saved the £6k - I am not sure the difference in value you would get would ever be that amount for bathroom vs ensuite. In addition I am not sure what added value a "full" bathroom as opposed to just a shower room would make. I think the thing to do to find the answer for your area would be to speak to local estate agents. Ultimately though, especially if this is your forever home, I would recommend you do what is right for you and your family.

Ensuites can be a PITA. I don't like the fact that is is only accessible through our room - so if both children need the loo at the same time when getting ready for bed one does traipse through our room. But I do like the fact it is "our" bathroom - so nominally off limits to them IYSWIM.

When we do our loft conversion in a couple of years we will just do ensuite shower room to maximise the bedroom space.

nocake Sun 30-Dec-12 16:32:08

I would go for an ensuite shower room. I dislike showers over a bath as they're never as good as a separate shower.

But, you should do what suits your family best. If you have a couple of teenage girls you'd probably want two family bathrooms.

MajesticWhine Sun 30-Dec-12 16:39:38

I think 6k is quite a lot for the benefit of having a separate bathroom. On balance, I would go with the ensuite. Basically whether its ensuite or not, the bathroom will be mainly used by the person whose bedroom is up there.
But if you change the plans, will your architect charge you more? (or possibly strangle you)

noddyholder Sun 30-Dec-12 16:41:22

Could you have a smaller ensuite and perhaps a study up there?

INeedALieIn Sun 30-Dec-12 16:46:51

I 2nd en suite. That is effectively what the separate bathroom is anyway. If possible, smaller en suite ans extra storage as you can never have enough storage.

SoupDragon Sun 30-Dec-12 16:49:50

Another vote for saving £6K and going for an ensuite. Realistically, the bathroom up there is going to be only for that bedroom anyway (and there's nothing to stop it being used in an "emergency" anyway)

SoupDragon Sun 30-Dec-12 16:51:18

Value wise, I don't think it would make a difference whether it is ensuite or not but the size of bedroom might make a small difference.

kitsmummy Sun 30-Dec-12 16:55:10

I don't think it would add any value at all, being seperate. I'd go for ensuite shower room (1 bath is surely enough in any house) and either have a larger bedroom or, like Noddy says, small study.

noddyholder Sun 30-Dec-12 17:00:01

I did one with large bedroom ensuite and shower only. Large landing with velux and built in desk Buyers LOVED it and value higher i think than just 2 separate rooms

VestaCurry Sun 30-Dec-12 19:31:14

Great advice, thanks everyone. It's only because we haven't been able to afford to do it for ages (carried on renewing planning) that I've had time to rethink it.

I felt for us, the separate bathroom (or what could be a lovely shower room) was the way to go, but need to have a looooong think.

I don't know why I insisted on a bath in there to be honest, never have the bloody time for one!

And who needs an extra bath to clean....

sammydavis Tue 01-Jan-13 09:53:34

I would always have a separate bathroom/showeroom. Outside of hotels, I can't abide en-suites - I mean really who wants all that shower damp and poo smell in the bedroom anyway - en-suites either don't get used or if they are used, they turn into damp magnets.

We did a loft conversion in a London terrace and had large bedroom and separate showeroom - two doors between bedroom and any poo-er - much more privacy.

Also, the place was 'potentially' useable as a studio flat for teen, or foreign student.

I don't understand how it would cost $6k more to put in a separte bathroom, compare to an en-suite! What exactly are they leaving out than enables them to save that much money?

SoupDragon Tue 01-Jan-13 14:56:20

en-suites either don't get used or if they are used, they turn into damp magnets.

Or they get used and are absolutely fine. Like mine.

I imagine the extra cost is due to access issues with creating a landing area/two doors.

VestaCurry Tue 01-Jan-13 15:05:32

Extra partly as SoupDragon says and partly because of the configuration of the stairs, which are unusual (house is quite old but not a standard design - architect built).

sammydavis Wed 02-Jan-13 09:25:24

I'm sure you're right SoupDragon, if an en-suite is put in properly it probably will serve it's purpose perfectly well.

The thing with en-suites though, I'm not exactly sure what their function is - even, perhaps especially, in a family home?
A shower room(usually), which sometimes has a macerator toiler, often no window and means that the bedroom occupants have no privacy from anyone needing to use the en-suite during the day.
I get it - it's a cheap second loo. But that's all it is.
A proper second nathroom will - always - be better.

There used to be a planning rule years ago (may be still in force, don't know) which said that you had to have two doors between a toilet and a kitchen.
It was a good rule for good reasons.
If you ask me, I would apply that rule to two doors between a toilet and ANY other room.
Simply - regardless of how powerful your extractor fan is - for dignity and privacy.

As the OP is in a large house in a desirable London superb, there'll be expectations of quality and quite bluntly, wh's the point in an expensive property, of installing a showeroom which is ostensibly for the use exclusively of the bedroom occupants - when you have the option to install a proper bathroom which can realistically be used by all members and visitors of the household.

It might be £6k now but the real bathroom will add much more money in time and is a better signifier of a higher quality property and what I would expect in a prestige 4 bedder in an established area.

Mandy21 Wed 02-Jan-13 10:34:44

I don't think its simply a question of an ensuite or an extra bathroom because of the layout of the house - i.e. the ensuite or extra bathroom would be on the top floor and therefore only used by the occupants of the top bedroom. Ordinarily, everyone in the bedrooms on the 1st floor would surely use the bathroom on the 1st floor?

As a buyer, I certainly wouldn't pay a premium for a bathroom in the loft that had a door onto a corridor / landing (as opposed to having to go through the loft bedroom if it was ensuite). I wouldn't therefore incur an extra £6k of costs to make it a separate bathroom.

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