Sleeping on separate floor to children

(23 Posts)
Mrsmulder Mon 25-Jan-16 16:23:45

Just wondering what age you would be happy with this and also wwyd about this house.

We own a 2 bed house that is big enough square foot wise but we need an extra bedroom as we have 2 children. We can't change the outside of the house as it is listed but we have a large cellar that we want to convert and I am thinking of making it a large master bedroom with ensuite so the children could have a room each upstairs. They are happy sharing for now and they are only little so wouldn't want to sleep 2 floors away from them but what age would you think this would be ok?

Another option we have is to put a small bathroom upstairs in one of the bedrooms and put a partition wall up so one bedroom would become a bathroom and a bedroom. The current bathroom would then be a bedroom so we would then have a 2 bed plus extra space for a games room for the children when they are older.

Any ideas/ opinions?

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 25-Jan-16 16:28:53

We lived in a Victorian townhouse when the DSes were small; we were on the first floor, and two of the DSes were on the second floor from months old to about 6 years.

I'm not sure about having a master bedroom in the basement, what is the light like?

Mrsmulder Mon 25-Jan-16 16:33:19

Light would be ok as we would have a full size window with a light well.

lalalonglegs Mon 25-Jan-16 16:46:57

We also slept on separate floors from when my children were a few months old. It never occurred to me to think that it was anything to be worried about.

Mrsmulder Mon 25-Jan-16 17:40:07

I suppose I am a bit prone to worrying, I am mostly worried about what would happen if there was a fire.

The 1st option would be a bit cheaper but we will know better when we have had quotes

Sinkingfeeling Mon 25-Jan-16 18:57:46

We slept on a separate floor from our dc (we had the loft conversion and they slept on the first floor) - when they were 6 months old they went into their own rooms. Never considered it a problem either. When they were very little we kept our door and theirs open and had night lights on the landing.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 25-Jan-16 19:01:58

We do this and understand the fire risk worry - but - we hear every sound - like auto tuning!

ABetaDad1 Mon 25-Jan-16 19:06:01

We have an attic (servants quarters) in a listed building and we put a small loo at the top of the attic stairs. The DCS sleep up there above our bedroom. We also converted the basement so they have a space of their own as they are mid teenagers.

I strongly recommend that option.

cathyandclaire Mon 25-Jan-16 19:16:08

We did exactly the same as ABeta. It worked brilliantly. I'm am so finely tuned now to footsteps overhead that it's practically impossible to get a good night's sleep in a hotel!

Cressandra Mon 25-Jan-16 19:37:45

Have you seen the (very small sample) research that showed very few children were woken by standard smoke alarms?

Chief Fire Officers' press release

new smoke alarms being developed

I really hope this isn't scaremongering, that's honestly not my intention. I don't think it's a reason to avoid ever sleeping apart from your children(!) but it would be something I'd want to know about and read up on if we were going for different floors. Then I'd make sure I got a suitable fire system installed.

Thinking about it, it's not as mad as it sounds. My children are so used to fire alarm = burned toast = Mum has to stand on a chair and press the button. It's loud but it's also not their problem, it's not something they have to react to.

Mrsmulder Mon 25-Jan-16 21:35:21

cressandra that is quite worrying. I suppose I am more worried because we would be 2 floors away rather than one. Maybe we should go with the small bathroom/ games room downstairs option if it's affordable

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 26-Jan-16 13:40:33

I suspect that you won't be able to hear a thing in the cellar, not once it is properly insulated against noise from the living room floor etc?

We're one floor down from our children who sleep in a loft bedrooms but they have regularly slept through smoke alarms. The whole house is wired due to the loft conversion so if you burn the toast in the kitchen the alarm actually goes off in their room and every room in the house has a mains smoke alarm due to fire regs. It is ear splitting, way stronger than a standard battery alarm. I would expect to be the ones to ensure they were getting out safely. We've taken steps to ensure that we can escape via the loft if necessary with top hinged velux.

I think it would be fine at age 8 or 9 though to be two floors away? For your peace of mind that is. Fine to do it now really if your home has the right fire safety stuff imo.

The alternative is to install a sprinkler system if regs allow it as it is listed? Big incentive not to burn the toast smile I saw a fire video demonstration how effective they are and I'm very sorry we didn't cost it up.

Sunnyshores Tue 26-Jan-16 14:06:46

2 floors above me, with the main cause of fire being on the floor betwen us (kitchen, lounge), so potentially you couldnt get to them as you couldnt get through the kitchen say, then I wouldnt be OK. but MN has taught me that I am a super worrier

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 26-Jan-16 16:42:32

Depends on the layout and whether there is garden access from the cellar but if money was no object I'd move the kitchen down there with a downstairs loo and comfy area if enough space. Then I'd convert one of the ground floor rooms to a bedroom. When they are all grown up and gone it's a simple conversion to a study/guestroom.

It doesn't sound like reconfiguring the whole house is in budget though and cellar conversions tend to be fairly pricy at the best of times.

The other option is to search Houzz for great bunkbed/shared bedroom ideas - done well the OP could produce a shared room suitable into mid teens and the cellar could be the playroom/TV room/Den as they get older
www.houzz.co.uk/photos/3897290/mountain-retreat-traditional-kids-portland-maine

Mrsmulder Tue 26-Jan-16 21:54:33

The escape from the cellar would be to the front garden. I think at the moment I wouldn't be happy to sleep that far away from them. I am going to get a quote for the cellar and see if we can afford to do that as well as move things around upstairs to get a 3rd bedroom. If we can't do both then I suppose I could just do the bedrooms upstairs and maybe look at getting the cellar done at a later date if we can afford it.

Thanks for all your opinions

ABetaDad1 Tue 26-Jan-16 22:15:14

If you convert a basement you have to have a viable escape route by law.

We have a key operated window specially designed to allow someone to get through it easily . It opens like a door with the hinges at the side. Outside the window is a flat area in the window well you can stand in and then a grill that is also key operated and allows escape to the garden.

We have a smoke detector in the basement and we would never allow our children to sleep there.

ABetaDad1 Tue 26-Jan-16 22:16:32

That is a viable alternative escape route.

minipie Tue 26-Jan-16 22:29:31

DD has been above us since age 2.2 but TWO floors above and with kitchen etc in between is a bit different. I can hear if DD makes a noise (unfortunately!) whereas you wouldn't be able to I imagine. You could have baby monitors I guess? But then you'd be woken by every little cough.

SoporificHobnob Tue 26-Jan-16 22:41:37

My two never wake when the smoke alarm goes off, or at least one does but then hides under her duvet until the noise stops.

Cressandra Tue 26-Jan-16 23:33:25

OP have you read the upstairs vs downstairs space thread? If not, do that and then go for the basement den option!

Is there no configuration upstairs that will work without moving the bathroom?

If you have to pick one or other floor to change for now, there's an argument for doing the basement first. It'll add useable square footage and hopefully value. The upstairs reconfigure isn't urgent. Why not enjoy a basement playroom for a few years instead of just separated bedrooms? Then do the bedrooms when the eldest is 8/9ish.

PickledLilly Tue 26-Jan-16 23:39:29

DD sleeps in the attic and has since being very young so she's on a separate floor but as others have said, I think it would concern me having kitchen/lounge floor where most fires start in between us. Even with a decent alarm system and fire doors, I still think it would concern me in a way that an attic room doesn't.

Onthedowns Wed 27-Jan-16 03:58:55

We are currently in process of having loft conversion. It always worried me but now not so much so we have a bungalow and staircase will be in our dining room which is next door to our room. Plan on leaving doors open etc I think many new build houses now are town houses with seperate floors. My DSIS has this

BikeRunSki Wed 27-Jan-16 04:10:30

I grew up in a tall thin 4 storey Victorian terrace. We had:
Basement: bedrooms - DC 3 &4 and bathroom
Ground floor: Kitchen and dining room, toilet
First floor: Bedroom - DC 1&2 shared
Second floor: master bedroom, bathroom

Which DC were in which rooms varied a bit, but we all mostly slept on different floors. No baby monitors - I don't think such things existed.

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