can someone please make this decision for me(14 Posts)
I am going around in circles here. If I list my pros and cons can someone please make this decision for me
We are in London, good commute to work for DH, DD1 in school, finally making local friends thanks to school run. However our house is only 2 bed and we have dd2 now. For the time being it's fine. But I feel like I want to do the loft as a hobby room. It's an end terrace so a proper bedroom loft conversion can't be done due to roof shape (and I don't think it would sell for a 3 bed price so don't want to 'invest' the money).
We will move as DH and I are not from the UK so don't see ourselves here forever, however didn't see ourselves here this long (6 years)
The hobby room would have to have the stairs coming from our room so thinking either very narrow spiral or pull down.
But then I think, fuck it should we should move and get actual space (I feel converting the loft is fake space ). But of course... we don't plan on staying here that long so I think do the hobby room...do you see my going around in circles!
I'd love to stay in this area if we were buying but we can't afford it (min £200k for an extra box room).
I know these are crap threads but I just need someone to talk it through with. DH says, whatever you want!
If there's no financial benefit to doing the loft room and you're planning on moving, why is it an option?
If you would make good use out of it and you can afford it the why not. Potential buyers will see it as a bonus space for an office or storage or something although you obviously may not get back what you pay for it. It would be worth double checking with an architect that you can't make it into a 'proper' room with stairs off the landing, then it could at least be marketed as a bedroom when you sell. If you're not planning on staying longterm I don't think I'd bother moving unless I needed an extra bedroom.
What are the sums involved? How much would the work on the loft cost, how many family members would benefit and would it add anything at all in value to the house as bonus rather than habitable space?
What would it cost to move including estate agent, legal fees and costs and removal expenses?
Once you know that and take into account both types of upheaval, which, if either, seem worth it. Have you actually formed a plan to leave the country or is it just a vague future premise?
If you don't have a plan I'd want a more family friendly house, if you do have one I'd go for whatever's likely to end up raising more capital to leave with.
If you can't put a single mattress on the floor of the hobby room then I would say it isn't worth it as it is a glorified cupboard.
If you really really have a hobby and need somewhere to do it then go ahead but I would do it on a shoestring.
A friend built a lovely garden room for her novel writing then never used it, it was easier at the kitchen table, her DH uses it for whittling or similar now.
We are planning on moving but the question we can't answer is when. We might still be here in another 5 years. Moving doesn't have to be that expensive if we move out of London but then we'd lose the little support we do have here (great CM, some friends etc). That's not a reason to stay indefinitely but just for the foreseeable future with a baby and 6 year old I could do with all the support I can get!
We can't make a definite plan about leaving the UK for work reasons at the moment. It's frustrating as we really are in limbo. If we leave now we would set ourselves back career wise and financially.
I'm trying to contact a few builders to get an idea of what the loft would cost as it's a bit like how longs a bit of string.
We did have an architect draw up some ideas but she wasn't really keen on the loft and did more extensions to the kitchen which were very expensive and IMO not a good move.
Having just bought at the right time in the right location without actually adding anything further to the house will mean we'll make our money back. Having the loft done will just be a nice thing that might set us apart from other 2 beds in the area when it comes to sell.
Miss yep, I think it will just be a glorified cupboard tbh. I'm calling it a hobby room but I wfm a bit so would make it my office and dh has a lot of things that would be great to store up there.
Hmmm, maybe I don't need a glorified cupboard.
I would be 1000% put off by a spiral staircase in the master bedroom going up to a cheaply converted loft space.
If you aren't going to do a 'proper' conversion job then I woudl go for the base minimum - retractable loft ladder, boarded out and joist strengthened and velux windows, lighting and heating (electric oil filled radiators?) but this will NOT have building regs for a habitable room.
Just think if you're not going to make it into a real attic conversion with dormer and real stairs from the hallway there isn't much point in doing anything other than the minimum so you can use it as you want to.
BTW you can do a proper conversion on end terraces - you will often get PP to change the roof so that it doesn't go 'in' at the side like I'm guessing it does and why you think you can't do a real conversion.
we wont get pp for the roof as we're in a conservation area. But yes I take your point regarding the spiral staircase.
I wasn't saying doing a cheap conversion, I meant just not making it a dormer or a proper bedroom. I don't think it's a good house to make 3 bedrooms. I don't want to stay here forever, I just wanted to make a bit more room for now.
But I hadn't been thinking so much of resale ability which IS something I should be thinking of too.
Have you got access and enough garden space for a small outdoor room instead?
I think I'd board the loft and put in a good ladder then add storage only options. I wouldn't spend trying to make it a decent home office, it sounds like costs would mount up quickly.
It also sounds like you want to stay put - commute, school, CM, friends etc.
we have a fairly big shed so know we have room for a garden room but I also know it wouldn't really get used the way it should, we'd just end up using it as the shed
The loft is already boarded but it's difficult to get up there, maybe what I need to do is get the loft hatch sorted and just use it as storage space which would free up other parts of the house. An office is just really me wanting somewhere a little less transient than the kitchen table to work!
Thanks everyone, it's been helpful to discuss.
I always think the most important thing about utilising your loft properly is to have easy and safe access. That and not filling it full of junk that becomes a problem when you want to move on and It's not too big an project or expense either.
Totally take your point about a garden room morphing into a shed or outdoor dumping ground, although my neighbours have solved that by having a small storage shed and a bigger garden room, nicely furnished for purpose and being ruthless about keeping it that way.
If that was me, I'd stay in your current home. Moving is expensive, complicated and stressful. Unless you've got plenty of money to spend on stamp duty etc and plenty of time to spend on the process of moving.
If you think you might relocate to get more space, it'll be much easier to do that with a 6yo and a baby than with an 11yo (and secondary school on the horizon.
I'd save your money for a future move tbh. Maybe put in a proper loft ladder to improve the access?
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