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help us make our conservatory type extension into useable space

(8 Posts)
MamaChris Wed 24-Nov-10 17:31:47

we have an extension the width of our house with tiled roof (2 velux), solid brick sides and double glazed south facing 3rd side. it's a greenhouse in summer and freezing in winter. it's connected to the open plan front room/kitchen by another double glazed patio door. I've uploaded floorplan in profile.

we would like to make this space usable, but not sure as what - extending the impractical kitchen would be ideal but too expensive. so we will either move the dining area there (not sure it's deep enough) or make it a kiddie space.

first will require insulating the roof, and presumably updating the aluminium framed glass wall. but would insulating the side walls help as well? what about replacing some of that glass with brick, up to waist height - will that be really expensive and would it help with insulation? or are there better ideas to use the space?

lalalonglegs Wed 24-Nov-10 20:30:48

It's going to make a playroom much easier than a dining room because, as you recognise, it is quite narrow and you already have lots of room in your sitting room for a dining room. Also, without rearranging your kitchen, you would have to pass through the living room to get there.

To make it more useable, yes, insulate as much as possible. Would it be possible to make the glazed elevation a brick wall in parts to protect it from the worst of the sun and keep it warmer during winter? If so I would brick in an area at either end of the glazed wall up to the roof - if the glass doors don't keep the cold out and make it too hot during summer, can you replace these with a more efficiently glazed type? Could you put a pare-brise across the top of the exterior to keep some of the sun out?

I would make it a children's room by building storage (preferably cupboards rather than shelves) along the left hand wall as it appears on the plan. A large play table (on castors so it can be pushed to one side) and maybe a bench along the back wall (the one that butts onto the kitchen) with lots of storage underneath. Under the windows on the right, I would have bookshelves.

I would also knock a door into the utility room from the kitchen to make it easier to get to your washing machine/deep freeze all the other stuff you probably have in there. Or maybe a downstairs loo would make more sense.

Pannacotta Wed 24-Nov-10 21:07:29

I was going to write a post saying pretty much what lala has just said, but I won't now!
I do agree though, it woudl make a fab playroom, make insulation the priority and remove some of the glass and yes as much storage as you can afford!

Am quite envious, how nice to have a huge playroom opening onto the garden...

MamaChris Fri 26-Nov-10 14:49:52

we had anglia round to quote for half brick/half glazing on the side panels and replacing the doors: 4K. Not as bad as we had feared, but still some chunk. especially as we will still need to insulate the roof (that can't be a lot for a small area though, can it?)

all suggestions good, thanks, except we can't move utility room door - the room is exactly wide enough to have boiler at one end and washing machine at the other. would be lovely to have a table in there big enough for at least the dcs to eat at (but preferably us too), so that we can seat and feed everyone when friends come. but the play table on wheels does make sense...

I'm selfish - love food, love cooking, really want a big kitchen and lots of space to eat in with friends - but I guess the kids do deserve a bit of play space grin

Pannacotta Fri 26-Nov-10 15:54:17

Why cant you eat in your main reception room which looks huge from the floor plan? And it's open to the kitchen, so ideal in terms of serving and clearing up.

lalalonglegs Fri 26-Nov-10 16:03:47

It's too narrow to eat in comfortably with reasonable dining table (rather than little breakfast room jobby) - I know this because in old house we had an 2.4m terrace which then dropped to next level. It was always touch and go if anyone was going to topple off if we ate out there. Agree with Panncotta, you could eat in the living room.

Don't think insulating the roof should cost very much, you could put the insulation and plasterboard over it yourself and just get a plasterer in to finish it.

MamaChris Sat 27-Nov-10 09:50:46

Oh that is where we eat, Panna. It also has to be a bit narrow because it's the passageway to the garden, and our table seats max 6. I am adjusting to now having 3 dcs, and worrying that that doesn't leave much room to seat friends as the dcs grow big enough to need a seat too. I am trying to imagine how to expand seating capacity.

Pannacotta Sat 27-Nov-10 10:36:50

I think most families don't have full time seating for say 8 people (we dont and we have quite a large house), you could get an extendable table for your dining area and just increase it when you need to.
From the floor plans it looks like the best use of space is to use the extension as a family/play room and keep the main reception roon as a sitting/dining room.

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