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Best way to add third bedroom to my 2 bedroom mid terrace house?

(47 Posts)
littlecrystal Fri 03-May-13 09:58:38

Hello, I am looking for an advice from the wise mumsnetters. My house is fairly typical 2 bed, 2 up 2 down Victorian mid terrace (no extension at the back). The layout is good and the rooms are spacious, apart from the kids bedroom which is about 2.4m x 3.3m. I could fit 2 single beds in there (they are in junior beds now) but it leaves no room for anything else (especially wardrobes– ideally each of them should have a wardrobe).

I can think of several options:
1) Take up DC’s bedroom, and divide our front bedroom in to two equal bedrooms (two windows in there) - my heart cries here as our master bedroom now has a “wow” factor and then it will be just “meeehh” three small bedrooms.
2) Create a super small 3rd bedroom (1.8m x 2m) off our master bedroom and let one DS have it. The problem I can think of is sound insulation with our bedroom, would DS hear everything DH and are I up to?
3) Bite the bullet and extend to the loft, and let one or both DC have their space up there. Even without a dormer it should give us a decent space (around 4m x 4m). What worries me that if I come to sell in 5-10 years time, the asking price of option 1, 2 and 3 will be similar because all will be called 3 bedrooms even of ridiculous size but we would have invested in the loft and will likely to lose out financially. What surprises me that people still go for the no. of bedrooms rather than space and some completely disregard the sq. footage!

Any advice will be very much appreciated.

MinimalistMommi Tue 07-May-13 09:36:23

Make sure you get building regs signed off properly if you convert the loft otherwise it won't be legally considered habitual and you can call it a bedroom. So many houses I viewed with loft rooms when I was buying didn't have building regs....needless to say we didn't buy them...

olivertheoctopus Mon 06-May-13 20:28:29

No, not in London (housing recession proof area of East Anglia) but we did have to have an awful lot of additional structural steel as they found that the first floor was being held up by what was no more than a scaffold board! That did also include the cost of having our first floor ceilings lowered to give the buildings regs height in the loft as raising the ridge height wasn't an issue. I think the French doors, Juliet balcony and ensuite added a chunk too. Suspect non-dormer would be a lot less but we couldn't have done it without the dormer. Plus had to replace every door in the house to meet fire regs and our front roof needed re-roofing too. Still worth every penny.

littlecrystal Mon 06-May-13 11:53:36

flow4 I started this thread thinking I want a loft until I visited that neighbour's house 2 days ago. I keep changing my mind between my head (loft) and heart (bathroom in the middle) decision.

littlecrystal Mon 06-May-13 11:51:31

RakeABedOfTyneFilth I would love not to have the chimneys but I ripping them off would devalue the house even though I am not planning on selling any time soon. It is a bit of shame, I have bought a house with period features, I don't really like them but I feel like I must maintain them.

flow4 Mon 06-May-13 11:49:09

You already know what you want, dontcha... You don't need our advice! grin

littlecrystal Mon 06-May-13 11:41:00

As I think more of that, in addition to loft conversion we would have to make room for a staircase in between the bedrooms, which means new walls and redecoration of the bedrooms, adding up to the cost. And like Serafinaaa, I also prefer all bedrooms on the same floor. I am now really tempted to move the layout only, which would cost possibly only £10-15k and would work better for me. Thankfully we still have a bit of work to do on our downstairs so I have some time to think about. Oh and we have an architect coming next week, hopefully he will be helpful.

BlueSkySunnyDay Mon 06-May-13 11:26:10

I agree if you were doing the loft a bathroom would be a good idea too, if I were looking for a house id like a loft bedroom but if there was no bathroom up there it would put me off buying - so long term worth the investment.

It doesnt cost you anything to look about at what you can do and get quotes - H is a tradesman and im sure a lot of his clients are what we call "tyre kickers" just getting quotes out of curiosity rather than with any intention of actually getting work done.

If you then decide on plan b and rejig your bedrooms and bathroom then as someone says cabin type beds often make more of a small room. DS has a high sleeper aspace one with space underneath, we have a bookshelf, toystorage and he has curtains round it so he can use the area as a "camp" if he wants. You could always get a carpenter to build something to your spec, i've seen some great ideas on pinterest.

NickECave Mon 06-May-13 09:55:10

We have a similar 2 up 2 down victorian mid terrace although less space than you downstairs as the bathroom (not much bigger than a cloakroom) is off the living room and we have a kitchen/diner. We hummed and haahed for years about doing a loft conversion but finally decided to go ahead last year as we now have 2 children and had no prospect of moving as I currently work very part-time and we couldn't get a larger mortgage.

We've built a dormer conversion which gives us a decent sized double bedroom which we use for our 2 girls and a lovely shower-room/toilet. We've kept the large master bedroom on the first floor and what was our girls bedroom (decent enough double) is now our living room/spare bedroom and the ground floor reception room is now mainly used as a dining room/entertaining space/play space for kids. We now have a 3 bedroom house but as we're happy for the girls to continue sharing we've actually given ourselves a second reception room/spare bedroom which works really well for us.It cost about £35K including redecorating through the stairwells afterwards but has bought us another 5 years in our house and means we can stay in the area until I hopefully start earning more money once both children are in school. I don't think you should just think of the conversion purely in terms of how much value it adds to the property in the long run, as long as you're planning on staying for another 5 years or so you really will get value out of it in the improvements it makes to family life.

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Mon 06-May-13 09:39:31

Please put a bathroom in if you're going to do the loft. I spent my teens in a bedroom in a converted loft with no bathroom and it bugged me no end. When we were house hunting I disregarded anything without a bathroom on the top floor (if it had been done) too many memories of teenage drinking and vomiting out of the window

RakeABedOfTyneFilth Mon 06-May-13 09:31:13

OP I am in a mid terrace (1950s council, not a period property like yours!) and we made a third bedroom out of a huge front master (5m total width of house). The smallest bedroom is now long enough across the window for a standard single bed (we got a cabin bed so that when he needs it he can have the roll-away desk option) and there is enough height underneath it for an air bed so sleepovers are still possible. There was a big built in wardrobe already which we thought about extending over the stairs by way of knocking through and making a false back. But didn't. The other thing we had to do for all this was to take out a cupboard in the upstairs hall which had once had an immersion heater.

One other thing to think about is whether you have a chimney breast which you don't need. We left ours in place (dead centre of the house) because it was just too much disruption to deal with, but if we had taken it out it would have given us about three square metres downstairs, two upstairs, and more flexibility on layout generally.

Serafinaaa Mon 06-May-13 09:10:15

Just to give another point of view about loft bedrooms and selling- I was in the market for a 3 bed terrace with starting a family in mind and I preferred the three smaller bedrooms on the first floor rather than the 'wow' loft room. I didn't want potential children to be on a floor below me and I didn't want to lose the loft space for storage. Just another idea.

lalalonglegs Mon 06-May-13 08:44:26

I agree that going into the loft is the best option. I am puzzled that you say a tiny third bedroom barely large enough for a bed adds £30k in your area but you are worried you won't recover the costs of conversion if you sell. Whatever the cost, as others have pointed out, if you have several years' use out of it then it's got to be worth the outlay.

Vakant Mon 06-May-13 08:31:17

Our loft conversion cost 32k. But that went up to nearer to 40k once VAT was added. We live just outside London and that was out most expensive quote but we were impressed with the company so felt the extra cost was worth it as a loft conversion is something that needs to be done well in order for it to pay for itself when the timer to sell comes. Our cheapest quote was 28k so not a massive difference.

flow4 Mon 06-May-13 08:21:52

I think there are a lot of sharks! I'm house hunting at the mo, and looking to see whether lofts are convertible... My builder friend (who has done several conversions including one in his own house) says costs are very variable because they depend on the state/structure of the existing loft, but break down roughly as:
£4-8k - strengthening floor
£500-1.5k - stairs
£500-2k - velux style windows
£1.5-5k - boarding, insulation and plastering
£300-1k - electrics
£500 incidentals/bits and bobs
+ £2-6k to add an en suite

So if the floor of your loft has already been strengthened, it could cost as little as £3-4k to do a basic loft conversion... All the way up to about £25k for a loft that needs more structural work, or even more if you have 'special features' like a juliette balcony. And obviously, labour costs are very variable...

Shattereddreams Mon 06-May-13 08:02:03

I'm SE London and our loft conversion was £32k with dormer and ensuite inc all fixtures wardrobes carpets etc and I like nice stuff ! The conversion cost was £27k

Start looking at houses with conversions in your area as a (false) prospective buyer to get inspiration

BlueSkySunnyDay Mon 06-May-13 00:25:43

Loft conversions are expensive, its one of the few things we ruled out doing due to cost. I think a proportion of it is due to the fact that a room you sleep in has to comply with certain fire regs - we were told we would have to have new floor supporting beams which would need to come in via the roof.

When we gave it further thought we decided that we also couldnt afford to lose space from a bedroom to make room for the staircase.

Do you know other people who have done it locally? I would get a few quotes and their ideas but also be very careful about following up references as I think there are a few sharks in the loft conversion game.

littlecrystal Mon 06-May-13 00:06:14

olivertheoctopus £40k for the loft conversion! shock Are you in London by any chance? It is difficult to understand what costs so much, labour? Materials? I was hoping for approx. £20k (no dormer, no en-suite option).

olivertheoctopus Sun 05-May-13 22:20:34

We live in what was a 2 bedroom (both decent sized doubles) Victorian terrace and spent £40k converting our loft 4 years ago. Our bedroom is in the loft and we have a rear dormer with French doors and a Juliet balcony overlooking the garden plus a small en suite. We love love love it and as we were otherwise v happy with the house and area, delighted that it buys us many more years in this house. Hard to tell about added value as prices are silly money and recession proof round here but we def haven't lost anything.

littlecrystal Sun 05-May-13 22:08:02

It is going to be a tough call. I know that a loft is more appealing, but having just seen the option of a bathroom squeezed between two bedrooms I though that would be perfect for us (and probably cheaper to convert to).
<Can I make my neighbour to swap houses with me envy )

purplewithred Sun 05-May-13 10:20:56

Another vote for loft.

Mum2Fergus Sun 05-May-13 10:17:03

Sorry if I missed it mentioned during thread but depending on ages, would a garden room hold any potential? If kids too young it could be used as a playroom to free up some space inside.

AntoinetteCosway Sun 05-May-13 09:01:28

If you do look at doing the loft conversion do bear in mind the staircase. We got some quotes for a LC and all of them said that the only way to do it would be lose DD's (tiny) room to put in the staircase, so in our case although we'd be getting a much bigger room in the loft, we'd be losing a bedroom to get it and when we sold we'd almost certainly not get our money back.

MortifiedAdams Sun 05-May-13 08:44:59

Whilst a third bedroom on the first floor and a third in the loft will both amount to the same - a thirs in the lofr will be much more wow and will be viewers forst choice, and as such, would fetch a higher price.

flow4 Sun 05-May-13 07:32:47

Yes, me too. I offered on a house that had been 'sliced', and knocked off the cost of putting it right. A loft that has been done well, to building reg standards, will add value.

Jaynebxl Sun 05-May-13 05:45:27

Houses may go on the market for significantly more just because they have an extra, possibly tiny, bedroom, but that doesn't mean they will easily sell for that much. Once people view I guess they would prefer the loft room with a bit more space. I know I would, plus as the poster above said, it gives you good, useable space now, which is invaluable.

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