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Making the most of a small grade II listed house....what have you done?

(20 Posts)
nananoo Sun 28-Jul-13 18:28:32

Hi all

Our home is grade II listed in a conservation area. I don't think there is any further way we can maximise our space, but I just wondered what anyone else had managed to do.

We have cellar with restricted headroom. We thought about tanking it (just for storage not to use as an extra room) - but the conservation officer was worried about spreading the damp elsewhere in the house.

The roof space can't be used - too low pitched and skylights wouldn't be allowed.

I though maybe a 'garden room' might be an option, but after a little bit of research, I don't think these would be permitted.

I would love to hear any stories of what anyone has done to their listed house. smile

AlphaBetaOoda Sun 28-Jul-13 18:43:13

We have done the cellar into a small living room. It's about 6ft high but we are shorties!
It's lime rendered so its breathable and there's a pump system in place for damp though it doesnt get v wet. I don't know enough about the building side to explain it though blush

nananoo Sun 28-Jul-13 21:32:57

Thanks AlphaBetaOoda. Our cellar ceiling is about 6 inches lower than yours - with steel supports and a covered well! That's why we've never considered anything more than just using it for storage. It would be nice to tank it though so we could put things down there without them going mouldy!

AlphaBetaOoda Sun 28-Jul-13 22:14:02

Have a look at the pump system. Might be allowed?

Jaynebxl Mon 29-Jul-13 06:28:36

In your shoes if I wanted more room I'd move!

nananoo Mon 29-Jul-13 12:43:35

Hi Jaynebxl - you are probably right! The old problem of location vs space. What to compromise on?

Jaynebxl Mon 29-Jul-13 17:38:25

Right now, having just moved house and gained quite a bit of space, I would definitely put space higher up my list of criteria.

Sonnet Tue 30-Jul-13 15:57:55

You can extend listed buildings - we have done that - but it does tend to be more expensive than extending a non listed building.

What do you think you are lacking?

If storage space then I would look at ways of tanking your cellar. do you have a utility room? - if not you could put washing machine/tumble dryer down there.

Could you build a garden room on to your kitchen therby extendind=g your kitchen space?

I would contact your local council and get them out for a chat about what they think you could possibly do

Sonnet Tue 30-Jul-13 16:01:06

Some people cannot just move jaynebxl and have to make the "best of it"

nananoo Wed 31-Jul-13 15:10:02

Thanks Sonnet smile.

Our house has already been extended, so unfortunately we can't go any further down that route.

Listed building guidelines don't seem to allow garden rooms (but there's no harm in asking). I'm also going to look again at tanking the cellar.

What we need is a bit more accessible storage - not up in the loft where we can't see what we've got!

The garden room would be for me as I work from home and would like somewhere separate where the kids wouldn't bother me wink.

GrendelsMum Wed 31-Jul-13 16:54:40

My in-laws have a garden room in the garden of their listed house. They had to apply for LBC for it, but they got it. It's entirely separate to the building, though, across the garden. Would that work for you?

nananoo Wed 31-Jul-13 20:07:07

Thanks GrendelsMum. That's really encouraging. That's just what we need! smile Do you know if they got LBC easily - or was it a fight?

middleagedspread Wed 31-Jul-13 20:49:08

We've just got planning for a big extension on a grade II in AONB. We employed an architect who has a relationship with the Heritage & Planning people & it was straight forward. The cost isn't though!

Periwinkle007 Wed 31-Jul-13 21:15:11

I was going to suggest a summer house - if you want somewhere to work from home or a playroom it could do the trick. Or we keep our freezer and tumble drier in the garage and at some point hope to replace the garage with a sort of smart shed which has a utility room at one end. a minor annoyance to go out to if raining but helps with extra space.

GrendelsMum Wed 31-Jul-13 22:05:17

IIRC it was a bit of a compromise. They would have liked to have it attached to the house, but couldn't get that, so agreed to have it separate. They don't seem to use it much, but The house is so big that I can't work out what they wanted to add more for, anyway, especially given that they also have a separate location for the family business.

Mumsnut Thu 01-Aug-13 21:55:22

Our Grade II listed house had an office in the garden. The previous owners put it up without permission (it had elec and everything) and were forced to apply restrospectively. They did then get permission, subject to landscaping. We hate it - it is really intrusive in a narrow, terraced garden.

Sunnyshores Mon 05-Aug-13 11:28:04

Our G2 listed house had already been extended in 1970/80s, but not very sympathetically and with some flat roofs. We were given permission to rebuild the extensions to double storey and add an oak framed garden room.

Sunnyshores Mon 05-Aug-13 11:28:59

PS Planners were actually incredibly helpful, I'd pay them (£30?) for a home visit otherwise its hard to sit in their office and explain what you mean.

nananoo Tue 06-Aug-13 12:30:30

Thanks everyone for all the advise! I've decided what I want is a tanked cellar so I've got a more usable storage area and a small garden room to use as my office. I'm now a bit more optimistic I can get them.....just need to find the money!!!

LookWhoTalking Tue 06-Aug-13 22:41:03

A shepherds hut in the garden is a non permanent thing - ergo - no LBC required !!

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