Homebuyer survey says putting in downstairs WC not "economically viable"(19 Posts)
I've just had a Homebuyer Survey back for a 3 bed 1930's semi. Traditional layout with living room to the front, dining room and kitchen at the back.
I'd like to put a toilet in the space under the stairs and asked the surveyor to comment on how feasible this is.
The surveyor said that this proposal would either mean repositioning the meters which would be costly or removal of the partition between the WC and kitchen which would be costly in terms of revised support and would also take space off the kitchen.
His concluding remark is that "neither approach is likely to be economically viable. However, water supply and drainage are both adjacent".
What does he mean by not economically viable? Is it that any costs involved wouldn't be reflected in the house price? I'm not interested in adding value to the house; simply to have another toilet for convenience with a growing family.
YY sounds like he means you wouldn't get the money you spend on a downstairs loo back when you come to sell - but that's not why you are doing it.
very few home improvements get you the money back on the house price - they just make the house nicer to live in and easier to sell when the time comes.
choose your option and build your bog! :-) A second toilet is ESSENTIAL with more than two people in the house. Just you wait until the teens spend hours in the bathroom.
Thank you - that is a relief!
Does anyone have any idea how much it costs to move electric and gas meters?
yes I would read it as 'you wouldn't get the money back' but as you say that isn't why you are doing it. We moved the door on our walk in pantry so it opened off the hall rather than the kitchen and put a toilet and sink in there and it is SO much more convenient with kids. We had to move 1 meter (electric) and we had it put outside the house. to do it if I remember right we had to speak to electricity company directly and they had to come and do some of the work and the electrician had to come and do some of the work and it wasn't cheap but I honestly can't remember how much it was. the electrician was no problem but the 'official' bit had a flat charge.
We've just had a quote of £4k to install a loo in our utility room. I wasn't expecting it to be so costly but there's a ton of groundwork outside to do.
In my mind its essential to have a second loo so we'll be finding the money from somewhere!!
I read economically viable as meaning it would cost so much you would be very unlikely to do it, nothing to do with recouping the cost.
e.g. costing 15k to put in a downstairs toilet
We put a toilet and sink into our understairs space (previously a pantry), our house is the same age and style as yours. We didn't have to move either of the meters, which are located in their own little cupboards on either side of the front door.
We put ours in with a macerator, which has blades within it which chop up everything that goes through it into a sort of slurry. Then the macerator pumps the waste out to the drain. Because the waste's been reduced to slurry, a narrow bore pipe can be used. You'll also need a fan which comes on when the light is switched on, if/as there's no ventilation possible such as a window.
So you would definitely need a separate spur from your main electrical circuit, to power the light, fan and macerator. (If you don't use a macerator you'll need to install large bore soil pipe.) DH did all the installation work for ours, as he's an engineer (and the law at the time stated that you had to be competent, rather than specifically a certified electrician), so it will be more expensive to do now. We bought a budget toilet from B&Q, which is the only part I regret, as it's the only thing that goes wrong (with the mechanical flushing part). You do need to be careful what goes into the toilet with these systems; someone put a tampon in ours once and the string wrapped round the blades and nearly burnt out the motor. Fortunately we discovered it in time.
It didn't cost 15k to do, even including tiling the walls, fitting some halogen lights, putting lino down, and the fixtures and fittings like towel ring and loo roll holder. But we did do all the work ourselves.
And it was definitely worth doing.
Yes, the macerator comments have just made me feel sick!
Do you have to move the meters? My DSis had a little cupboard built round hers but I guess this would depend on the space you have?
I'm going to look at the house again next week to measure up for curtains and furniture, so will make sure I have a good look at the understairs cupboard. I can't actually remember where the meters are situated, but I know that toilets can be put into quite small spaces.
We've got one in our 1930s semi. It was in when we bought it so can't comment on costs but because it didn't fit completely under the stairs, it's against the wall along the back of the hallway where the original door to the kitchen would've been. I'm glad we have it but it severely limits the layout options downstairs as the door to the living room is the only access so the living / dining room and kitchen is all one open plan space. Which is nice enough when the dc are little but with no prospect of a separate space, I can't see us staying here longer term.
Sorry for the essay, but couldn't work out if this might also be the case with yours, in which case I'd give the downstairs loo a miss, or maybe look into ultility type extensions with a wc if that's a possibility for you.
You might not have to move the meters. I have an under stairs toilet. My meters are in a cupboard near the bottom of the stairs and then there is a door into the cloakroom at the underneath of the top of the stairs iyswim.
Yes, RedBushedT, I think the understairs set-up in the house we're buying is similar. There is a tall cupboard with a freezer in it and further along is a short cupboard where our vendor keeps shoes etc. I can't remember which cupboard currently houses the meters. As I said, when I go back to see the house next week I'll take a closer look.
Pinkdelight - I can see how that layout is restrictive. How wide is the cloakroom? I might take a tape measure next week to see how big the current understairs space is.
Never! I repeat Never! buy a Saniflo (macerator) toilet. If you do, and especially if you have kids, you will regret it. Anything that is not excreted by a human will break it...and cost you. A lot
Ha! easy you say. What's this clown on about? Just make sure you don't put any foreign objects down there and bingo your'e all sorted!
- Kids party - a mom from school chucks a moist wipe down there- £150
- You forget one day, and chuck a tampon down there - £150
- The kids accidentally drop the roll from the toilet paper down there - £150
- The thin pipe which removes the waste, blocks or freezes - £150
- The noise - Annoying
- The thought of what's going on inside the macerator- Horrific
Incidentally trivia fans, the word macerate is derived from the Italian (orig. Latin) "macerare" meaning to 'chew' or 'soften' in reference to eating food. Nice.
Awful invention. We had to rip ours out after 6 months and put a proper toilet in.
We priced up the cost of moving out gas meter from understairs for this reason. To take it out to the front of the house in a box and connect to the main Paige including digging up the drive and re concreting was only a few hundred. The total cost doing all the plumbing ourselves which we can would be under £2k. We might not make that back but as this is our home and not an investment we are going to do it next year as it'll make our lives easier.
Is there anywhere else you could put in another loo if it's essential to you?
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