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Help with tiny house (redesign my house!)

(23 Posts)
HsePlanning Wed 05-Mar-14 00:29:23

We have a two-up, two-down terraced cottage. That has been extended downstairs with a conservatory (usable the standard two months of the year) and a small single storey extension off this giving the second bedroom. Upstairs is a bedroom and bathroom.

This is how we bought the house and we now need to make it work for us.

Thoughts are:
1.Remove the bathroom and put a small bathroom in bedroom one (this is what neighbours have done). Downsides the bedroom the old bathroom creates will be only just a small double room and bedroom one will be smaller just a small double room. (Will also give a third bedroom with the current downstairs bedroom two).

2.Move the bathroom to current bedroom two and put a WC, possibly with shower in bedroom one. Downsides bedroom one smaller and not excited about a downstairs bathroom. Especially one that is accessed through conservatory. Other downside moving all the plumbing etc.

(3)Replace conservatory with single storey extension and move kitchen to this area. (Current kitchen very small with no windows and stairs off it. (Due to house being tiny, conservatory provides light to kitchen and side door can be opened to remove cooking smells). Downsides cost and no bedroom 2, wouldn't work with being off kitchen.

3B.As replacing conservatory above is not a valid option. A double storey extension replacing conservatory with kitchen, current bedroom two a dining room/family room. Current kitchen dining room with WC under stairs and squeezing two single bedrooms in second storey extension. Downside cost!

With option 1 a woodburner could be installed in conservatory to make this room habitable year round? Becomes a family type room.

Unfortunately the conservatory has 6 stairs of side entrance into conservatory. Therefore knocking through from kitchen with a single storey extension not really an option.

Ideas please!

Will draw something to give picture of layout and add to profile photos.

HsePlanning Wed 05-Mar-14 00:43:28

Have added the very basic! drawing to profile.

To explain:
Front door opens straight into front room - 12'x11 ish
Off front room, kitchen, with stairs leading to first floor - 11.5'x8.5 ish
Off kitchen, conservatory (conservatory has a type of rear hall with side door and then a few steps leading up to conservatory, all open) - 11'x11 ish
Extension off conservatory (detached from house but attached to conservatory) = bedroom 2 - 10'x10 ish

Stairs to first floor;
small square, one door to bedroom one - 12'x11 ish
one door to bathroom - 9'x8.5 ish

Would like to add a small porch to front of house to solve walking straight into front room where no hallway (House has restrictions so may be a problem though).

OnePlanOnHouzz Wed 05-Mar-14 08:15:34

think you might need to make your profile public - or upload your sketch to Pinterest or a Houzz design dilemma so we can see and add suggestions etc ?!

figgypuddings Wed 05-Mar-14 08:20:35

Lots of ideas here

strongandlong Wed 05-Mar-14 09:01:31

What problems does the current layout cause? Understanding that would help us come up with possible solutions...

How many of you are there? What do you need from the space that you can't do now?

HsePlanning Wed 05-Mar-14 09:40:39

Sorry about the grammar etc. very late when started post!

Hopefully profile visible now.

Thank you for the blog link, going to have a look now.

There's just us two adults and a baby. We need to make the house work for us when baby moves into own room and would prefer bedrooms next to each other.

Other main problem with house is it's so tiny, lack of storage. The conservatory is just storage where so cold (has radiators in) and bedroom 2 has also just become storage. We're currently living with just a front room with all babys toys etc. in, kitchen and then one bedroom with all our clothes in and then the bathroom. We need to make the other two rooms downstairs work for us. It's also difficult to keep clean with walking straight into front room and carrying pushchair through to store in conservatory.

We need to make it work for us now and then sell on but adding to it rather than as current cramped tiny house. Or keep as a forever home (as very good area and excellent schools. Could live here in old age! with village shops five minutes walk away, buses to cities five minutes walk as well as train station). So hoping to make it work living here. We also need to think about a second child so ideally make it three bedrooms.

We were in a rush to sell our old house and buy another and got carried away with this tiny house in a lovely village as bought for a good price and now we've moved in the practicalities are becoming difficult. Just simple things such as where all paperwork is stored (currently boxes under bed), coats and shoes (currently hanging off all doors and shoes in conservatory). Just need to make a place for everything, which is difficult where no storage and not alot of room anywhere. (ironing board, hoover etc, all just dumped in conservatory).

The house does have a small front garden and large (surprisingly for the house) back garden.

We've only just moved but whilst we love the area and house we've also had enough of living in a tiny house where everything is just crammed in.

Sorry for the essay grin

minipie Wed 05-Mar-14 10:47:18

Ok, I can picture your current layout.

I guess the conservatory is at a higher level than the rest of the house because the garden it was built on is higher.

I presume it's a period house and so the front downstairs room is the smartest room & best kept as sitting room.

I would go for a variation of option 3B if you can afford it. So:

- two storey extension where current conservatory/2nd bedroom is.
- ground floor part of extension becomes kitchen/diner. ).
- current kitchen becomes playroom/TV/family room OR you could separate it off from the stairs (ie create a hallway between front room and extension) and make it a 3rd bedroom. It's a dark room so could make a good bedroom if you don't mind it being downstairs.
- upstairs, turn current bathroom into bedroom, and put new (smaller) bathroom and new 3rd bedroom into upstairs extension. OR, if you have put 3rd bedroom downstairs, you could use the whole upstairs extension space for 2nd bedroom (this would be cheaper as you are not moving bathroom).

You say you can't knock through from current kitchen to extension, because of the different levels. However, it may be cheaper to lower the ground and make the levels the same, and knock through, than it is to move the kitchen to a new extension. I don't know the answer - you'd have to ask a builder.

If it is cheaper to lower the ground and knock through, then I would still do the 2 storey extension but would keep kitchen where it is and knock through to ground floor extension to create new kitchen/diner/family room. Then on top floor I'd turn current bathroom into bedroom and put new (smaller) bathroom and 3rd bedroom into extension. Or keep existing bathroom and put two single bedrooms into extension (cheaper).

I think you really need a builder to tell you what is expensive and what isn't.

If you can't afford the 2 storey extension then I would:

- replace conservatory with kitchen/diner
- make current kitchen into bedroom 3 by separating off stairs
- on top floor, you may be able to create a new bathroom by stealing half the space from bedroom one and half from the existing bathroom. So you get left with a slightly smaller bedroom one, and a small bedroom 2, with smallish bathroom sitting in between them. (It would have no windows but you might be able to put in a skylight?)

minipie Wed 05-Mar-14 10:49:04

Forgot to say: if you can't do a porch, then you can create an internal "lobby area" by building a few feet of wall between the door and the sitting room. It will shield the sitting room from drafts and hide any coat pegs etc by the door.

LondonGirl83 Wed 05-Mar-14 11:12:40

Are you detached? If so, you should be able to replace the conservatory with a two story extension.

Move the bathroom to here the 2nd bedroom currently is and in the room created over the existing conservatory, add a new double bedroom. You can create a 3rd bedroom by then going up into the loft at a later date when you need it (assuming you have the head height).

Downstairs, I would knock the existing kitchen into space where the current conservatory is (which will be replaced by a proper ground floor extension) and make it a kitchen diner. You can level it out I'm sure. I'd keep the room you currently use as a 2nd reception room as a utility room with downstairs loo, storage or a playroom depending on which you think you need more.

Creating a front porch is a great idea. If you front garden has space, you could also buy a smart buggy shed --

http://www.brightonbikesheds.co.uk/collections/bike-sheds/products/buggy-shed

You could also create additional storage under the stairs-- its incredible how many shoes, coats, toys etc can be stored in there.

Not sure what part of the country you are in or what your budget is but best of luck.

HsePlanning Wed 05-Mar-14 11:31:32

Thanks, yes the garden must have been higher than the house. (With the conservatory and the steps in there it's now level when you walk out of the conservatory to the back garden).

It is a period property, with the front room having the character; wooden beams, open fireplace etc.

The hallways a good idea that I hadn't thought of. Not so keen on making the current kitchen a bedroom as with a hallway it'd be a tiny and dark room and being next to the front room I think wouldn't be a good idea for a bedroom, having to be quiet so as not to disturb a sleeping child!

Lowering the ground is also a good idea, it'd work really well inside but then wouldn't like the idea outside of going up steps to the garden, especially for a small child.

Like the idea of taking space from current bathroom and bedroom one to create a new bathroom.

So much to think about. We'd need a good amount of money to move to a bigger house in this area or a good amount of money to make this house workable for us. So we definitely have to spend money and decide if to move or spend on this house to make a forever home - worrying less about getting the money back on selling. Amounts would be the same to do up/move and unless house becomes forever home have to make sure we don't spend over the ceiling price for this type of house.

HsePlanning Wed 05-Mar-14 11:37:36

The house is a terraced, hoping we can still put a two storey extension on the back though (as wouldn't be bigger than current conservatory and extension that makes bedroom 2).

Thank you for the buggy storage link.

I think we could build a porch (as another houses have down this but the road has restrictions and where some neighbors have made changes, others have had the same changes rejected by planning. So it all seems a bit hit and miss with the local council planning!)

(An internal porch is a good idea though if our plans were rejected).

The under stairs space is currently part of the kitchen - so has fridge and worktop (would love an under stairs cupboard for storage).

We don't have a budget, we just need to do something so either use savings or take out a mortgage for the work (or a mortgage to move) as we were lucky to buy the house for cash at the low price (and reluctant to have a mortgage now albeit a small one).

LondonGirl83 Wed 05-Mar-14 11:42:11

Its possible though not automatic you'll get permission for a 2 storey extension for a terraced house. You'll need to prove its not unduly harming your neighbours light etc.

littlecrystal Wed 05-Mar-14 12:34:06

Of the top of my head I would create tiny bathroom upstairs (losing bath tub if necessary) and have two (even if tiny) bedrooms upstairs.
Stage No.2 I would convert current kitchen to a playroom/family room, current conservatory to a kitchen and current downstairs bathroom to a storage/utility room.

minipie Wed 05-Mar-14 12:37:07

If a full 2 storey extension is rejected you could make the first floor bit smaller and have just a bathroom in it. That might be acceptable as the first floor extension would stick out less far and block less light.

You could ask local estate agents for their view about what options would add most value.

You could also try checking your local council's planning permission records (some councils put these online, some you can go to the offices and have a look) for ideas of what has been done to similar houses and what has been allowed. Sometimes there are reports which give the reasons for rejecting/accepting. Some councils also will be helpful and give you a view on whether permission is likely, before you put a full application in.

If you don't want to have steps up to the garden you could have steps internally instead. Or you could split the height change so eg there are three steps inside up to the extension bit, then three steps outside up to the garden. That may be safer/more manageable for DC.

Yes the kitchen-becoming-bedroom idea only really works if it would be a study/spare room or maybe a teenager room rather than a younger child's room. If that won't work for you then I wouldn't bother creating the hallway, you're better off keeping the stairs open plan I think.

I would avoid having bathroom downstairs if you possibly can...

littlecrystal Wed 05-Mar-14 12:37:31

Oh, forgot to add that to my own calculation it would cost the same to move to a bigger house or convert/extend. Obviously depends on the area. I, for example, dont like my house that much to go for the upheaval of extension. But it depends how you feel about your house.

HsePlanning Wed 05-Mar-14 15:17:03

Very kind MNetter OnePlanOnHouzz messaged me a plan of my house now - the two photos are on profile and a plan of how it could look - also on profile.

We've got an odd! but good for us clause that came with the house (previous owner had set-up) which states the adjourning houses don't have a right to light! (words to that effect! I believe the houses were owned by a family and years ago the clause was made). So hopefully planning permission shouldn't be a problem with a two storey extension.

Splitting the steps (both inside and outside) are a good idea.

I believe it would cost the same to move to somewhere bigger as it would to extend - hoping a bit cheaper to extend.

OnePlanOnHouzz Wed 05-Mar-14 15:23:58

blush glad to have helped a bit ! You will still need a proper architects drawings - but at least now you can show the idea you are after ! They may even come up with something better ! :-)

Floralnomad Wed 05-Mar-14 15:26:37

Would it be possible to do a loft conversion for another bedroom and bathroom then turn the current first floor into two smaller rooms with a small bathroom and the ground floor can then all be living space .

HansieMom Wed 05-Mar-14 15:57:56

Have you looked for a bigger house in the area? As it does not seem as if much is right about the house you are in, and such major rebuilding sounds hellish to have to live with. Spoken by someone who lived through it. I regret the money, time, turmoil, work, sole focus--years of it.

pyeongchang Wed 05-Mar-14 17:14:58

You're neighbours might not have a "right to light" but it would be selfish to deprive them of it, don't you think?

minipie Wed 05-Mar-14 18:34:50

For some reason I missed your post of 9.40 Hse! not sure why.

How about this:

- build the new extension, single storey, it becomes new kitchen/diner. No need to change levels, there are steps up to the new extension.

- use your existing kitchen as a hallway/storage/utility room. this may seem a waste of space for a titchy house but it would actually make a huge difference to the rest of the house, and it's a dark room anyway. You should even be able to squeeze a loo in there which would be fab with young DC. I expect there are other uses for this space too if you find you don't need all that much storage (but you will...)

- top floor: create a small new bathroom between the two existing rooms taking half from each existing room. Could you put a skylight in?

This only gives you 2 bedrooms (but DC can share...). I think the only realistic way to have 3 bedrooms is to do a 2 storey extension so depends if you have the funds. I think there's a big risk of overdeveloping the property i.e. you wouldn't get your money back - but not important if it's a forever house.

MisForMumNotMaid Wed 05-Mar-14 19:05:43

Do you have a loft? Is it quite a good height in the middle?

If so and you're prepared to think loft living I think you've got room upstairs for a very good sized childs room, big enough for 2, a modest bathroom i.e. 6ftx6ft - big enough for full sized bath with shower over, toilet and sink and a decent king master suite with dressing room then stairs up to a loft bed in a mezzanine over the bathroom/ childs bed room.

look at the bed image for the sort of loft bed image I have in mind

I started looking into this idea at my present house -turning a small three bed into a four bed. My eldest is Autistic and needs his own room my other two have a five year age gap and are boy girl so long term sharing was not an option. Our loft pitch is too low though, its more of a crawl space.

RandomMess Wed 05-Mar-14 19:12:54

We had a downstairs bathroom when my dc were little and I loved it - they could splash around in the bath whilst I tidied the kitchen etc. Especially if you can keep a toilet and handbasin upstairs somehow?

Is there anything you could do to improve the insulation in the conservatory with radiators in it should be usuable most of the year around?

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