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Could,do,with some advice over layout of future extension.

(23 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Thu 25-Sep-14 18:21:53

We live in a house the same as this. Difference is theirs is already extended and ours isnt.

So we have the same front room and hallway and pantry. Our dining room is the same but where they have a breakfast area we have our kitchen. Our kitchen is knocked through to the dining room with a breakfast bar giving a bit of separation.

We're looking at doing a downstairs extension.

I'd always thought we'd put an extra sitting room on the back of the house, pretty much the full width of the house but with a small downstairs loo on one side of the new extension.

But then I've seen their floor plan and thought about moving the kitchen so we'd have a kitchen and loo like theirs. Then having the middle portion of the house kind of open plan into a dining/seating area. It would give us a bigger kitchen and maybe make better use of the space??

What do you think works better?

VivaLeBeaver Thu 25-Sep-14 19:53:43


MyFirstName Thu 25-Sep-14 21:25:22

Is there just light/windows down one side? That may impact on where you want to put the kitchen iyswim.

Do you need/want a utility area (washer/dryer/sheila's maid)

You have the potential for lots of lovely things grin.

You could make into one big open plan area with large kitchen/island/dining/sofary area (technical term). Would cost more - rsj and stuff - but be a fantastic space. Block out a corner (possibly where pantry is?) for utility/downstairs loo.

You also need to think about water/waste - for both loo and if you decide to move your sink to where there is none at the moment. All is do-able - but will cost.

What space do you really want? Hanging out area for the whole family - or would actually a shut away "den" for teenager to hang out be better.

I am not helping am I?

Also, think about back door access. How do you want to get in/out of the garden?

FWIW we have separate front sitting room (like yours) then once you are through the hall door the dining area is directly in front of you. That opens out sideways to the kitchen with an island. Behind the dining area is a utility area. behind the kitchen (but open plan) is a sofa, bookshelves, family area opening up with bi-folds onto the garden.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 25-Sep-14 21:39:15

At the minute there's only windows and French doors at the back of the house. We could put a window at the side of the house in the dining room where they've put one.

Pantry area is currently a mini utility with washing machine, freezer, tumble dryer, boiler and shelves. I'd want to keep this here I think.

I envisage it as been a family area.

We'd need a back door out the back of the house. Its a semi so couldn't go out the side one side and the other side of the house doesn't go into the back garden but a side passage.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 25-Sep-14 21:41:25

How you say your kitchen/dining area is sounds like what ours is like. And then I envisaged at first at sitting area beyond that like you have with doors into the garden. Mmmmm, really don't know which I'd prefer.

MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels Thu 25-Sep-14 21:46:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MyFirstName Thu 25-Sep-14 21:50:26

And put a huge big cupboard storage space to put lots of crap important things in grin

VivaLeBeaver Thu 25-Sep-14 22:00:09

But then I'd have to have my washing machine and tumble dryer in the main kitchen area which I wouldn't like.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Thu 25-Sep-14 22:00:13

I don't like that plan, it looks awkward and dark to me sad

OP, where is your upstairs bathroom in relation to that plan?

VivaLeBeaver Thu 25-Sep-14 22:03:09

Upstairs bathroom is above our current kitchen, which is their breakfast area.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Thu 25-Sep-14 22:18:48

Then if you're extending downstairs only I would look at making your current kitchen into a downstairs cloaks/loo and utility area because a separate place for a sink and washing machine is really useful. If you think it's worth it, then it might be possible to squish a shower in there somewhere too.
That leaves you free to extend across the whole width of the back for an L shaped kitchen and living area to incorporate the current dining room - that effectively becomes your main room for everything with the current lounge as a grown up sanctuary.
I'd go for bigger opening doors in place of where their wetroom is and also another window the other side of the dining room fireplace. Windows would be crucial for me. I'd also factor in a big larder type arrangement in the kitchen which would give you a huge amount of storage but look quite sleek.

If it were me though I'd see if I could find a local architect to advise and draw up a plan as when a trained eye sees your home they can often think of very creative ideas and also cost saving solutions, so they save you the money their fees cost and you end up with a better finished product.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 25-Sep-14 22:22:22

Oh I like that idea Enrique. Thanks.

One thing I had thought of in the new bit isto have a sort of vaulted ceiling with skylight type windows in the ceiling.

One downside would be though that the utility and loo rooms wouldn't have windows if they were put where the current kitchen is.

Architect sounds a good idea.

MyFirstName Thu 25-Sep-14 22:30:46

Your washing machine will not cry if it is not sunlight. You can wee with a light on. Unless you are the sort of person that reads War and Peace whilst having a poo, do not worry about no natural light in a place that is for bowel movements Seriously. It may not be perfect. But compared to a dingy kitchen? smile

VivaLeBeaver Thu 25-Sep-14 22:33:48

True. grin

Is there not a building regs rule about needing two doors between a toilet and a kitchen?

VivaLeBeaver Thu 25-Sep-14 22:34:32

I suppose it could be a big utility room with a little toilet room in the utility room? Then the loo wouldn't open into the kitchen.

MyFirstName Thu 25-Sep-14 22:35:30

I was going to suggest you make the pantry bigger - bring it back to the "Room" word of Dining room and turn into utility/downstairs loo area - but then I realised it would cut the chimney breast in half - which would not be great - and ruin the proportions of that dining space - which looks quite nice.

Instead, if you take enriques suggestion - move the utility to current kitchen area and incorporate the loo/(shower) there, then could the pantry area be set up as a kind of desk area/mini study open onto the dining room space?

MyFirstName Thu 25-Sep-14 22:39:16

X-post - we have that - door into utllity then within utlility is the loo. Our loo is the teeeeennnnniest, tiniest evah! Evah! When we did it I bemoaned how tiny it was. Even had to get a caravan designed sink to be small enough (tis still porcelain, looks v chic) to fit in.

Do you know what? 2 years on I realise it is only a place we wee and poo. It is tastefully decorated. You cannot swing a cat. though there is a cactus on the windowsill. It doesn't matter.

My kitchen on the other hand is large, lush and I luffs it.

MyFirstName Thu 25-Sep-14 22:41:47

Just thought I would clarify - there is not a loo, sitting proudly in the middle of the utility room - there is a small room with loo and sink within utility room.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Thu 25-Sep-14 22:45:27

My reasoning is that you need the light most where you're going to be spending the most time.
Internal loos or bathrooms are common and if you can keep the plumbing all tidy in one place then it's cheaper (as a rule) hence locating the utility/loo in the area underneath the current bathroom where your kitchen is now.

Roof lights or a vaulted ceiling are great ideas but hard to say without seeing your house and also the other part of the semi as you'll get a better overall aesthetic if your extension has some cohesion with theirs. Again an architect would advise you on the best kind of roof and the cost.

At the end of the day you can plan all sorts of stuff but you need to fit with your budget. A lot is obvious such as a square or rectangular extension usually being cheaper than other shapes because the foundations are more cost effective, then you need to work out permitted development and what will be allowed.

First thing I'd do is weigh up approximately how much space we could gain and what we really want to use it for. Try and assess the best value/£ for how you want to live.
Go and stand in your back garden and stare hard at your house and the house next door and try and imagine what you want to achieve.

Then think about coming home, through your front door with half a dozen bags of shopping and a couple of soaking wet kids, maybe a muddy dog too? whatever, and think about your progress through the hall, where's your dumping ground? shopping, coats etc. etc.
Imagine a few different scenarios in summer holidays and in winter, Christmas? and see how that space can work best and what you can realistically afford.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 25-Sep-14 22:51:00

It does help, helps a lot.

One thing I am prepared to do by the way is knock the chimney breast out the dining room. We don't use it and aren't likely to.

In the bedroom above it they chimney breast continues and I want new, bigger built in wardrobes, the width of the room. Whereas at the minute we have two wardrobes in the alcoves.

The current pantry has the boiler on the wall. So if we open the pantry up into the main room we'd have to disguise that somehow.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Thu 25-Sep-14 23:45:10

Disguise it, or get the cost to relocate it.
What do you think you want to do with the pantry? is it big enough for a study area and if it is would that be useful or not?
For me I think I'd move the door so you entered from the hall and it look like it could be a cloakroom for coats, wellies, vacuum cleaner, ironing board, washing basket, mop, steam cleaner and general stuff I want to hide from everyone's view.

By the way re the access to a downstairs loo, I was thinking of dividing the current kitchen (their breakfast area?) horizontally and accessing the loo from the hall not the kitchen.

It all depends on sizes and space though and without knowing it's hard to tell if the ideas would work. Don't forget you could have bifolding or sliding doors to some small areas if that'd work best.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 26-Sep-14 06:37:08

Accessing the loo from the hall would work.

Wouldn't be able to access the pantry from the hall as its kind of half under the stairs and the stairs would be in the way. It wouldn't be big enough for a study area and to be honest we wouldn't benefit from one. We use the small bedroom as a study. Hoover and other crap live under the stairs. We've also got a big walk in cupboard upstairs on the landing where the ironing board lives.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Fri 26-Sep-14 11:21:18

Aah ok, well if you've already got those needs catered for that's something off your list. Like I say, it's what will make the best use of space for you that matters most.
Maybe you could block up the door and absorb that space into the lounge seeing as it has a window? make a small alcove where you could put a mirror and a lamp maybe? Hard to say without seeing it.

Removing the chimney breasts from the dining room and the bedroom above will give you much better space and rooms shapes, but will need a structural engineer's calculations I'd think. I imagine it will be costly but worth it.

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