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Experience of teenage girls bedroom in garden build?

(64 Posts)
Putyourfeetup Mon 05-Jan-15 22:19:53

We live in a lovely yet inner city Victorian street. We have four daughters in a 3 bed house and the eldest is fourteen. We are in desperate need for more living space (4 year old twins currently in 2nd reception room). Unable to afford a loft conversion, currently we are contemplating a build at the bottom of our small garden to create a bedroom/hangout for eldest with storage space. The twins could then move into her room thus freeing up much needed communal living space downstairs at relatively low cost. DH is concerned for daughters safety saying he wouldn't be so concerned if it was for a boy. His concerns mainly lie in 'weirdos' figuring out she is in there and trying to get in. It is however an enclosed square of gardens and only overlooked by a few houses. Also we are aware of building regs and that such spaces should only be used for occasional use. Just wanted to gauge what people think about the safety/appropriateness/pitfalls of a teenage girl living in a space a short distance from the house. If you have any experience of it even better...trying to figure out if it is a realistic plan...thanks x

wowfudge Mon 05-Jan-15 22:29:19

Could your older daughters not share a bedroom and use a garden room for homework/hanging out when not with the family?

Putyourfeetup Mon 05-Jan-15 22:30:56

Unfortunately not - aged 9 and 14 they are utterly incompatible room sharers!

Putyourfeetup Mon 05-Jan-15 22:34:25

I see it as a positive if she has her own space in the garden where she will be happy to hang out at home and we are familiar with all the folks trooping throughout the house rather than her hanging out with unknowns in unknown places as she gets older! But perhaps this is naive? Not sure. She's pretty sensible and very bright. Not smoking or drinking. Yet. smile

Mintyy Mon 05-Jan-15 22:37:12

If you are aware of building regs stating that such spaces should only be for occasional use, then why are you planning to make a garden room her bedroom?

wowfudge Mon 05-Jan-15 22:48:39

She'll be living in what would effectively be a shed of sorts. Do you really want that for her? What about insurance if something happens overnight and your daughter has been sleeping there when she shouldn't have been?

Could you and your husband share a smaller bedroom (I have no idea who is where apart from your twins) on the basis it's far easier for you to share, and then divide a larger room for the 9 and 14 year olds?

What is your budget - is a loft conversion really out of reach?

Lots of questions - sorry about that.

RudyMentary Mon 05-Jan-15 22:51:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSpottedZebra Mon 05-Jan-15 22:56:59

I think it's an awful idea - it's against the regs, the neighbours would surely notice and you might puss them off and they complain. Your DD may feel isolated, or unsafe. She might do things out there that she'd not do in the main house -and this possibility would be noticed by her friends also. I'd not put a son or a daughter out there -I'd be concerned for their safety whatever the sex. Plus you'd end up wih a smaller garden.

Better to extend out or up. Or move.

nagynolonger Mon 05-Jan-15 23:02:01

We have a well built summer house in the garden. I have thought we could use it for extra sleeping in the summer but not at this time of year. Something properly insulated with a toilet and shower wouldn't be cheap. I would do a loft conversion even if it had to be in stages.

Putyourfeetup Mon 05-Jan-15 23:05:28

It wouldn't be a shed. It would be a fully insulated build with electric, double glazed, safe secure etc. According to our brief research so far less than half the price of a decent loft conversion - around 7grand. Splitting the larger bedroom wouldn't work unfortunately. I also have concerns re isolation but a) the increased living space I am hoping would make the communal space in our house more appealing (she's holed up in her room most of the time as it is...) and b) it is only a small garden so she really wouldn't be very far away...she would love it but we do need to consider all the implications so thanks for the input. smile

QOD Mon 05-Jan-15 23:08:36

Build it on to the house then with an internal door?

nagynolonger Mon 05-Jan-15 23:23:11

Let the younger three girls share your largest bedroom for a while with the 9 year old on a top bunk.

Pensionerpeep Mon 05-Jan-15 23:32:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

emeline Mon 05-Jan-15 23:38:27

Could she use the garden room as her room, but actually sleep in the house? If all her clothes and stuff etc were in the room, but she had a sleeping platform somewhere in the house.

Then she could entertain friends in her room, play music there, use computer etc, but be in the house with you all overnight.

SwedishEdith Mon 05-Jan-15 23:46:03

Oh, it's horrible. Imagine every time she says "Goodnight" she's then got to go outside and traipse down to the end of the garden when it's cold, dark and damp (which is pretty often in the UK). And it's against building regs so how are you going to address that?

BrieAndChilli Mon 05-Jan-15 23:51:13

It would be very easy for her to sneak out/sneak boys in
I would worry it wasn't very secure. Outbuildings are very often targets for burglars
Would it have a toilet?
Having to traipse outside back and forth everytime she needed a shower/ glass of water / ask a question/ get something from her room etc

radiobedhead Tue 06-Jan-15 00:00:37

Will you leave your back door unlocked all night so she can get in and out easily? If so, cancel your insurance.

Toughasoldboots Tue 06-Jan-15 00:09:16

I know someone with one and it works really well, it has shower room, full insulation, wifi etc.

It gives her space and she likes it.
I would consider it for a teen.

TheCraicDealer Tue 06-Jan-15 00:46:25

Not for a fourteen year old, no way. Not even a sixteen year old. She might have her head screwed on now but you don't know how the next few years will pan out with her unsupervised down the bottom of the garden.

Even aside from that, the practicalities just don't add up. Having to go inside to have a cup of tea, going to the loo in the middle of the night, security (I'm thinking an intruder through an open window of a the single storey property on a warm evening)...also she could feel very distant from the rest of the family, it's nice to just hear them around you, popping in because you hear a bit of craic or even just to say hello.

I get that you're desperate for space but these reasons (combined with the neighbours potentially catching on and informing the relevant authorities- boom, 7k down the tubes) just don't make it a go-er IMO. I would suck it up until you could afford to move or do the loft extension. And in terms of added value, you'll always see more return out of gaining a fourth bedroom than a glorified shed.

Toughasoldboots Tue 06-Jan-15 00:50:31

The one that I saw has a built in bed and proper plumbing- wouid that have needed planning permission then?

Toughasoldboots Tue 06-Jan-15 00:54:49

I would love my 16 yo to go in a garden room, she is a cloud of darkness on the family at the moment grin

HittingABrickWall Tue 06-Jan-15 08:22:30

The people who bought our old house did this. They converted a large shed into a room for their teenage daughter.

One of the neighbours infrormed the local council, who were not impressed. I think they had to move her back into the house.

What will you do if she ends up with the flu/norovirus? Will you have the space to move her back into the house if she's ill?

Couldn't you move into the reception room and put the twins in the master bedroom?

shabbycaddy Tue 06-Jan-15 10:45:22

No different and far better probably than a caravan which a lot of people use as an extra bedroom. It's easy for people to say move or do a loft extension, but imagine yourselves trying to do a lift conversion in a house with 6 people in... Would be difficult! And moving costs and possibly other issues. My parents have their neighbours farther living at the bottom of the garden in a purpose made cabin, and their neighbours had a son sleeping in their caravan for a while. School friend of mine in a village grew up in a 3 bed bungalow, eldest brother slept in the caravan outside. My other half is a nurse and recently went to quite a large house where the farther of the dad in the house had a purpose made cabin in the garden to suit his needs, with bathroom etc. Think you will find its quite common, people just don't talk about it.

Vvvoom Tue 06-Jan-15 10:47:40

I would do it as a hangout space but would definitely not have my dd sleeping in an outdoor space. The risks may be minimal but I couldn't take them.

cestlavielife Tue 06-Jan-15 13:17:19

i have thought of this as adding extra space in london... build garden room for daytime space/storage/hangout space but create small sleeping spaces inside main house eg divide the bedrooms with shelving or wardrobes.

she should sleep/wash/eat in the house - but have access to the garden room for handing out homework study friends etc. unless v tiny it will cost more than 7k for properly insulated year-round use place. if you put running water toilet, shower etc in it will likely need planning permission ...tho you could put a portapotty camping toilet in a cupboard... .

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