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Any experience of converting detached into semi?

(9 Posts)
lampshady Tue 08-Dec-15 17:05:13

Between me and my parents, we're thinking of buying a five/six bed detached Victorian house and converting it into two semis. Many reasons for this, mostly centring around providing care and hoping it may work out cheaper than buying two smaller houses close to each other.

Going to book some architects to have a look with free consultations, but interested if anyone has done this themselves, either for commercial or personal reasons.

I've viewed some converted detached to semis and they look quite narrow. Would appreciate any thoughts!

Katymac Tue 08-Dec-15 17:07:33

Might it be easier to split into an upstairs & a downstairs flat?

The parents in the ground floor so no stairs

Shared garden/parking which would be OK I'd have thought

& possibly a lot easier

lampshady Tue 08-Dec-15 17:15:00

I think we'd do that if a semi wasn't possible, but I have an incredibly loud footed child and prefer the idea of a house I guess. Lots of living in flats!

The houses were looking at would have room to extend, but I guess that would add to the cost and potentially add to the narrow feeling.

momb Tue 08-Dec-15 17:18:24

The ones I've seen which have worked well are those that don't try and chop each floor in half (as that's what makes it narrow) but one property has a smaller ground floor and larger first floor, and then vice versa.
It makes two more unusual properties that a straight chop down, but you can avoid having to make the rooms smaller to add in additional hallways etc.

lampshady Tue 08-Dec-15 17:59:42

Ah, I hadn't thought of hallways! Thank you. Differing upstairs/downstairs could work, as although they'll be viewed as a very long term investment, they'll also have to be sellable in the future. I hope it's not a mad pipe dream.

nemno Tue 08-Dec-15 18:43:35

We did this 25 years ago. It required planning permission, a lot of legal stuff to split the deeds etc and 6 months of building works when we couldn't have lived there, . It overran as all building seems to but should have been a 4 month job if multiple workers had been on site daily. No extension needed, but it was still a huge job, building 2 staircases, resiting walls and doors, total rewire. Plumbing was mostly in the right places. Then total redecoration including all new flooring, skirting, coving etc, 2 new kitchens and 3 bathrooms and 2 CH systems.

The lawyers said it was a complicated job changing the type of ownership (the 2 parties owned the whole thing jointly at first), but what was most important was avoiding flying freehold. Utilities were a pain and expensive to separate.

I wouldn't do it again. If one party are already elderly I'd go the annexe route, some I've seen are pretty generous space-wise and extending an annexe a bit should be an easier task.

TheLesserSpottedBee Tue 08-Dec-15 18:47:46

How much space does each family need? Do you require more bedrooms that your parents?

Will stairs be an issue in the future? My FIL has had two strokes, the second was much more severe than the first and to begin with he had limited movement down one side. He deeply regretted not downsizing earlier to a bungalow. Worth a thought.

We have a detached house with a converted double garage which due to the layout could be easily converted into a self contained annexe but it would literally be bedroom, en-suite, lounge and small kitchen. There is scope to add another room to it though.

TheLesserSpottedBee Tue 08-Dec-15 18:50:19

X posted with nemno, splitting heating, utilities etc would be costly. I agree an annexe would be a good solution to the problem.

lampshady Tue 08-Dec-15 22:02:23

I suppose, selfishly, I don't want to live 'with them'. Issues with my parents but I do love them dearly, and also think they're invincible to some extent! My dad is incredibly fit and well for his age but my mum is ailing and I'd need to share care of her more over the next five years or so. Would probably be better not to put them through the stress of a complete overhaul, and sounds like it may not be any cheaper.

Thank you for the advice and experiences, definitely something to think about.

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