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Extension - how best to plan for teens

(15 Posts)
DilysMoon Fri 19-Feb-16 23:11:46

We're in a 1970's 3 bed semi with a garage attached on the side and have DS 10, DS 7 and DD 1. Downstairs we have living room/dining room separated by sliding doors, hall, kitchen and conservatory.

We're going to extend and we intend to build over the garage to create a 4th bedrooom so that each of the DC's can have their own room. There is a potential for an ensuite upstairs and a downstairs loo too. DH thinks this is quite extravagant and while he agrees on a downstairs loo is not so keen on an ensuite. I feel that as in years to come we'll have 5 adults in the house a second shower would be very beneficial.

We're also hoping to extend the garage downstairs and knock through to make a larger kitchen. We could do this without affecting the size of the garage however as we only use the garage for storage we could take the back half of the garage as an addition to the kitchen as a sort of nook where we could have a TV and seating for the DC's as they get older, as space for them and their friends to hang out. It wouldn't be a separate room as we would need the natural light from the kitchen, more of a nook off the kitchen.

My question to those of you with teens and/or property experience is would this be worth doing? Do you find your teens spend time with their friends in their own bedrooms or in a separate living room? I'm conscious that when the DS's are mid/late teens DD will only be 8/9 so am concerned about her being disturbed in the evenings with the boys and friends upstairs too.

We already have a conservatory which we use as a playroom with toys and tv/xbox so they do have a separate space at the moment but it is expensive to heat and especially cold at night.

Would the kitchen 'nook' get much use do you think and would it become a wasted space once the DC's are grown? Thanks for any advice.

wowfudge Sat 20-Feb-16 09:53:30

Do you have a utility room? If not I would look at creating one and a downstairs loo. Keeping laundry and the washing machine out of the kitchen makes a big difference.

Whatever you decide, I would make sure the garage is still big enough to get a car in. I would also look at whether you actually need everything you have stored in there and whether there's a better alternative for storage.

When you have older teens who have learned to drive and perhaps have their own cars it will be useful to be able to put a car in the garage rather than on the drive or road and when you eventually come to sell, potential buyers do like a garage. Having recently been house hunting I saw lots of details of houses where the garage had been converted, but the rooms created were quite narrow and didn't seem to have a real purpose.

TheAlchemist101 Sat 20-Feb-16 10:09:41

Definitely an ensuite and downstairs loo saves on the rows and queues. Decent sized bedrooms for dcs as they spend a lot of time in them watching YouTube videos. Agree with keeping the garage, lots of other uses: workshop, craft room, gym etc also especially useful for you and your Dh to escape from teenage dcs when they are at that impossible stage grin HTH

TheAlchemist101 Sat 20-Feb-16 10:15:07

My dcs just go up to their rooms with their friends, they don't seem to like hanging out in communal spaces unless we are all out grin

vitalite Mon 22-Feb-16 22:38:04

My 14 year old ds lives in his room. I think it's better for them to have their own rooms (if poss) over having extra communal areas. A 2nd bath or shower is also a godsend (we're actually in the process of extending and putting in a 2nd bathroom and utility room ourselves).

YaySirNaySir Mon 22-Feb-16 23:09:29

We have a den where our teens have TV, dvd, xbox, comfy sofa beds, bean bags, dart board etc. It's fantastic and used constantly.
We also have a study where they do homework which has a sofa too. DS hangs out with is mates in the den never in his room. DD uses both.
I would definitely recommend having another bathroom too.

namechangedtoday15 Tue 23-Feb-16 09:29:09

I'm going to disagree. It depends what area you are in. We are in an expensive area and pretty much all of the houses locally, unless you go into the next price bracket, have done away with their garages (as garages) to have either additional garden space or more living space. "Half garages" are very common here - so still a space for storage of bikes / camping gear / tools etc, but the other half used as utility room / knocked through into kitchen etc. I don't know anyone who uses a garage for a car!!

So depending where you are, I would look at maybe creating a utility room or a den (even if the den ends up being your space whilst the children take over the other reception rooms!)

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 23-Feb-16 09:38:23

An en suite is essential if possible.

Of my 3 teens, 1 is in his bedroom all the time, the other 2 are in the 'den' and not their rooms. So that varies.

TheLesserSpottedBee Tue 23-Feb-16 11:14:09

We converted our double garage into a den/playroom for the children who were 4 and 7 at the time and are now almost 13 and 10. It is one room but long.

It is fantastic. They have their space which allowed them to lay out train track and leave it out, ie it wasn't in the lounge.

Now they have the xbox and a tv in there and a 4m run of wardrobes for storage for toys/games/coats/shoes etc When you have 3 gallumping teens in there as I did the other week, it is nice to have somewhere else to go to in the house.

When we converted the garage the Council were concerned about where you would now park the car (never used the garage for the car anyway) but we have a large drive with space for 4 cars so that wasn't an issue. But your council may not like it. Has anyone else in your street converted their garage?

We retained the back of both garages for storage for tools/lawn mower etc. This can be accessed via the house or by the original pedestrian door, so 1.8m deep and 5 odd metres long.

Re showers, yes, you definitely want more than one. We have a "boy's bathroom" and our en-suite plus a downstairs toilet. Bliss. I imagine your Dh has not thought about being the last in the queue for that bathroom. Ds1 showers every day and Ds2 showers every other day.

A utility is fab if you can fit one in. We do have one. This is why this house is our forever house until we downsize when the children leave home.

wannabestressfree Tue 23-Feb-16 11:20:40

Definitely have an ensuite. The extra space and shower is a god send. We have three teens and they need it! I would love to say it's my safe haven but no.... they trapse in with their towels and use my Clinique!

namechangedtoday15 Tue 23-Feb-16 11:55:42

Yes definitely an ensuite. We're extending at the mo and it is going to be quite small but with 5 in the house - 1 very dirty sporty boy and potentially 2 girls who might want to spend hours preening themselves in years to come, we need an extra shower!

DilysMoon Tue 23-Feb-16 13:15:25

Thank you! I'm glad my ensuite idea is not frivolous, I agree that DH hasn't really envisioned what it will be like with 5 fully grown people in the house.

Interesting about where teens spend their time, we've an architect coming next week so will see if it's even feasible.

I agree I don't know anyone (apart from my parents) who use their garage for a car. About half the garages on our street have been converted in to living space.

I'm torn now between the possibility of a utility room versus a larger kitchen!

NattyTile Tue 23-Feb-16 13:32:46

Larger kitchen with utility cupboard? Holiday house we had years ago had a big wardrobe type cupboard in the hall. Inside there was a washing machine and a drier, a work surface over that, room for laundry basket and iron, a pull out ironing board thing, and a laundry hanging thingy at the top. All the washing, all hidden. Brilliant, it was, and I've craved one ever since!

Definitely yes to en suite. Might consider squeezing a shower into new downstairs loo too, for post rugby/mountain biking/paint balling teen hose downs.

I'd go for big kitchen with a nook, you've then got kitchen/family room, and the sitting room can become a quieter space as needed. Teens may all disappear to bedrooms with friends, but you may find you want to change that when it's girlfriends and boyfriends rather than mates. Or not, up to you, but worth thinking about.

namechangedtoday15 Tue 23-Feb-16 13:55:03

I've had a utility room is all but our first house (4 houses since) and its been my one non-negotiable. Our current one is 1.3m x 2 m so tiny, but it makes such a difference being able to shut the door on it. I think especially if you're going to have a seating area in the kitchen, you won't use it if you can't hear yourself think above the sound of the washing machine and dryer if they're in the same room, and you won't relax if in the corner of your eye you can see the pile of ironing. Or is that just me? wink.

I think if you're going to have a 4 bedroomed house, if you ever do come to sell, you're looking at the family market and I think most people would expect a utility room (or cupboard) now.

Lasize Tue 23-Feb-16 21:44:47

I think I remember Sarah Beeny saying a garage is a bonus only for when you have everything else you want. I don't know anyone who keeps a car in one. Yes yes to at least two showers and a downstairs loo and a utility if you can manage it.

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