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Help me fix my downstairs floorplan!

(18 Posts)
firecracker123 Sun 19-Jun-16 00:18:01

We have a 1940s detached red brick house with numerous additions including a very large conservatory built by previous owners. It suffers from classic conservatory problems - too cold/too hot/leaky roof . On the positive side because it is so large it was built on proper foundations and had building regs approval. Building control have confirmed we can take the glass out and re-build it from wall level with a proper roof using the existing foundations; it has cavity walls.

We need to fix the following with our downstairs layout:
1) kitchen too narrow - we want a live in kitchen/family/diner space
2) utility needs knocking down as roof needs fixing but we will still need a utility and downstairs WC
3) hallway quite narrow and dark

I have come up with the attached plan and wondered if anyone has any suggestions or comments on it? One of my concerns is to get to the kitchen/family space you have to walk through the lounge . This is why I have taken the wall between hall and lounge out and replaced it with a pocket door. The idea is the lounge will become a hall/seating area that can be closed off at night by shutting the sliding doors . I am opening to extending the house but cost combined with the conservatory re-build may be prohibitive . The conservatory base has to be re-used as its 6 by 6.5 metres and is a huge waste otherwise as it was only built 2009 (not by us)

RaisingSteam Sun 19-Jun-16 07:20:24

I would try and keep the lounge so you don't have to walk through it and can close it off from the other family room. Also think about the walking route from front door to the room you spend most of your time - shouldn't be to long or through the working triangle of the kitchen. I'd also like to have a back door off utility or hallway not just the conservatory door. Do you use back door to come into the house or front door?

For example possible alternative:
- have back door where current door to old extension is, accessed through utility.
- partiton off utility from back hallway but leave a hallway as wide as possible leading to the existing kitchen (maybe along line of worktop with cooker on it)
- have dining table and chairs where current kitchen is, knock a big window in that back wall and try and open up existing double doors with an RSJ.
- kitchen is then at back of new extension and sofa /tv/family area at front of it?

Believeitornot Sun 19-Jun-16 07:28:12

I can't quite see the floor plans - well can't quite read what all the different rooms are?

Where do you get the most light?

How do you use the study?

Can you take some garage to make a small utility area?

I use the front door to come home from having been out, the back door when from the garden. We also have patio doors into the dining room which are less used.

BrianBlowsBubbles Sun 19-Jun-16 07:29:52

Oh that is a very difficult layout and what a whopper of a conservatory!

So what happens to the utility/wc area if you knock out the utility?
Will you really ever use a dining room?

The problem with having to access the kitchen through the utility is that unless you are super tidy I always find our utility is a mess, plus you have underwear etc hanging up, it's not somewhere I want guests walking through to get to the kitchen.
Also, although utilities are traditionally next to kitchens, they don't necessarily need to be. If you think about it the function of the two rooms is quite different. In fact sometimes it can be a nuisance having them together (for example if you are drying clean, fresh washing in the utility and cooking a very strong smelling curry in the next room!) so don't feel the NEED to move it unnecessarily.

If you want to knock out the little rooms out of the back L shape I would clear them all out, make that your dining room and then change the current kitchen in a corridor with Windows to the garden down the right side (as you walk towards the conservatory) and then your larder and utility accessible through doors to your left. They will be long and thin but at least they will be out of sight. You could have a sliding barn door style for the utility so you won't block the corridor with the door. Having said this, it's hard to see how wide your current kitchen is so it might be too narrow for that plan (and you'd need to move the doorway to the current conservatory over a bit)

I also would categorically NOT take down the wall between the lounge and the hall. Keep your lounge draft and dirty feet-free!


Believeitornot Sun 19-Jun-16 07:36:53

I wonder if you could turn the conservatory into the utility area plus WC and maybe downstairs shower. I agree that they don't have to be near the kitchen - ours wasn't in our last home.

I'd have the kitchen and lounge knocked through as the kitchen diner then the room to the left as the living area with a seperate wall.

whois Sun 19-Jun-16 08:38:55

Conservatory becomes sitting room.

Kitchen knocked thru into lounge to be a big kitchen diner.

Everything else stayed as is?

firecracker123 Sun 19-Jun-16 09:43:09

Wow, lots of ideas. The conservatory is biggest lightest room by a long shot- it's where we would like to spend most of our time but don't at present as it its too cold/hot . The existing utility was an old coal store that was joined on to the house so it is very expensive to make it a proper room, presently it is mostly single skin walls and not heated. We don't need all the space out there so I am happy to knock it down provided we have a utility space and downstairs WC. In terms of back door , the original back door is at the back of the current kitchen and secondary back doors into utility so we would keep the original back door. I work from home so do really need to keep the study as it is.

I think I am thinking I need to keep the lounge as a lounge. I think the big question is do I move the kitchen out into the conservatory and if I do that is it a major issue that you would have to walk through the existing lounge to get to it?

Option B is to extend the kitchen out from where it is by about 2metes so it becomes squarer . It would be sort of L shaped as the right hand half of it would be utility space

firecracker123 Sun 19-Jun-16 09:50:36

In many ways i hate this house and would move but I love the location and it has a development plot which I want to hold on to - my son is disabled and I am thinking that long term we could build a small house there for him so he has supported living

The above pics are view from the conservatory and side on view from the drive towards the conservatory

firecracker123 Sun 19-Jun-16 09:52:28

If I went with option B and extended the kitchen and kept conservatory as a family room/diner do you think that would work better ?

firecracker123 Sun 19-Jun-16 09:54:41

Current kitchen is just over 3m wide

firecracker123 Sun 19-Jun-16 10:45:18

Here's some pictures to visualise it - inside conservatory, conservatory looking towards lounge and kitchen . Kitchen

firecracker123 Sun 19-Jun-16 10:46:44

Lounge, view to back garden (which actually is a lot bigger than the pic looks as it wraps all round), side garden view (this is the development plot)

firecracker123 Sun 19-Jun-16 10:48:07

I hate the kitchen with a passion, it's wider than on here though as it has worktops on each side. Lounge also has a bay that you cannot see in picture

LuluJakey1 Sun 19-Jun-16 11:26:20

Turn conservatory into kitchen family room, knock through lounge into kitchen,re- build utility as washer/drier and separate loo/shower and boot room from garden

LuluJakey1 Sun 19-Jun-16 11:29:07

Or, as above with conervatory as kitchen/family room, leave lounge as is, turn kitchen into evening quiet conservatory and access to family room, build utility.

firecracker123 Sun 19-Jun-16 11:42:56

My concern with putting the kitchen in the conservatory is having to walk through other rooms to get to it. I am just worried it will impact on the value

BrianBlowsBubbles Sun 19-Jun-16 17:30:28

TBH the best thing would be to get an architect or an architectural technician to have a look at it - I'm sure they will have some good ideas.

I agree with you, having to walk through other rooms to get to the kitchen is not good at all.

AppleAndBlackberry Sun 19-Jun-16 17:42:58

I think I would keep the kitchen as is, or maybe just widen the doorway into the conservatory. Then conservatory becomes dining/family room, lounge becomes 2nd reception room and part of the study or part of the garage becomes utility space

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