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Unusual 2 storey extension plans - Victorian semi

(7 Posts)
cappy123 Fri 09-Sep-16 08:17:24

We're about to buy a typical 3 bed Victorian semi with a side return. We would like to extend to 4 beds upstairs and have a wider kitchen downstairs with loo and utility.

Thinking about upstairs, we've been told that we cannot extend into the shallow loft for a conversion, or lower the ceilings to do so because the bedroom ceiling height would be too low. We've also been told that we cannot extend directly from the second bedroom that overlooks the side return, because bedrooms need a normal vertical window apparently in case of emergency, which would be blocked. We had planned on roof lights.

The only thing an architect can think of is starting the extension forward into the side return, about 2m from the side return back wall, creating a small courtyard. That could be wonderful and help us retain light both in the bedroom and over the stairs (our stairs are in a square behind the lounge diner with large window upstairs adjacent to second bedroom).

Has anybody had a similar experience? Side return extensions are so common, but usually only as single storey. Although we're a semi, there's only inches between us and next door on the unattached side, and they have no windows facing us. Should we seek, via party wall etc, to attach the extension to theirs, or would that be weird? I'm thinking unlikely because they're detached and I'm not sure what that would do to the status of both houses?

I'd welcome your views.

cappy123 Fri 09-Sep-16 18:25:31

Anybody?

HarrietVane99 Fri 09-Sep-16 18:35:30

I think there was a Grand Designs once where they did something similar, but in the middle of the house, rather than the side return. If I'm remembering rightly, and you can find it, that might give you some idea of how it might work.

InTheDessert Fri 09-Sep-16 18:37:22

Why not have the ground floor coming directly from the house, but the upstairs having the gap between the current bedroom and extension?
I wouldn't attach to next door.

Hufflepuffin Fri 09-Sep-16 20:03:04

I'd want to speak to building regs first because I'm not certain that would be proper fire escape since there's nowhere to "go". Could the bathroom be moved to the current second bedroom location? Would that help get proper fire exits for all the bedrooms?

Coughingchildren5 Fri 09-Sep-16 23:06:27

I have seen similar plans rejected so I suggest scouring your local authority planning website to try find a similar design that has been approved and speak to their architects!

cappy123 Mon 12-Sep-16 13:59:03

Thank you guys!

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