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House layout help!

(21 Posts)
DataColour Mon 21-Nov-16 10:43:33

Our downstairs layout (1930s house) which we will be moving into shortly, needs changing to optimise the house for us and wondering if anybody as any bright ideas as to what works best.

Option 1 is to do a small extension to square off the back and create an L shaped kitchen diner. The current kitchen (6.1m x 2.3m) is just big enough to squeeze in a 4 seater table into it which is fine for us as a family of 4, but I'd like a bigger table so that we can free up one of the receptions rooms to not be a dining room...if that makes sense. I was thinking of having a large dining table in the new extension, which would be about 2.7m x 3.5m and then having a L shaped arrangement of units down the long side and sink area under the rear window. And large patio doors and velux windows in the extension.

Option 2 is to take down the wall between the kitchen and rear reception room. This will create quite a large kitchen diner, but means that we will only have one separate reception room. I'd like to have 2 as we have guests who stay over sometimes and would have to use one of the receptions rooms with a sofa bed.

Cost wise I guess option 2 is cheaper...but we have funds to carry out a small extension, but is it worth it for the extra space? We plan on living here for the foreseeable future.

There is also an attached garage to the kitchen side of the property, although it only extends as far as the end of the hallway. So we could extend the kitchen to the rear of the garage, but I'm not keen on this as I'd like easy access to the rear of the house and don't like the look of this type of extension.

Any thoughts will be appreciated!

bilbodog Mon 21-Nov-16 11:01:05

I would do the extension and create an Lshaped kitchen/diner. Try and get as much light as possible into the new area as otherwise you will make the back reception room dark as it wont have any windows direct to the outside. You could put a roof lantern and bifold doors on the extension.

FrickOnAStick Mon 21-Nov-16 11:03:21

My worry with the L shaped option is the loss of light in the middle room (currently the lounge).

I think a spacious, well planned open plan kitchen/diner/playroom space in the knocked through current lounge & L shaped extension would be better.

Aftershock15 Mon 21-Nov-16 11:21:16

You could do the L shaped extension without filling in the gap behind the rear living room. That would give you an enclosed courtyard which I think look great and keep an external window. Would cost more and use more garden though.

wowfudge Mon 21-Nov-16 11:39:47

What about doing this OP?

Themoleandcrew Mon 21-Nov-16 11:43:22

Our house is similar and we extended across the back to make a kitchen/diner but took the wall between the living room and new dining area out we have a bit of a wall there still at the sides. We just took out the wall below the back window if that makes sense

YelloDraw Mon 21-Nov-16 11:48:27

I would do as Aftershock says.

Either do the infill extension and create one 'super room' with kitchen/diner/sofa and keep separate reception room

Or if you need 2x separate reception room do the infil extension leaving a small courtyard - with big floor to cealing winds/doors onto it at least from the current living room side. Paint walls white. Have inside/outside tiles running from extension into the court yard and get some plants in pots our there. Would be nice.

Whichever you go for, maximise the light with big floor to cealing windows/sliders and roof lanterns.

my preferred option is one huge 'super room' + 1x separate reception.

user1471549018 Mon 21-Nov-16 11:51:26

I would either to the full extension downstairs (incorporating the back reception room into it for maximum wow factor) and plan to extend into the loft now or in the future for a guest bed/study. Or do something along the lines of what wowfudge suggested.

YelloDraw Mon 21-Nov-16 11:55:42

Oooh I like wowfudges best if you have side space. I was just assuming you only had space at the back.

wowfudge Mon 21-Nov-16 12:06:47

I know you said you don't like extensions at the back of garages, but I think it makes most sense to do just that. That way you don't compromise the rear reception room. Plus you have the option of having footings which would take an additional storey if you or a future owner wanted to extend upstairs.

I'd make that front store off the hall a downstairs loo too, or put one in part of the new utility.

wowfudge Mon 21-Nov-16 12:11:09

You could have a vaulted ceiling in a side kitchen extension and add velux windows for natural light, meaning you can put kitchen units along that whole wall without having to work around windows. I'm on a roll! We've just had our kitchen, orangery and snug knocked through so what will and won't work is on my mind wink

Bellaposy Mon 21-Nov-16 12:14:42

Such a common layout but it is so hard to optimise! From houses I've seen, a side extension works best if you have the space. I would be worried about blocking light from your dining room by extending to the rear. Maybe try mock walls with cardboard or something and see how it affects the light. Congrats on your new home!

DataColour Mon 21-Nov-16 12:28:03

Great ideas!

Thanks Wowfudge for that plan. There is a door in to the second reception room from the hallway, omitted from the floorplan! How wide do you think the side extension should be do you think?
We do have room at the side and the plot gets larger at an angle from the garage as it is a corner plot.
My reservations are that it would involve more structural work expensive as would need an RSJ for the long length of that kitchen....

Yes the light into the 2nd reception room is an issue and yes Themoleandcrew we were planning on taking the wall out where the current back window is, but retaining the length of wall on either side of the new opening and perhaps putting in doors to separate out the dining area, is this what you have done? Does it get dark in the reception room?
I'm hoping that because the door to the dining area can be left open if needs be it won't get that dark in the reception area. Otherwise we could just open it all up into the dining area...maybe just retaining a bit of wall on either side.

The garden is west facing and hopefully lets in quite a bit of light anyway as it does in our current house.

DataColour Mon 21-Nov-16 12:31:15

It all seems so complicated that I'm now trying to visualise how I could use the current kitchen to minimise the kitchen units and maybe get a bigger table in there, with french doors to the back of the kitchen/table end. We could get out the washing machine and put it in the garage and make a utility area as wowfudge has suggested.

wowfudge Mon 21-Nov-16 12:35:36

Without knowing the existing dimensions and plot size, plus width of the garage, it's difficult to say. But if you wrap an extension around that rear reception room I think it will always feel like a cheap(er) compromise unless you open that room up to kitchen, which you have said you don't want to do.

We've just had two 3 m long steels put in - our house is Edwardian and there is first floor, attic rooms and roof above the wall taken out and the cost wasn't huge. We had to pay for a structural engineer to do the calcs and plans and building regs too. I don't know the exact numbers as DP does paying people, I just have the ideas.

wowfudge Mon 21-Nov-16 12:37:22

He did tell me, I just can't remember.

namechangedtoday15 Mon 21-Nov-16 12:59:06

Our driver was the need to get a 4th bedroom so if you're only concerned with the downstairs, then it may be better to go out at the side. If your house is similar to ours though (bathroom above kitchen) that side where Wowfudge has suggested you extend (behind the garage) is where the soil stack is which means it will have to be moved (expensive) and you may be limited with the windows you can have on the side of the new kitchen if you're very close to your boundary (as they'll look directly into your neighbours windows).

We've gone about 3.5m out from the back of the house (so slightly beyond your current kitchen and squared it off) and opened it all up into one big room. Is really fab, great for family living / entertaining. Have incorporated a small utility where the kitchen door used to be with a pocket door (amazing!) and have bifolds for light. Love it.

Our lounge was always separate so remains separate, and we have a proper sprung sofa bed in there. We also have a downstairs loo under the stairs.

DataColour Mon 21-Nov-16 13:13:30

Is it expensive to heat a massive room like that namechangedtoday15? I agree it's great for socialising, but I'm hesitant to open it all up as the ones I've seen in other houses doesn't seem that cosy to me.

wowfudge I don't mind opening up the rear reception room to the dining space, but wouldn't want to knock through the wall between kitchen and the rear reception room, like I said i'm not sure it'll be cosy enough for me.

Another dilemma is where to put a downstairs WC. As you can see from the plan, there is a store area next to the porch, but it is tiny..about 0.8m x 1.2m and it houses the gas meter too. I think it'll be expensive for soil stacks too and get the gas meter out and still have only a tiny space. The other option is under the stairs and as the bathroom is directly overhead it should be easy, BUT there is this weird curve shaped wall where a door from the hallway would need to be put in, as at the moment the it is a pantry with access from the kitchen. So I don't know if we can cut out a door section from this bit of wall or whether it is holding up the stairs above hmm

namechangedtoday15 Mon 21-Nov-16 13:32:39

Our downstairs loo is tiny, it is literally under the stairs - I think it is very similar to your size but it does the job. The door opens into the hall. We have the electricity meter in there (i.e. further along towards the foot of the stairs / where there is no head height) and we've simply boxed it off, and yes, it feeds directly into the main soil stack.

For us, our old kitchen extension (so the bit which extends beyond the back of the house) was demolished as we have gone double storey and had new foundations - so its all been built to current building regs, all properly insulated etc, windows are all new and super douper! Worked out the BTUs that were required and got suitable radiators. Have engineered wooden floors etc, very cosy.

I would suggest you live in the house before you make your mind up. You never know what might crop up when you consider the works. We couldn't go on our old kitchen floor without slippers / footwear in winter (old terracotta tiles) because it was sooooo cold (done years ago) - so would have had to dig up the kitchen floor no matter what we'd had done. It also turns out that although we had a certificate from FENSA for the double glazing in the sale pack, all the windows had been installed upside down so had no trickle vents that worked. Didn't realise until the first winter (about 6 months after we'd moved in) and had an issue with condensation / damp! We had to get someone in to do all that.

We also lived with your layout for about 4 years before we did any work (to make sure we knew how we wanted to live in the house etc).

whatsthecomingoverthehill Mon 21-Nov-16 13:45:05

Our house has a full width extension with glass folding doors from the lounge. It is still a bit dark in the lounge though.

YelloDraw Mon 21-Nov-16 13:50:12

Lots of questions and requirements - I would get an architect to work with you.

But I do think 1 big super room + 1 separate reception is the best solution for this layout unless you extend to the side.

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