Stairs in living room?

(26 Posts)
LilLilLu Wed 12-Aug-20 07:15:54

This house ticks pretty much all of our boxes, it is really the only house in our preferred location In our budget, however I am really not sold on the layout. What do you think? Is it doable?

The thing I really don’t like is the stairs in the living room but can’t see a way to change that.

I also had a thought that we could convert the garage to create a kitchen/diner. The problem is that the house is link detached (attached by the garage only) so would this make the neighbours hate us immediately?

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JoJoSM2 Wed 12-Aug-20 07:19:25

My only worry would be the sound travelling up, eg from TV to the bedrooms. Otherwise, I think it would be ok as long as you orientate the furniture so that you aren’t looking at the stairs when having dinner or relaxing on the sofa.

ivfdreaming Wed 12-Aug-20 07:26:37

I have stairs in my living room and wouldn't want a house with them again - few reasons really

- living room often just feels like a corridor to the upstairs rather than room in its own right
- sound travel upstairs
- can't shut pets downstairs
- heat travel upstairs
- often doesn't feel cosy/like you can shut off from the rest of the house because someone always running up and down the bloody stairs

LilLilLu Wed 12-Aug-20 07:26:40

I hadn’t even thought about noise! That’s something else to worry about!!

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LilLilLu Wed 12-Aug-20 07:29:12

Or the heat problem! Thank you both-

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BritInAus Wed 12-Aug-20 07:29:48

I think it's absolutely fine. The stairs are in a corner and as such would be easy to position furniture away from them.

TheSockMonster Wed 12-Aug-20 07:33:41

It looks like you could eliminate many of the stairs-in-sitting-room problems by boxing them in with a wall and door. Like in old houses and cottages where you have stairs behind cupboard doors. Would that work?


Beebumble2 Wed 12-Aug-20 07:33:46

Personally I wouldn’t want stairs in the living room for the same reasons as mentioned by ivf.
Looking at the plan you have to cross the living room to get to the stairs, this would make placing furniture difficult. Also no hallway means that the living room is the only access to the kitchen, so shopping etc has to go through the living room.
I’ll become just a throughway.

Beebumble2 Wed 12-Aug-20 07:35:40

It will*

TheSockMonster Wed 12-Aug-20 07:38:54

Actually, looking at the floor plan it would probably be possible to steal a slice off the side of the garage to create an internal hallway, then turn the stairs. I don’t know how much it would cost to create the hallway, but turning stairs is not prohibitively expensive.

AlCalavicci Wed 12-Aug-20 07:46:39

I live in a house with stairs in the living room and I hate it.
As PP said the heat and noise travel upstairs , also when you are decorating there is no defined line yo change the colour / style of decorating so however you decorate your living room will go upstairs and on the landing.

Also god forbid but if there is a fire downstairs the smoke flames will race up the stairs where as a separate hall would slow it down.

Can you look at boxing the stairs off with a door at the bottom ?
( I rent so I can not )

Ohhgreat Wed 12-Aug-20 07:47:38

Everything @Beebumble2 said!
You'll have to keep a clear path from kitchen to stairs, and front door to kitchen, which means you cant put furniture in any of that space. Trying to work out where to place sofas and dining table without using that space looks quite tricky...

LilLilLu Wed 12-Aug-20 08:00:13

Does anyone know anything about garage conversions? I think it would make the space much more useable, and there is a big driveway for parking. But the link detached thing makes it an issue in my mind. Would the neighbours hate us? And would they have grounds to object? We wouldn’t be extending, just changing the garage into a room

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WhoWouldHaveThoughtThat Wed 12-Aug-20 08:08:14

You may find that the garage only has a single skin brick wall i.e. no cavity, and so you would have to add insulation on the inside to make it a 'habitable room' for Building Regs (and your own benefit)

MsLumley Wed 12-Aug-20 08:12:36

Unless there's a covenant on the property you can normally convert garages without planning permission, just building regs. I don't see why converting your garage to a kitchen would piss your neighbours off - if they use their garage for storage,as most people do, what difference would it make to them?

I wouldn't like the stairs in the living room, nor so far towards the back of the house. You could put a stud wall up between the living room and kitchen (basically extend the existing WC wall) to separate the spaces and create a nice big entrance hall. You could then move the stairs to the end of the new hallway (possibly using a bit of garage space) and have an L- shaped staircase going into the landing upstairs. Looks like the landing is a good size so there's room to rejig the layout.

OneMoreLight Wed 12-Aug-20 08:16:28

The garage thing would depend on if your garage links to their house or their garage.

If it links to their house then you're changing the house to a semi rather than link detached. I'd expect them to have issues with that.

ivfdreaming Wed 12-Aug-20 08:29:17

The garage isn't likely to be single skin as there should also be a brick wall on the neighbours side so should in effect be a cavity wall. Bear in mind though that unless taking down other walls converted garages always look long and thin and disproportionate so I would think about putting the stairs in there and also a utility room. You could also move the WC in there and then use the former Wc to widen the hallway and reconfigure the kitchen

Conversion costs can vary and you'll need building regulations obviously - I'd say allow £10-15k for basic conversion

I can't see the neighbours objecting as their garage is on the other side so unless they also convert their garage it may just about still be considered to be a link detached

Dinosauraddict Wed 12-Aug-20 09:48:29

Our first house had stairs in the living room, and I would hesitate to buy one like that again. However, if you do it, don't be a twat and do what I did with furniture positioning which meant that if you were sat in the sofa watching tv and anyone went upstairs they had to walk IN FRONT of the tv. It gave me the rage.

WhoWouldHaveThoughtThat Wed 12-Aug-20 12:44:11

@ivfdreaming - good point about the garage wall. I would guess s that the adjoining house is a mirror image and the two garages are adjacent.
Agree with the shape of converted garages, you don't want to be sat in your dîner and someone say 'Gosh this is long - you could fit a car in here!'

FuglyHouse Wed 12-Aug-20 13:12:38

Converting the garage into a kitchen doesn't solve the problem that the narrower middle section of the living/dining room will effectively be a corridor, particularly between the front door and the stairs. This would really annoy me.

I'm another person who had stairs in the living room and wouldn't have that again.

AlphaDalpha Wed 12-Aug-20 13:23:27

Our stairs are in one of our living rooms and it's a total non-issue. Certainly didn't put me off and it's posed no problems.

AdoreTheBeach Wed 12-Aug-20 13:40:07

We had a link detached as our last house and a very kind driveway

The garage was double length. We broke through and converted the existing garage to a playroom and a bedroom, added a new one to the front (did that together with our linked neighbour). Prior to this, our linked neighbour had converted their double length garage to a laundry room and another reception room. It cause us no problems whatsoever, neither before we converted our garage nor after we converted.

Yes, you’ll need insulation but easily done. Yes, it’s building regulations. Also easily done.

Svalberg Wed 12-Aug-20 14:13:36

The house next door to me converted their garage into a living room. It meant that my stairs were next to their living room & they then never stopped complaining that they could hear my (carpeted) stairs being used. To the extent of calling it into the council as a noise nuisance, who installed temporary noise meters. And they were told by the council that it was normal household noise, and they should think about adding an extra layer of soundproofing if the noise disturbed them that much.

LilLilLu Wed 12-Aug-20 14:26:23

Thanks everyone- lots to consider!! It’s not the ideal layout, And I wouldn’t choose it but we need to compromise on something as there isn’t much else on the market in our budget! Just trying to weigh up dodgy layout vs parking and I think the parking wins. It is a nice house in other ways- why is there never the perfect house sad

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wetwiped Wed 12-Aug-20 14:38:36

If funds allowed and it would work upstairs and externally, I would look into concerting garage to a new front entrance, move the stairs to here also and remove entrance and stairs from living room.

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