Attic conversion

(13 Posts)
LittleEsme Sun 13-Sep-20 18:04:21

I'm in a bit of a dilemma.
We are in the middle of getting plans drawn for a house renovation and extension. So far, the house designer has done everything we've asked from him. Our ground floor and upstairs is looking really good - I'm happy with them.

We are hoping go up into the attic to create 2 large bedrooms and a shared bathroom. Designer has inspected the attic and roof will need raising.

The plans have arrived and my confidence is really dropping. The designer wasn't able to place the bathroom where we'd agreed because of something to do with the A frame and now it's where I placed a walk in wardrobe.

I'm panicking that both bedrooms are going to be really small - I don't know how much space will be lost to this A frame. I've never been in an attic conversion so I don't have any point of reference to draw on. I'm worried about starting a massive build that's going to be completely unworkable.

I'm also concerned that our lovely, friendly house designer has reached the peak end of his expertise with this job. What if I'm able to do much more of a renovation with this house?! My confidence is gone!

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AutumnLeavesStart Sun 13-Sep-20 22:25:31

How big is your house? I’ve been in lots of loft conversions and in a standard size house squeezing in a bathroom and two bedrooms will lead to cramped rooms. It sounds like the designer is working within the constraints of the space but you want something that is difficult to do well.

Jarstastic Mon 14-Sep-20 00:37:22

Has anyone around you had a loft conversion? Have a look on the planning department of your council’s website to see their drawings.
If you are not in London or not common where you are, have a look at council websites for London streets which are similar houses eg Victorian or Edwardian.

Alexalee Mon 14-Sep-20 07:28:35

To get 2 large bedrooms a bathroom and walk in wardrobe in any loft is going to be a challenge unless your house is enormous, better off with 1 bedroom an ensuite and wardrobes in the eaves.

Africa2go Mon 14-Sep-20 09:37:26

I agree you need to go into a loft conversion. If you're intending to use the bedrooms as adults (rather than for children) you will need a massive footprint to be able to get 2 x large bedrooms and bathroom with full head height. The height is usually only sufficient in certain parts of the rooms due to the angle of the roof even if you have dormers / hip to gable conversion. If you're raising the roof, it will be massively expensive. I think you need a chat with your designer, go & see a couple of loft conversions if you can and think about budgets before you go much further down this path.

CatkinToadflax Mon 14-Sep-20 10:12:30

We have one large bedroom (16' x 16') and decent sized ensuite, plus a landing that's big enough for a large cupboard under the eaves and a small study space. We did vaguely consider putting two bedrooms in the loft, but they'd both be long and narrow, whereas instead we have a rather lovely master suite. The head height is also very good partly due to a large dormer, and we didn't need to raise the roof.

There are a few houses round here with two bedrooms in the loft and all are long and narrow. They've all been up for sale and either taken ages to sell or not sold at all, and I wonder if this could be due to cramming too many bedrooms into not enough space.

Do you absolutely have to put two bedrooms in the loft or would one do?

LittleEsme Mon 14-Sep-20 22:30:08

Thanks everyone - I really appreciate the input. We really do need to try and get 2 bedrooms up there and a small shower room and toilet up there too.

I can't find any houses in my area with attic conversions - at a total loss. I wish I could get a Sara Beanie-style 3D walk of my plans through to give me a better idea.

I know it's better to get these things ironed out now but I feel even less convinced that this will work. DH thinks I'm over reacting and that no reputable builder would build something not fit for purpose so he's pushing for the plans to go to planning.

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minipie Mon 14-Sep-20 22:34:16

What kind of house is it. Victorian terrace, 1930s semi...?

Notyetthere Tue 15-Sep-20 09:17:19

I think several people are right about the two large bedrooms and bathroom being a bit of a squeeze up there. The house we are buying is also presenting us with the same dilemma. Several others on the road (1930s semis - bungalows ) have all extended sideways with double storeys and dormer at the back giving a lot more room up in the loft which is how they have managed to get two doubles with an ensuite and dressing area and another bathroom. This in combination with a single storey extension at the back. It adds at least 50m2 to the whole house which I reckon we can't quite afford so we are considering a double, a single and a bathroom or shower room. Hopefully we can achieve this without having the double storey to the side.

Ariela Tue 15-Sep-20 09:51:37

The 'problem' is you need a certain amount of head height in order to satisfy building regulations. Plus you need sufficient roof support so your roof stays in situ without collapsing. So some of the framework up there will be replaced with RSJs but you do need to leave a certain amount of structure to support them. Hence the issue with the A frame I imagine. Architects will need to calculate the load and ensure there are enough load bearing walls etc - or your roof will collapse.
The other alternative is take the whole roof off, build up and replace/put a new roof. Which consequently is usually a lot more expensive.

LittleEsme Tue 15-Sep-20 17:24:00

This is invaluable advice - thanks so much.

The house is 150 years old and is a typical valley, double fronted detached house that you see a lot in Wales - I'll attach an image of something similar.

We have planned 6m 2 story extension to the side so we're hoping a second attic bedroom can be above the extension and the first attic bedroom and bathroom (and staircase) to be in the original building.

Looking for attic conversions in our area!

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LittleEsme Tue 15-Sep-20 17:29:07

Forgot to attach an image...

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TeenPlusTwenties Tue 15-Sep-20 17:31:11

You lose head height to flooring and insulation.

I'd personally get another company or 2 round and ask them about loft conversion for your house as is. You may find their comments help you.

When we did ours we got 3 companies round and our ideas evolved as we understood better what was and wasn't feasible.

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