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Which layout of rooms in our house would be most desirable/valuable in your opinion?

(29 Posts)
msled Wed 22-Jul-09 20:33:18

Sorry this is long and complicated, but I'm in a real dilemma and would welcome any views! We've bought a house that needs work and we are currently wondering about the layout. It's a Victorian semi in London, with the normal shape of having a long back extension and side return. It is similar to this
www.bricksandbrass.co.uk/desroom/plans/plnvic1.html

It is currently very run down, and while we don't plan to sell for a few years but we do want to bear in mind resale value as we renovate it. It has four bedrooms at the moment. The first is across the front of the house and is 14'6" into the bay x 16.5", the one behind is 12'1"x10.7" so they are both roomy doubles. Then behind that there is a supidly tiny bathroom just 5'5"x7'11" (a narrow, unusable corridor really) then two bedrooms behind that, one of 8'11x7'7" and one at the back that is 11ft wide by 8ft deep.
We need to make the bathroom bigger as it is the only bathroom in the house and it is horrible. By taking down walls we could increase the size of the back room to 11X11ft to turn the fourth bedroom into a double, then knock through the rest of the third bedroom into the bathroom creating a big bathroom of nearly 8ft deep by 13ft wide, with two windows. The house next door has done this and it does make for a beautiful bathroom with freestanding bath, walk through shower, two sinks etc etc BUT it does mean the house is only three beds - double beds, but not a four bed.
We have put in an inexpensive loft room which makes a great child's room or home office, but it can't be described legally as a bedroom in estate agents details. Should we go with our design and say 3beds plus loft room (but not come up in any four bed searches) or somehow squeeze in a fourth bedroom in the plan? There is room to put a small loo/shower room downstairs and still have a kitchen that is roughly 19ft by 10'9ft.
if you were selling/renovating/buying, what would you do?
Thanks!

msled Wed 22-Jul-09 20:34:19

oops! think sthis will work!
www.bricksandbrass.co.uk/desroom/plans/plnvic1.htm

msled Wed 22-Jul-09 20:36:22

Actually on that floorplan you can see a small bedroom created by sectioning off part of the front largest bedroom, which is another option.
Our house is the same except it is just one large bedroom to the front, and a longer back extension, so there is a corridor with the bathroom and a third bedroom off it and another bedroom at the back.

3seater Wed 22-Jul-09 20:36:22

hmm, I think I would be tempted to stick with 4 beds and downstairs loo, but then what do I know.

noddyholder Wed 22-Jul-09 20:38:56

I think I would try and make the loft room 'legal' if poss.Then move the bathroom into the 8'11 x 7'7 room and gut the current tiny bathroom and make it a family study with lots of book shelves etc and a built in desk.then you would have 4 beds study and decent bathroom.This would put you at an advantage for selling hth.Make a utility ds with built in laundry bin and a loo no shower and its a perfect family houise

HerHonesty Wed 22-Jul-09 20:43:14

can the loft room ever be a bedroom (ie if you do whatever work to meet building regs requirements?)

personally, i think both your 3rd and 4th beds are really quite small so would go for your option of 3 bed and large bathroom.

or have you considered using some of the loft space as a mezzanine bed for the fourth bedroom, eating into it for the bathroom.

downstairs i would put in the teensiest toilet and keep as much living space as poss, no one will use the shower unless they really really have to.

MinkyBorage Wed 22-Jul-09 20:43:18

I would definitely not lose a bedroom. People usually can't compromise with the number of bedrooms, whereas most would definitely compromise on the size of a bathroom.
If we were moving, I wouldn't actually want a freestanding bath anyway.

MinkyBorage Wed 22-Jul-09 20:44:30

also, I wouldn't bother having a shower room downstairs, but a loo is essential

MinkyBorage Wed 22-Jul-09 20:45:04

ditto nh and hh re making loftroom legal

msled Wed 22-Jul-09 20:49:28

Hi thanks for your thoughts. loft room can't be 'legal' - we can't afford it on our budget. The difference is about 30K! But it makes a small but sweet attic single bedroom. If we put the bathroom in the 8'11" x 7'7" room we could make a study in the old bathroom (which would be useful to us) and I suppose we could call it a bedroom for estate agents search purposes (the real 4th in practical terms would be the little attic room) but only two of the beds would be real doubles - would that be a problem?
Would you put a sep shower in the bathroom if it was 8'11" x 7'7"? I do want a rolltop bath in there if poss! There would be the option for a future buyer to add an ensuite to the master bedroom but we couldn't afford to do it.

noddyholder Wed 22-Jul-09 20:53:07

Well I have done the tiny bathroom into study to great effect in several houses.buyers love it if well shelved!And a loft room can become a bedroom after a certain amount of time and with a few modifications .Whop did it and how long has it been there?Are they proper stairs?

msled Wed 22-Jul-09 20:57:05

Yes, it will have proper stairs but it doesn't meet regs on steels and insulation. I think the stairs might not meet regs re pitch. It is perfectly safe but costs less than 8K rather than 40K (or possibly more because we have a hip roof, which would need to be raised and have planning permission etc)
We absolutely need a fourth bedroom sometimes but only about once a month, and our budget is VERY tight!
How do you shelve the study NoddyHolder? You sound very well informed, are you a property developer.My very own Sarah Beeny!!

msled Wed 22-Jul-09 20:57:55

that is to say we are having the loft room built now (well this week, anyway!)

mumonthenet Wed 22-Jul-09 20:58:31

no, in a four bedroom house it's quite acceptable to have two doubles and two singles.......imho. After all those looking for a four bed house would be those with children.

msled Wed 22-Jul-09 21:05:02

Well we'd either have two nice big doubles, one normal large single, one attic room (quite weeny but you could use it as a guest room or child's room perfectly well) one study and one normal bathroom, or three doubles, one very big bathroom, an attic room and no study.
Downstairs there will be a through sitting room, a long narrowish (10'9") kitchen and downstairs loo.
Actually we are planning to extend the kitchen sideways in some way and are thinking up cunning ways to do that on a budget!

msled Wed 22-Jul-09 21:06:16

We could make a utility downstairs I suppose with the washing machine and dryer downstairs. We were planning to put them in a cupboard in the big bathroom...

noddyholder Wed 22-Jul-09 21:09:12

I live in a similar house!I am an interior designer and developer.Have stopped developing atm due to obvious property issues!I would do what i say and make the loft room gorgeous and market it as a guest room/hobby room.3 decent beds plus study v desirable i've found.get a local carpenter to build a desk in from worktops oak from ikea are brill for this.make it fit 2 chairs and hide all wires.Then shelve all remaining walls to the ceiling for books files etc.Buyers LOVE it!

mumonthenet Wed 22-Jul-09 21:09:44

sounds good.

I think keeping the downstairs loo is good advice...you must have two loos with a four bedder. I think I might even be tempted to keep the shower in the downstairs as long as it's not a cupboard and can be done nicely.

msled Wed 22-Jul-09 21:15:53

Ooh noddy, and I could maybe call it four beds then, couldn't I? My six year old daughter would have the back room and I think I could make it pretty even at only 11x8ft (she used to have a bigger room). Her little Ikea wardrobe and vintage chest of drawers really dominates it a present. Think I need a new layout! To be honest, I think as long as there is pink in it she will be happy...

noddyholder Wed 22-Jul-09 21:16:13

I have same house but downstairs I have retained front seperate living room and made hall kitcehn and diner open plan and put in a 2nd door in the hall to form a porch and stop draughts.now we have somewhere for coats etc and a big open plan kitchen diner tv room plus scrapped scullery and put loo under stairs

msled Wed 22-Jul-09 21:18:02

Yes, def have downstairs loo (at present have hideous downstairs giant bathroom which is going!)
re upstairs study, where would you put the desk in a room measuring 5'5" wide by 7'11" deep with a window at one end of the room and a door at the other?

noddyholder Wed 22-Jul-09 21:20:30

Put the desk where the bath is if poss.I love these houses they are my fave to do as people always think poky etc and dark and they can easilt be transformed Where are you in the country are you near me?

msled Wed 22-Jul-09 21:20:54

Very grateful for all thoughts - this is changing my mind tbh. OUr front room was never separate (we have hte original connecting doors.
Noddy, do you have a side return or have you extended into it? We can't put the loo under the stairs as we have a cellar under the hallway and the door to that is under the stairs.

noddyholder Wed 22-Jul-09 21:24:22

I don't have a side return as didn't want to spend in current market.We have made an opening between dinig room and kitchen and put a stud wall up beyond the original door into kitchen and put utility loo there.So we come in front door then another door into hall.This is all open to the kitchen we took the wall out beside wherre you have french doors.then the original door into the kitchen has a small utiltiy loo behind it.

msled Wed 22-Jul-09 21:31:08

Ooh, I'm not very good at envisaging things. So you don't have any wall to the back reception - it's just open to the hallway? Where is teh opening between kitchen and dining room? Do you still have a door to the side return from your back reception/dining room?

Our downstairs is like this:
www.bricksandbrass.co.uk/desroom/plans/plnvic1.htm except the back extension is longer and the kitchen is at the back part and there is a (horrible)bathroom and loo on the right as you go back which we will get rid of and replace with a much smaller downstairs loo (and maybe utility)

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