Need help making my home work better
Boxhedgeflaterpillar · 13/05/2022 15:10
Our home is 55sqm. Small, but we are happy here and like the area. I don't want to move mainly due to the expense. The problem then is a lack of space. It is a 2 bed house, one of which is really a single. We are 2 adults and 2 DC. DD7, DS4. There is room at the back for an extension, but I don't want to take on an extra mortgage with the worry over the cost of living looming. Do we (CAN we!) do something clever with the layout and keep our sanity and find some peace in a house with growing DC? Do the adults sleep downstairs? Will that drive us crazy? Should I spilt the main bedroom into 2 with a stud wall? Both rooms would have a window. Could DH and I sleep in the single room? There is just space for a double bed if we take off the door and replace it with a folding door. Can I buy a cheap caravan and stick it in the garden as an escape room? Maybe the last idea is a step too far. Maybe.
Would appreciate hearing your ideas and if anyone has had a similar dilemma. We have 26sqm approx upstairs to play with. I'll try and upload a floor plan..
HSKAT · 13/05/2022 15:14
What about loft space?
Boxhedgeflaterpillar · 13/05/2022 15:27
There is a loft but it has wooden trusses criss crossing all through it, so wouldn't be easy to convert. May be cheaper than an extension though. The thought of going up all those stairs to bed is a drag though. Kids might not mind so much!
TwoBlueFish · 13/05/2022 16:39
Boxhedgeflaterpillar · 13/05/2022 16:49
VerveClique · 13/05/2022 16:54
Move your bathroom to between the two bedrooms and create a third bedroom?
WeirdManFromRummikub · 13/05/2022 17:05
Do you have a garage?
Paddingtons · 13/05/2022 17:53
Get a quote for the loft definitely? If cheaper than stamp duty and moving costs it would be well worth it!
Boxhedgeflaterpillar · 13/05/2022 19:23
Thank you all! I hadn't thought of moving the bathroom. That might work. Just need to think where the new waste pipe might go. I guess it would need to go straight down through the room below and be boxed in to disguise it? The current bathroom window is slightly smaller too (shorter, but as wide as the other windows) so that would need work, but not on the same scale as an extension.
We don't have a garage, or that would be an option. I will think about the loft conversion too. I'm a little put off loft conversions as I tend to think they're a bit drafty and remote. If you forget something up there it's a long way to trek back up to retrieve it! But maybe I should investigate it a little more? The thought of star gazing from a window in the roof is appealing, once the streetlights turn off for the night!
TizerorFizz · 13/05/2022 19:23
Removing trussed rafters snd substituting a steel will be expensive. It can be done. Your house is small and you will need to use a lot of first floor space for the stairs. A habitable loft must have stairs that meet Building Regs and fire regs. Where could the stairs go? Yet more space would be lost.
I had a small 2 bed house and the bathroom was in between the two bedrooms. They both ran full width of the house. That was a sensibly layout and gave two decent bedrooms. Tiny tiny house though.
I would move. I don’t see how you can realistically get better space without spending a lot. Moving a bathroom is expensive. Your plumbing snd drainage won’t be in the right place. So more expense. It’s a small house for what will be 4 adults eventually. Failing that, I would extend but that’s still a lot of money for not much gain. You would need a full height extension. Surely for any possibility of an increase in value, as opposed to overspending on a tiny house, you should move?
senua · 13/05/2022 19:34
Have you spoken to an estate agent to get their view? I have heard people moaning that everything has been extended these days so there are only 4-bed properties on the market. You may find that your 2-bed has rarity value!
An alternative thought. Quite often people sacrifice a bedroom to move a downstairs-bathroom to upstairs. Could you do the opposite: move your upstairs-bathroom to the downstairs to give another bedroom?
But, really, I think you would be better off finding a new house.
senua · 13/05/2022 19:36
Another thought. What have neighbours done - can you see plans on RightmoveSold or the Council's planning portal? Steal their clever solutions.
pantjog · 13/05/2022 19:39
Fold-down bed? “Garden room” for a playroom/study? What do you need the most?
Boxhedgeflaterpillar · 13/05/2022 22:04
Lots of food for thought there, thank you. The point that got to me particulary was the idea of 4 adults sharing the space eventually. I hadn't considered that.
Temporarily, a folding bed downstairs and a garden office would ease the pressure, but longer term a single storey rear extension that gave us a separate room to be used as a bedroom may be the best plan. Hopefully the house would then still appeal to a wide range of buyers? Not that we're planning on moving! I like the discipline and consideration that goes into living in a small space, so we'll be here for as long as we possibly can be.
EducatingArti · 13/05/2022 22:16
Use bunk beds in the bigger room as a divider so the children can each have their own space
Paddingtons · 14/05/2022 13:40
Out of interest OP, did you live in this house with a toddler and a newborn? If so, can I ask what arrangements you made for sleeping, once baby moved out of your room? (We're in a tight squeeze too so I'm interested!)
TizerorFizz · 14/05/2022 19:06
There isn’t much choice is there? Baby stays with you or shares with sibling. What other choice is there? A garden room?
Nishkin · 14/05/2022 19:09
I know someone who made a 2 bed into a 3 bed by building a bathroom over the stairs- couldn’t see how it would work when they told me but it was brilliant
VerveClique · 14/05/2022 22:52
I think the bathroom between the bedrooms May still be viable. Is the house a terrace or a semi? If it’s a semi then it’s not a big job to move the plumbing really. You could just have a shower room even. We did made a separate bathroom/toilet into a really decent Single bedroom and made the really small bedroom into a shower room.
Then rather than a loft conversion, just make sure your loft is really good for rapidly accessible storage… so skylight, lights, boarding, shelving, lots of big, clear, well-labelled tubs, easy to use loft ladder. It will massively ease the pressure on the other rooms in the house and be more affordable. We did this in our last house when we were bursting at the seams.
housemadd · 15/05/2022 09:30
In a house of this size, a loft conversion may not work well because of the space taken for the stairs. But I would get some quotes, since some companies will do
a design for you as part of the quote and then you can see.
I definitely wouldn’t be put off loft conversions in general. I LOVED mine - the extra climb of stairs was no bother and light poured into the room through the veluxes and we had amazing views from the windows. We had so much more space than in the old bedroom.
HairyBum · 15/05/2022 09:42
move toilet slightly, change it into a small wet room with shower and loo.
HairyBum · 15/05/2022 09:44
If you move 3rd bedroom can be considered a study
CellophaneFlower · 15/05/2022 12:11
move toilet slightly, change it into a small wet room with shower and loo.
I'm not sure this would work. The wet room would be the size of a bath and would the rest of the bathroom be big enough to fit a bed in? It's hard to tell without measurements, but doubtful.
CellophaneFlower · 15/05/2022 12:36
If I were in your situation, OP, I think I'd sit tight for a bit. I can understand your reluctance to increase your mortgage right now, but I don't thinking spending quite a bit of money to move your bathroom etc is going to give you much usable space.
You have a few years till separate bedrooms will really be needed. I'd look into clever bunkbeds to make best use of space now, perhaps the L shaped kind might work? Meanwhile you can save your money and see what the future holds and whether a double storey extension will be feasible in time.
GrimDamnFanjo · 15/05/2022 12:40
We are in a Victorian terrace.
Upstairs was 2 beds and a large bathroom.
We changed the bathroom to a bedroom and divided the 2nd bed into an internal bathroom and a bedroom - which is now my office.
Boxhedgeflaterpillar · 15/05/2022 13:46
Some great ideas there to ponder, thanks!
In answer to an earlier question, DS is in the main bedroom with us still. We use an extendable washing line (l know!) to hang some colourful net curtain panels on to give a bit of visual separation between his bed and little play area and our bed. It's worked ok as, thankfully, he is a good sleeper. Plus I've liked having him close by. He is starting to want playdates now and I'm not keen on him having his friends playing in what is still my bedroom. Need to change things.
I can start to declutter the loft NOW and work on getting that up to a much more useable space. Will look at getting it boarded and will see the cost of a skylight. Brilliant idea! Thank you. I'd like a big skip to chuck everything up there in it, apart from the Xmas decs, but I won't be allowed and it's not the greenest way of decluttering!
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