We've been in our house for over 7 years and it doesn't look like we'll be moving anytime soon. Now there are four of us we are pretty much full so we are thinking of ways to increase the space we have via an extension. The big question is do we go up, down or sideways!
The main aim is to create space for a second bathroom and a small office. We have several ideas, all with positive and negative aspects and with differing budgets. Here's a run down of all the possible home extension options we have...
Usually going up is a great idea for adding additional space, especially if adding an extra bedroom. The developments in skylights mean you can have fantastic light and air in the room too. Husband grew up in a loft room and hated it because he didn't have decent blinds so he could never sleep properly. The fantastic developments in blinds from the company VELUX mean you can now have complete blackout in the loft too (perfect for kids rooms). These roof blinds also block heat making keeping the room cool in the summer and insulate during the winter months. The problem for us with a loft conversion is that our house is a miniature Dutch Barn shape. This means our upstairs rooms are kinda already in the loft. We could go up into the loft space but we'd need a big dormer extension which is very expensive and we would loose a lot of the smallest room to accommodate the additional staircase.
Ground floor extension
Due to our house shape house we'd struggle with a double storey extension, it is doable but tricky and therefore costly. A single storey would be more feasible and some of our neighbours have already done it. In fact our house already has a small utility room extension at the side behind the garage. Ideally a new extension would run across the entire width of the house at the back, adding an additional room (office), a downstairs loo plus make the kitchen and dining rooms double their current size. Of course this is another expensive option, probably more expensive than the loft conversion option, but we would get an awful lot more space and it would be less disruptive as the bedrooms would not be effected. It would be at the price of our garden though as we'd need to sacrifice a third of it to make the extension worth while. Seeing as it isn't huge to start with that is a big consideration.
Our dining room is crying out for a conservatory off the back into our garden. Whilst this option would be cheaper than an extension it wouldn't give us the additional space we need at the moment for an extra bathroom and office. Yes, it could be used as the office but it would be hard to keep the room closed off from the children because it would be the access point for the garden. So this is isn't right at the moment but definitely a possibility for the future. Top tip if you are already have a conservatory, get it re-roofed as a quick and affordable way to make the room usable all year round and increase your living space.
Another idea is to convert our garage into a room. We don't use it for a car and at the moment it is purely storage (and let's face it a lot of the stuff we never use). The garage is attached to our house so we already have easy access. We could insulate and board it out at a fraction of the cost of an extension. It could potentially give us three small spaces; a downstairs cloakroom, a small office and a storage area for bins at the garage door end. Lighting and ventilation is a problem as all the garage walls (except the garage door end) are attached to another wall, so the only exposed area will be the roof. We'd be looking at flat, skylight windows or light tubes in the office space.
Whilst this option would be a great idea if we lived in Victorian house which already had some kind of roomy basement we could easily waterproof and convert into proper rooms, the cost of starting from scratch and digging out a basement under our 1970's semi would be completely uneconomical. We'd be looking at £3,000+ per sq metre which is just crazy money. Also if you are going to use the basement room as a bedrooms fire regulations state they must have egress windows (windows which can be easily opened and escaped from) which pushes the cost up further. It would be completely uneconomical for us.
So at the moment the garage conversion may be the cheapest and easiest way to solve our immediate space issues which loft or ground floor extensions on the cards when we find we need even more space!
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Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.