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Martin's Blog 17/01/2011 - Heads on Beds - Martin's Guidance on Adding an Extra Bedroom
If your family is growing or those youngsters that happily shared a bedroom are now brawling teenagers - you might consider adding an extra bedroom to your home. Given today’s sluggish property market, moving to a bigger house may not seem as attractive as modifying your existing home. Also by saving the expense of moving costs, the money could go a long way to paying for the room to be added.
If the time has come to create that extra room, standby yer beds with my lo-down on ways to do it.
Firstly, soften the blow with the knowledge that according to Nationwide research, extending your property to create an extra bedroom could add as much as 12% to the value of your house. Even converting existing space into a bedroom may increase it by up to 6% - although buyers do like decent sized rooms so if the bedroom you create isn’t big enough to swing a cat, the increase may be less.
Be aware that there will always be a ceiling price for property in your area, so the increase in value may not cover the costs of having the work done.
There are a few options for adding another bedroom to a house:
You may be able to do this under Permitted Development but check with your local planners first. If your plot is big enough, a 2-storey extension will create an extra bedroom and another lower level room which you could use as a games room, office or cool hangout.
This is the most drastic and costly way to add a bedroom but will result in an increase in value of your house. Accept that your driveway and garden are going to be off limits for a while, but once completed you’ll probably wonder how you managed without the extra space.
Ideally, get the staircase going up to the loft to continue from the existing one and use the same features i.e. skirting board, architraves etc in the attic room as in the rest of the house. This way the new will integrate with the old.
Use dormer or Velux windows to bring in natural daylight but check with you local authority if planning is required and what rules apply.
You may need to dig out to create sufficient headroom and you’ll need a specialist damp proofing company to ‘tank’ the space. I recommend www.timberwise.co.uk.
If you have standalone garage, then you could convert this, but you may need planning permission. Otherwise have something built to suit you exact needs – there are specialist companies that construct insulated timber framed out buildings to blend in with the garden. Once little Johnnie moves out and you don’t need the bedroom – you’ll have a wonderful summer house or office to enjoy yourself.
If increasing the liveable square-footage of your home isn’t possible, then you’ll have to create the extra bedroom from existing space:
Only do this if the two rooms you create are big enough for your needs. You’ll probably need to create and additional doorway and electrical points but other than that and a redecorate, you’re sorted.
You may not need planning permission for this (but check with your local authority ‘cos rules can vary by region) but you’ll need to comply with Building Regulations. If your house is leased, you must also check the terms of the lease as it may restrict you doing this (or require you to return the garage to original use when you move out).
You’ll need to either damp proof and insulate the walls and upgrade the floor and roof. You could still keep just the front portion of the garage as storage space. There are specialise garage conversion companies so do some research and check out www. fmb.org.uk
If You Can't Create an Extra Bedroom...
If you can’t completely create an extra bedroom, use a temporary partition such as an open bookcase or glass brick ‘wall’ to define different areas of the same room. This has the benefit of being moveable if you need to jig things around.
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