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Martin’s Tips

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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.15-05-2013

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 anything from 10- 30% to the value of your house. A good rule of thumb is that a 10% increase in floor space can add 5% to the price of a typical home.

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.

Making Room

There are a few options for adding another bedroom to a house:

1. Extending – Adding a side extension, say above the garage will give you a good sized extra room.

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.

2. Converting the Loft – ‘extend’ up into the roof space. 

If your property was built later than 1960, you may need to have the roof raised or timbers re-organised, since newer properties have roofs made of factory made triangles with a lower pitch and more struts than in older houses. You may also need to have the ceiling joists beneath re-enforced to take the extra weight.

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.

3. Going Down – If your home has a basement or cellar, then you could convert this into another bedroom. You may need to dig out to create sufficient headroom and you’ll need a specialist damp proofing company to ‘tank’ the space.

4. Building an out house – Maybe the best solution for a teenage hangout is to build something in the garden.

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.

Changing Spaces

If increasing the liveable square-footage of your home isn’t possible, then you’ll have to create the extra bedroom from existing space:

1. Divide an existing large bedroom into two - This is an easy and cost effective way to make two rooms out of one. Stick up a stud-partition wall and you’ll turn one room into two – magic!

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.

2. Rework the layout – If you’ve no obvious room to divide up neatly to create the extra bedroom, rejigging the overall layout may free up enough space. Large landings, airing cupboards or bathrooms may give you the extra square footage to eek out another room. Carefully plan this first with accurate drawings and accept that you might have to sleep open plan while the work is being done.

3. Convert the garage – particularly if it adjoins the house itself and has an internal door.

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 first.

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.

This article is written in good faith. Martin Roberts cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content and cannot be held responsible for any losses (directly or indirectly) resulting from using the information given.


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