house layout vs. return on investment ??

Dear Group,
as threatened in my previous post, here's another ...
I have a rather inconveniently laid out victorian terrace with the stairs in between the two rooms upstairs and down which means that you have to walk through the back bedroom to get to the bathroom - unless you halve the floor area by making a corridor around the edge - thus spoiling the better bedroom.
http://uk.geocities.com/gentlegreengiant/layoutchanges.JPG
Since the stair treads and risers need replacing anyway (though with luck this would cost little more than the price of a sheet of MDF and one of plywood), it has been suggested I might have new stairs made and fitted in reverse at an estimated cost of at least Ģ500. In the process I also get improved use of the alcoves for storage ...
I can't predict whether I would be looking to sell or rent the house any time soon, but I wonder if someone could please take a look at my sketch and tell me if what I am suggesting is an improvement and "worth" the expense.
thanks in anticipation
Jeremy
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"brugnospamsia" wrote | I have a rather inconveniently laid out victorian terrace with the | stairs in between the two rooms upstairs and down which means that | you have to walk through the back bedroom to get to the bathroom - | unless you halve the floor area by making a corridor around the edge | - thus spoiling the better bedroom. |
http://uk.geocities.com/gentlegreengiant/layoutchanges.JPG
I think exactly this problem came up on Property Ladder and the advice was *definately* make the bathroom accessible not through a bedroom. The property isn't really a *two* bedroom house without it. In that case the solution was to put a corridor down one side of the bedroom.
For the rental market, two house-sharing adults will not tolerate the only bathroom (and loo) being through a bedroom, and most families will be put off it as well. This will also affect the resale value.
I would suggest not using a 'folding screen' between the back bedroom and the corridor but a proper wall. It will probably be required for B Regs compliance anyway.
Bear in mind, however, that replacing the staircase with a new one in a different location / orientation may require full compliance with current Building Regulations for the staircase, as well as for the new walls etc.
On the ground floor, I would suggest that the layout of the rooms is the wrong way round; the dining room should be closer to the kitchen. What many people will prefer is a larger lounge and a kitchen-diner.
What you might consider is putting in a U shaped staircase, with its head in your proposed 'new' location to serve the bedrooms and bathroom; but with its base towards the rear of the house, i.e. taking the dividing wall between the downstairs and back rooms backwards to give a larger lounge. Open up between the kitchen and the back room to make a kitchen-diner with a french door to the garden. Drawback to the U is making an alcove in the upstairs room to accommodate the non-straight-line headroom.
Sample rough-up diagram is at (5.3kB)
http://www.stirlingcity.co.uk/ofc1/houselayout.png
Owain
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brugnospamsia wrote:

If you get someone to build and install a staircase for you, then I would expect to pay a bit more than that, if you DIY then you could do it for less. A compromise might be to get a staircase kit (screwfix do one IIRC) if you can get one with appropriate rise and going, and install that.

Certainly worth doing I would say. It is going to be a big turn off for a good proportion of the prospective buyers I would have thought.
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John Rumm wrote:

If you do need a bespoke staircase making up (which is common for an old house with non-standard ceiling heights), can I strongly recommend http://www.stairplan.co.uk - they recently made me an excellent quality (straight) staircase to precisely my specifications, for 380 GBP incl VAT and delivery.
David
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Lobster wrote:

That is quite a good price... Was that just a striaght staircase?
(I got various quotes for a staircase with a quarter wind top and bottom and the cheapest was coming in at 800 ish, but that was without fitting. In the end I built my own, but found that at least half the work was in the fitting with that sort of stair)
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----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: uk.d-i-y Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 11:31 AM Subject: Re: house layout vs. return on investment ??

oops !
I'm hoping mine will be a bit cheaper due to its being simpler and fitting between two walls and will almost certainly be carpeted rather than varnished - though I may go for real wood treads to allow for the vagaries of taste ....
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"brugnospamsia" wrote | > (I got various quotes for a staircase with a quarter wind top | > and bottom and the cheapest was coming in at 800 ish, but that | > was without fitting. In the end I built my own, but found | > that at least half the work was in the fitting with that sort | > of stair) | oops ! | I'm hoping mine will be a bit cheaper due to its being simpler and | fitting between two walls and will almost certainly be carpeted | rather than varnished - though I may go for real wood treads to | allow for the vagaries of taste ....
There's what looks like a good book on Handrailing and Staircases on ebay at the moment for a few quid, 1920s so constructionally in keeping with your age of property.
Re taste, for rental/resale I would suggest good laminate throughout the ground floor, neutral fitted carpet on stairs and upstairs. Nice vinyl or tiles in bathroom.
Owain
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brugnospamsia wrote:

Since yours is a striaght run then it ought to be much cheaper (the link David posted showed that sort of thing starting at 200 quid), and fitting is easy. With my one it had two turns which greatly adds to the complexity, it also means the fitting is more complex because rather than resting on the ground and the top landing (rather like a ladder), it needs to be fixed to the wall at one side, and then supported by the newel posts at the other.
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Cheers,

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John Rumm wrote:

Yup, with no acoutrements. It's a good website too: I'd never bought or specified a staircase before, but it takes you through all the necessary steps(!) including building regs etc, and makes the whole process very straightforward.
David
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----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: uk.d-i-y Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 9:27 PM Subject: Re: house layout vs. return on investment ??

thanks mate - my intention was to fit a permanent wall if I ever had to sell or rent out the house. I handnt thought about building regs - I was half planning to fit fire doors in any case - prefer the appearance too - though no doubt the buying public will require I swap them for cheap panelled (fire-rated) doors if I were to sell. (Or if my made-over house lumbered me with a social life improved to the extent of regular house guests !)

I plan to be so mimimal and organised that I can reverse the room functions in a flash if I were selling. I cause less annoyance to my neighbours by having HIFI and TV in back room. I currently have plasterboard nailed over the old glazed door and an attempt at soundproofing in the alcoves. Formal dining for me is a very low priority. I currently plan to move most of the kitchen functions into the front room. Coming up with a worthwhile kitchen for resale purposes will be a real challenge with the existing one being only 6 ft x 8 ft 6" internally. I can see I'll have to have to plan for a future "selling layout".

thanks mate ! - looks great but it's a bit more rad than I had in mind - the house is a centre valley so I can see structural engineers and tonnes of steel involved here ! (and no doubt underpinning of the single brick party walls - I'm hoping to avoid having to consult the neighbours ! )
you certainly get great service in uk.d-i-y :-)
Jeremy
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On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 05:22:00 GMT, a particular chimpanzee named
keyboard and produced:

Two things;
1. I would agree with a previous poster, a permanent corridor to the bathroom would certainly be a better resale prospect.
2. Building Regulations will apply to your work, as at the very least you are adversely affecting the means of escape in case of fire. On your existing layout, there is the choice of two separate escape routes from the bottom of the stairs, whereas in your proposed layout, you would have to go through the front lounge. If this was where the fire was, you're screwed. In order to comply, the windows to the bedrooms would need to have minimum clear openings of 0.33mē and a minimum clear opening dimension (width or height) of 0.45m, with the bottom of the opening between 0.8m-1.1m above the floor. You _could_ fit fire doors, but IMHO there's not much point. The greater safety improvement would be mains-wired, interlinked smoke detectors on both storeys.
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Hugo Nebula
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randomly hit the

Damn !
I was already starting to realise I'd made a mistake in having the back bedroom window supplied with top half opening - putting it a little above 1.1 metres ... The front bedroom window is ideal for escaping through. Does it have to be both windows ?
Jeremy
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On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 13:07:43 GMT, a particular chimpanzee named
keyboard and produced:

Unfortunately, yes.
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randomly hit the

Luckily the window isn't fully fitted. I haven't had a close look yet, but I'm hopeful I can refit the window upside down and reverse the hinges and catches (it's a 50/50 "sash-style" window) Since it's the same extrusion all the way round the opening I would guess this is possible .... (??)
... more incentive to do what I should have done in the first place so I can get ladders through the house :-)
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"brugnospamsia" wrote | thanks mate - my intention was to fit a permanent wall if I ever had to | sell or rent out the house. | I handnt thought about building regs - I was half planning to fit fire | doors in any case
You probably do not require fire doors in a two-storey property which is not a House of Multiple Occupation. However you must consider building regs. Your property, if done up, will probably appeal to first time buyers who will be frightened off by any irregularities in permissions.
| Formal dining for me is a very low priority.
And for most prospective purchasers/renters in this type of property, which is why I suggested a kitchen-diner.
| I currently plan to move most | of the kitchen functions into the front room.
That will mean however that your staircase (escape route from upper floor) passes through a kitchen, which may be unacceptable.
| Coming up with a worthwhile kitchen for resale purposes will be a real | challenge with the existing one being only 6 ft x 8 ft 6" internally. | I can see I'll have to have to plan for a future "selling layout".
Hence knocking through and making kitchen-diner, otherwise it will feel like a scullery. On the upside, because it's a small kitchen you can use nicer units and tiles for that 'wow' factor without it costing as much as it would in a bigger room.
| > Sample rough-up diagram is at (5.3kB) | >
http://www.stirlingcity.co.uk/ofc1/houselayout.png
| thanks mate ! - looks great but it's a bit more rad than I had in mind - | the house is a centre valley
buggers any hope of a loft con then.
| so I can see structural engineers and tonnes | of steel involved here !
I kept the bedroom centre walls where they were :-) A couple of hours of an engineer's time on site giving you verbal advice of what could be moved where and what couldn't might be invaluable.
| ... single brick party walls
That might be where your soundproofing problems lie.
The decision you have to make is are you doing the work to make a home for you, or as an investment. If it's as an investment you must do what appeals to the widest market, and not get personal.
Owain
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<snip>
I suppose it depends how much of the kitchen is in there - I was thinking of limiting the hardware to "breakfast-type activities ". I'm loathe to lose the hob in the kitchen proper which has a mega powerful cooker hood blasting up an old flue - you could almost have a barbecue in there (and my wok cooking frequently resembles that :-) In any case if I was to sell I would quickly do a switch around.
I will certainly be taking on board some of your ideas - but I'm a bit concerned by the extra landing area in your scheme - something I was aiming to minimise.
I do have some ideas about extending the kitchen by reworking a concrete "shed" I half built 10 years ago ....

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| I have a rather inconveniently laid out victorian terrace with the
| stairs in between the two rooms upstairs and down which means that | you have to walk through the back bedroom to get to the bathroom - | unless you halve the floor area by making a corridor around th edge | - thus spoiling the better bedroom. |
http://uk.geocities.com/gentlegreengiant/layoutchanges.JPG
Looking deeper into the problems of this small house, the existin stairs are unlikely to comply with current regs, so the proposed stair to be compliant wouldn't fit. You may be able to get approval from th planning department without which you will come unstuck when you sell.
Have you considered a loft extension
-- Paul Barker
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current stairs seem to be just about ok at about 42.4 degrees and the new staircase has an extra foot to play with ...

centre valley roof :-(
http://uk.geocities.com/gentlegreengiant/ruin.jpg
this is the rear of a spookily similar house - photo taken at turn of last century a mile or two from here mine is in slightly better condition ;-)
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Your AVG is out of date and due to go out of support in January. The latest version (7.296) is a totally new and vastly superior programme.
(Use it in conjunction with CWShredder, AdAware and SpybotS&D -in that order, to completely cleanse your machine daily.)
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oh all right then :-)
happy new year !
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