Five tips for adding a bedroom

An extra room can pay dividends for the family. Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.
An extra room can pay dividends for the family. Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

1. The most obvious place to put an extra bedroom is upstairs, with all the others, and sometimes it’s possible to use the space you already have.

For example, if the main bedroom spans the front of the house, you may be able to divide it in two, as long as each room has a window. This may not be as satisfactory as adding space, but it can work well if your home is big enough and you’re on a limited budget. When you come to sell, remember that couples and sharers will probably be looking for good-sized double bedrooms, while families may be happier to have more, smaller bedrooms, if it means one for each child.

2. Unless you have to sacrifice a bedroom to accommodate the staircase up to the loft, a better option may be converting the loft into a bedroom (or bedrooms). If you can also fit a bathroom or shower room up there, and built-in storage, you’ve created the perfect suite. The best loft conversions boast a dormer window across almost the entire width of the house, although not all homes can have this because of planning restrictions. Ideally, the line of the roof should also be altered from sloping to ‘straight’ (viewed from the front or back) so that what was air above the roof becomes room, giving you the most usable space.

3. Creating a downstairs bedroom, and preferably a bathroom or shower room next to it, can work, providing your home’s layout is suitable. Ground-floor extensions are usually used to add kitchen, dining and living space, but they can include bedrooms. A two-storey extension may be better because you can create extra living space downstairs and bedrooms upstairs, and it should be cheaper than doing both a ground-floor extension and a loft conversion. However, you might not get planning permission for a two-storey extension, whereas ground-floor extensions and loft conversions can often be done without planning, assuming your home has standard permitted development rights.

4. Another way to add a bedroom is converting your garage. If the garage is mostly used for storage and the stuff can be stored elsewhere, the garage could be more useful and valuable as a bedroom, as long as it’s converted properly and sympathetically. You could even put a bedroom on top of the garage, as long as there’s space to build above it and for a new corridor on the first floor.

5. Cellar conversions are popular now, especially in expensive urban areas where it’s hard to add space elsewhere. For most of us, converting our cellar won’t mean creating the type of underground ‘palaces’ that make the headlines, but even modest cellar conversions can be expensive to do, not least because they have to be tanked and usually involve underpinning. Cellar bedrooms aren’t generally the lightest, brightest spaces, but creating one is often preferable to moving home.