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turning cupboard under stairs into loo?
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# 1
charliee
Old 24-04-2009, 10:02 AM
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Default turning cupboard under stairs into loo?

Hi all, hope yu are enjoying the sunshine!
was wondering if anyone had converted their cupboard under the stairs into a downstairs loo? is it a complicated job?
i wouldnt need anything fancy, just a basic suite and basic decoration, no fancy tiles or anything.. i think its big enough if you put the loo under the stair bit and the little sink in the corner.
the kitchen is opposite the cupboard so i assume they wouldl put pipes in under the floor in the hallway for water, but where does the waste go? does it need extraction or a window? is it expensive to put a light in?
im guessing its hard to picture but its jut a standard sort of 60's end of terrace house the cupboard is in the hallway, the lounge is one side, the kitchen is opposite the door across the corridor and the back wall of the cupboard is the garage (which we are hoping to convert to a playroom and office)

anyone done someting similar and have any idea about costs? i'd really like a downstairs loo in our new house, but if the cost is too much it may not be worth it...


thanks in advance...
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# 2
olias
Old 24-04-2009, 10:33 AM
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Afraid you will have lots of problems. Waste (toilet) and grey water (sink) cannot go into same waste line, so you will have to account for two lots of waste pipes which will have to be ran to wherever your existing soil pipe/waste/sewer is, which I guess will mean running them through the wall into the garage space and either to the front or rear of your property, wherever the soil pipe/sewer is.

You will also have a problem with ventilation as building regs require it and so this will again have to go into the garage and be ducted, either through the roof, or to the front or rear of the property.

Also I can see a problem with fitting a loo, as if you are intending putting it under the sloping part of the cupboard where the stairs go above (which it sounds like you are, from your description), then I don't think this would be allowed under building regs. I think there will be minimum headroom required (and besides which any men standing up to pee would hit their head!!!!)

In short, I think it will be expensive, complicated as regards the building regs, and you will have to cope with how to deal with all the ducting/pipework going into your garage which you are intending to convert. That's if there is enough room in the first place to satisfy the basic building regs.

Sorry to put a negative on your plans, but I think you will struggle.

One alternative, would be to put the downstairs loo in the garage conversion. Either at the front or rear (wherever your soil pipe and sewer are) This should be far easier and cheaper to do with just a stud wall to section off a small room

Olias
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# 3
charliee
Old 24-04-2009, 10:46 AM
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thanks for your reply... i have seen similar ones in other peoples house, but they were new build.. i can see the waste could be an issue...its not even like its under the bathroom... i would consider putting it in the conversion but it is 16ftx9ft and i was going to allocate 5ftx9ft to the other halfs office/computer room and 10ft x9ft to make a playroom so i am not sure if adding another room, albeit a small one, wouldl compromise the space too much and make the playroom too small (bearing in mind we are thinking if we do decide to sell in the future it would be best if it were a size that could be used for something else, like a dining room if the new owners didnt have children)

its annoying as i think a second loo is almost a must... for marital harmony at the very least!!

do you know how much it might be for an ensuite in the bedroom, with a shower if we were going to that trouble?
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# 4
Basil1234
Old 24-04-2009, 1:40 PM
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"Afraid you will have lots of problems. Waste (toilet) and grey water (sink) cannot go into same waste line, so you will have to account for two lots of waste pipes which will have to be ran to wherever your existing soil pipe/waste/sewer is, which I guess will mean running them through the wall into the garage space and either to the front or rear of your property, wherever the soil pipe/sewer is. "

afraid your info is not fully correct there. There is a company that has been around for many years called saniflo that offer basically macerator pump for a toilet and washbasin taking all the waste liquidising and pumping it thru a 22mm waste pipe straight into the soil stack which takes all waste of this kind. The only separate type of water waste is for rain water which has a separate sewer so your statement above is not correct and as an ex-plumber you are making the job alot harder than needs be but yes it is possible. heres link to saniflo http://www.saniflo.co.uk/sanitop.aspx
but the only key thing to it really on a practical note is head height in this case could you sit on a toilet get up and down without banging your head, also in relation with the pipe going thru the wall to the playroom you can always box it in so it doesnt show.
hope this helps
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# 5
27col
Old 24-04-2009, 2:21 PM
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As far as I can see the Building Regs refer only to foul water and surface water. The only time that grey water crops up is if there is some sort of grey water recycling system. there would not be a requirement for separate pipes for sink and toilet. They would both feed into the same soil pipe. The biggest problem is likely to be the actual amount of space available. As has been mentioned the head room is a major concern and would be the most likely reason for not being able to do the conversion. A friend of ours has had a very small space under the stairs converted to a toilet and there is just about enough space to make it possible. It is very easy for a standing gent to bang his head.
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# 6
kevsan
Old 24-04-2009, 3:38 PM
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Hi,

I have exactly what you are descibing, and space isn't really an issue. It certainly saves people walking upstairs to use the loo.

I am 5'11 and can 'stand up straight' without any problems - much taller and you might struggle a bit, but not too badly. If i lean over the pan, my head touches the ceiling when my eyes are level with the toilet seat hinges (i've just experimented for you!! ) so that might give you an idea.

Waste pipe goes under the floor of the kitchen to the soil pipe, with an extractor pipe going across the ceiling.


If you need more details let me know - but it is certainly a very good use of space in my opinion.
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# 7
KellyWelly
Old 24-04-2009, 4:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Basil1234 View Post
"Afraid you will have lots of problems. Waste (toilet) and grey water (sink) cannot go into same waste line, so you will have to account for two lots of waste pipes which will have to be ran to wherever your existing soil pipe/waste/sewer is, which I guess will mean running them through the wall into the garage space and either to the front or rear of your property, wherever the soil pipe/sewer is. "

afraid your info is not fully correct there. There is a company that has been around for many years called saniflo that offer basically macerator pump for a toilet and washbasin taking all the waste liquidising and pumping it thru a 22mm waste pipe straight into the soil stack which takes all waste of this kind. The only separate type of water waste is for rain water which has a separate sewer so your statement above is not correct and as an ex-plumber you are making the job alot harder than needs be but yes it is possible. heres link to saniflo http://www.saniflo.co.uk/sanitop.aspx
but the only key thing to it really on a practical note is head height in this case could you sit on a toilet get up and down without banging your head, also in relation with the pipe going thru the wall to the playroom you can always box it in so it doesnt show.
hope this helps
We've got a downstairs loo under the stairs and we've got a saniflo unit. I'm very grateful for the extra loo but the saniflo does have it's own problems. We had to replace it when we moved in 3.5 years ago and since have had to have it repaired 3 times - once under guarantee when the switch broke inside, some sort of membrane thing, and then twice because the wrong things got put down the loo (by my then 2 and 5 year olds). I think both times it was actually pebbles which obviously aren't supposed to go down there but they wouldn't have caused a problem in an ordinary system.

In the next year or so we're planning on getting somebody in to replace it all with a new suite and at the same time dig out a proper waste into the main sewerage system, if you see what I mean. Apparently this will cost about £700 to do but we couldn't get the plumber we used to use to do it (he was too lazy which is why we don't use him anymore!!) and in the end we've spent about £750 maintaining and repairing the flamin thing in 3.5 years.
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# 8
olias
Old 24-04-2009, 5:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliee View Post
thanks for your reply... i have seen similar ones in other peoples house, but they were new build.. i can see the waste could be an issue...its not even like its under the bathroom... i would consider putting it in the conversion but it is 16ftx9ft and i was going to allocate 5ftx9ft to the other halfs office/computer room and 10ft x9ft to make a playroom so i am not sure if adding another room, albeit a small one, wouldl compromise the space too much and make the playroom too small (bearing in mind we are thinking if we do decide to sell in the future it would be best if it were a size that could be used for something else, like a dining room if the new owners didnt have children)

its annoying as i think a second loo is almost a must... for marital harmony at the very least!!

do you know how much it might be for an ensuite in the bedroom, with a shower if we were going to that trouble?
Hi, re some of the above replies, I didn't mention saniflo as so many people I have talked to complain about them - noise/breakdowns/blockages/limit to items that can be flushed. You still also have the same problem of ducting the waste, albeit a smaller bore.

In my opinion, If your bedroom has the space and an outside wall adjacent to the soil stack, or even the same side as a sewer manhole, then an ensuite would definately be a better use of money and will add more to the value of your house. If you were to DIY it, or even project manage it and get sub contractors in, then it can potentially be done really quite cheaply.

These are by no means definitive costs, but for example:
basin and loo £250
shower and enclosure £500-£1000
stud wall including door etc - £500-£1000
plumbing and electrics - £500
Extractor - £100 fitted
Tiling - £300

A lot depends on where you live, what work you can do yourself, how much you want to spend on fittings etc

I think it could be done for less than £3000 if you are careful

And think of how great it would be having a bathroom to yourself without the kids!

Olias
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# 9
charliee
Old 24-04-2009, 9:33 PM
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thanks again for the great responses, it doesnt sound like saniflo would be a good solution for us with a curious 2 year old with an obsession with stones and throwing things into things (?).. also the noise would be an issue as that is one of the reasons we'd want a toilet downstairs as its right next to his bedroom.
the ensuite sounds like a possibilty. it would allow the OH to have a shower when he got in from work without creeping about or worrying about waking the boy and our main bedroom is 16' x 9' so plenty big enough for it. wouldnt need anything too fancy, just modern and functional so hmmm £3000.. not bad...
and then we could look into the downstairs loo at a later date....
we are not even in yet, so prob get a few quotes later on...
thanks again! :-D
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# 10
BillTrac
Old 24-04-2009, 9:59 PM
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We are looking at doing/finishing this soon. Existing downstairs washroom between kitchen and rear wall of the house. We want to relocate toilet to extend kitchen.

I have bought the Saniflo unit, have routed hot and cold water pipes and the waste pipes etc are in situ now. We are on the end of a terrace but our frontage is at right angles to the rest of the street IYSWIM?

Headroom is great as the ceiling is level

Cost so far?

Saniflo £300
Pipework £50 ( pushfit pipework and fittings are great)
Toilet and basin etc £150
of course my time but hey all in a good cause

just editing as we also have a full bathroom upstairs....dont want anyone thinking we only do it downstairs......lol

Last edited by BillTrac; 25-04-2009 at 9:49 PM.
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# 11
Fire Fox
Old 25-04-2009, 1:44 AM
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Obviously it's down to personal taste, but I hate toilets under the stairs. They are usually dimly lit and poky with no window or fresh air, and you never seem to be getting comfortably far enough away from other people when you use them. I'm paranoid about noise or smells when I am forced to use them!!!
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# 12
JoolzS
Old 25-04-2009, 1:51 AM
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Like firefox, I hate downstairs loos.

If you are considering installing one - ask yourself - do you really want the smell of your friend crapping wafting into your hallway?

Julie
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# 13
Mr Warren
Old 25-04-2009, 8:02 AM
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Well Julie, you can now buy a very nice aerosol type product in most supermarkets. It's called "air freshener" and believe me when you live in a large house (and even a small one) a downstairs toilet keeps all the strangers to the house ....downstairs and leaves your nice bathroom to you and your family. Imagine coming in from the garden with an immediate need for a P and having to remove your clothes etc. to get access to the tpoilet upstairs????

As for people who won't put a Saniflow because little Johny likes to throw pebbles in the unit, they also do devices called locks/hooks that can be fitted to the upper part of the door.

Have a lovely weekend.
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# 14
charliee
Old 25-04-2009, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoolzS View Post
Like firefox, I hate downstairs loos.

If you are considering installing one - ask yourself - do you really want the smell of your friend crapping wafting into your hallway?

Julie
tbh i dont think the smell of your friends crap wafting into your bedrooms is much better lol

Last edited by charliee; 25-04-2009 at 7:32 PM.
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# 15
27col
Old 25-04-2009, 11:43 AM
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I do not know about firefox and Joolzs, a few sweeping generalisations here I think. "Dimly lit, pokey, no windows or fresh air." Doh!
Absolutely impossible to fix any of those. I think not. We are talking about design here, get it! Design!
I agree entirely with the sentiments of Mr Warren. I would not be without a downstairs toilet in any house that I lived in.
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# 16
olias
Old 25-04-2009, 6:36 PM
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Bottom line is you either have enough room for a downstairs loo and the correct layout for plumbing etc or you don't. Personally, particularly if you have kids, I would not be without an ensuite. You have to have somewhere to relax and have as 'your space'.
The other benefit of an ensuite, is your friends/rellies don't have to know that you use anusol/athletes foot cream/facial hair bleacher etc etc (delete as appropriate!)

Olias
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# 17
olias
Old 25-04-2009, 6:41 PM
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Forgot to say, the other thing with downstairs loos is that if you are a guest you are invariably directed to them instead of upstairs. Now I don't know about you, but if I'm grunting and groaning and pebbledashing a friends loo, the last thing I want is to hear them (or worst still their wives!) chatting away just a few feet from where I'm curling one out!

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# 18
charliee
Old 25-04-2009, 7:31 PM
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lovely subject!!! remind me not to invite you round to christen the new house olias.. lol
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# 19
Fire Fox
Old 25-04-2009, 9:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 27col View Post
I do not know about firefox and Joolzs, a few sweeping generalisations here I think. "Dimly lit, pokey, no windows or fresh air." Doh!
Absolutely impossible to fix any of those. I think not. We are talking about design here, get it! Design!
What I actually said was "They are usually dimly lit and poky with no window or fresh air ..." which is neither a sweeping statement nor a generalisation (both would be tautology). Thanks for repeating the word design, I didn't understand the first. :rolleyes:
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# 20
BillTrac
Old 25-04-2009, 9:51 PM
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Olias,

if I found my loo pebbledashed after a visit by you, I really dont think I would invite you back!!
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