Help with extra room

Hi
My elderly mother is currently living with us and we are caring for her full time. At the moment she has a bed and a commode in our living room which obviously is not ideal. She has trouble with the stairs so ideally we would like a room downstairs for her and if we can afford it a wet room too. I've done a rough drawing of the layout of our house currently. It has a very old and draughty conservatory that needs to come down. I dont want to change the kitchen at all but we were wondering whether to knock the pantry through and take away the conservatory and build an extension but we are very limited on money (about 25k) and not sure what the cheapest and best option would be. If it makes any difference we live near Cardiff. Any help would be greatly appreciated 

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  • Section62
    Section62 Posts: 7,505
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    sarahmtly said:
    Hi
    My elderly mother is currently living with us and we are caring for her full time. At the moment she has a bed and a commode in our living room which obviously is not ideal. She has trouble with the stairs so ideally we would like a room downstairs for her and if we can afford it a wet room too. I've done a rough drawing of the layout of our house currently. It has a very old and draughty conservatory that needs to come down. I dont want to change the kitchen at all but we were wondering whether to knock the pantry through and take away the conservatory and build an extension but we are very limited on money (about 25k) and not sure what the cheapest and best option would be. If it makes any difference we live near Cardiff. Any help would be greatly appreciated 


    £25k is not a big budget to add two rooms.  Knocking through (particularly with external walls) is not cheap to do, so you might want to find a solution which avoids or at least minimises the amount of modification to the existing building.

    Does 'steps to garden' mean you also have a significant level difference between the house floor and the garden level?

    Some pictures would probably help people get a better idea of the options available... at least one from outside would be good.
  • sarahmtly
    sarahmtly Posts: 40
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    Thanks for reply. Yes I was thinking we probably don't have a big enough budget. So we have a square patio outside the conservatory on the same level but not the whole length of the conservatory because as you go out the conservatory door theres steps in front leading to the garden. So if we knocked down the conservatory to build an extension we could only extend out to the patio if that makes sense. Thanks
  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Posts: 5,419
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    have you looked at having a stair lift in the first instance?
  • Cairnpapple
    Cairnpapple Posts: 90
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    What is the pantry size, is there any chance it could be a wet room itself or would it always have to be knocked through?

    If a stairlift could be fitted,  would that allow any useful access to upstairs? Is the upstairs bathroom useable or would it require modification?

    I'm wondering whether it would be possible to replace the current conservatory with a more useable one to add living space for yourselves, and leave your mother in the living room.  But I haven't priced conservatories recently.
  • cymruchris
    cymruchris Posts: 4,882
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    Stairlifts are actually fairly straightforward to fit and remove - and if it's a regular straight stair case - you can buy a reconditioned unit that could be installed for £700ish. (I also live near Cardiff and had a few used stairlift quotes before my dad passed away - so there are certainly local companies that can help) - if you have a curved stair or a more complicated layout - you can have a new stairlift installed for about £3k with any twists and turns included. Be aware though that in the future when a stairlift might no longer be required - they are worth next to nothing on removal. This might be the best measure rather than knocking your house about. (The mess while doing it wouldn't help matters either!)
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  • sarahmtly
    sarahmtly Posts: 40
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    Thanks all for replys. We did consider a stairlift but my stairs are quite narrow and that wouldn't solve the problem of giving my mum a bit of space of her own. The pantry is a long narrow room so not sure if it could be made into a wet room but using a new conservatory as a living room is a great idea thanks.
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,262
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    sarahmtly said: The pantry is a long narrow room so not sure if it could be made into a wet room but using a new conservatory as a living room is a great idea thanks.
    Your floor plan doesn't show where any windows are..
    If you were to build a new conservatory and using as a habitable space, it would need planning permission (depending on size), and Building Regulation compliance/checks - The latter would look at insulation levels along with some of the details of construction. However, conservatories contain large areas of glass which would pull thermal performance down. Depending on orientation (i.e. north or south facing), it could get baking hot in the summer and freezing cold during the winter. Whilst things like an insulated roof plus a radiator will help to reduce the extremes of temperatures, it will cost a fortune to heat in the winter.

    If the wall between pantry & living room can be removed without too much effort, you could probably squeeze a small wet room in by using space from both rooms. The location of the drains & plumbing would dictate exactly where the wet room is best located. Depending on how much of the work you are prepared to do yourself, knocking down the pantry wall could give you the facilities you need within the £25K budget. An alternative could be one of these prefabricated en-suite pods - I'd avoid the type offered by some disability suppliers. They claim "walk in" solutions, but you need a reasonably high threshold to contain any water and allow for drainage underneath. When I was looking for a similar solution, I found the sales tactics & pricing to be distasteful.
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