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Changing our house with a loft or basement conversion

A photograph of the back of a house, with a visible basement, a balcony and staircase down to the garden and some patio windows_ includes the title "Changing our house with a loft or basement conversion" - Mrs H's favourite things

We moved into our three bedroom terraced house back in August. Since then, the house has remained untouched. We haven’t even gone near it with a paint brush.

Our little home could be amazing. There is huge potential. But if we are going to make changes then we need to do it properly.

We need to consider all our options. So over the past few months various surveyors, builders  and heating specialists have looked over our house and provided us with some ideas of improvements we could make.

This has left us deciding between a loft or a basement conversion.

A photograph of the back of a house, with a visible basement, a balcony and staircase down to the garden and some patio windows_ includes the title "Changing our house with a loft or basement conversion" - Mrs H's favourite things

A loft or basement conversion?

Both of these conversions will involve a lot of work and a large amount of disruption so they definitely will not be happening for a while. We are looking at a timeline of next Spring or Summer. But with all projects of this kind, planning needs to begin early. So we really need to bite the bullet and make up our minds.

To help Mr H and I decide I thought I would write a post suggesting what we could do with these spaces if we had the work done.

Loft conversion

To have our loft converted, we would need to have the roof raised to give us the head height that is necessary for a decent sized room.

The room will also need a source of natural light and ventilation. And I love the idea of having windows that would follow the natural line of the roof. We could also consider having windows on both side of the roof to maximise the light in the room.

I can imagine, lying in our bed as the sun rises and light gently creeps through our roof blinds. Or if we converted the loft into a playroom then I know that Little Miss H would adore these Disney blinds from the company VELUX.

BlackoutDisney-MANUALBAR-4611_ Roof blinds - changing our house with a loft or basement conversion - Mrs H's favourite things

My preference would be for the loft space to become our main bedroom. Turning it into a playroom would make it harder for me to keep an eye on the children. Plus I love the idea of Mr H and I having a private space or even a floor all to ourselves.

But I have reservations about having the loft converted.

Having the roof lifted would be a huge amount of work. We would need to move out of the house and our road would need to be filled with enormous pieces of equipment to lift the roof. I just don’t think that the disruption would be worth the extra space.

Basement conversion

Having our basement converted would involve weeks of drilling through concrete. And then removing these materials from the garden through the house. As we don’t have any internal access to the basement.

Our garden would also need to be lowered so that there is enough head height for a conversion.

But utilising this space properly would make an amazing difference to our house. It could be stunning.

A photograph of the back of a house, with a visible basement, a balcony and staircase down to the garden and some patio windows_ Changing our house with a loft or basement conversion - Mrs H's favourite things

The back of our house as it currently looks. You can see the basement space, our living room balcony and the steps down into the garden. These will all be completely transformed if we decide to have our basement converted.

We could reconnect the house to the garden. Our outside access would then be from the basement and not from the living room, the balcony and a set of rickety stairs. This would be much safer for the children and mean that I could just fling the doors open and let them play in the garden.

A basement conversion would give us more space than a loft conversion. Even with the addition of an internal staircase which would need to be placed in our current living room.

We could then remove the balcony and outside steps down to the garden. And instead we would have an unimpeded view of our garden and the woods.

A photograph of the stunning view from our living room on a frosty morning _ a small fenced garden but behind that a beautiful wood with the trees glowing in the morning sunlight - A photograph of the back of a house, with a visible basement, a balcony and staircase down to the garden and some patio windows _ Changing our house with a loft or basement conversion - Mrs H's favourite things

Our lovely (but small) garden and the amazing view from our living room. Once the balcony is removed this view will be unimpeded. And we will be able to have floor to ceiling windows that look out over it on two floors.

Our basement could then become our living room and our current living area could become more of a day room. With a play area and a table for the kids to eat at.

These plans are so exciting and I really can’t wait. But I know that these things take time and with a baby on the way it is not something that we can do this year.

The difference this work could make to our house would be immeasurable. And the extra space would mean that we could stay in a house that we adore for much longer.

A photograph of the back of a house, with a visible basement, a balcony and staircase down to the garden and some patio windows_ includes the title "Changing our house with a loft or basement conversion" - Mrs H's favourite things
Have you ever considered a loft or basement conversion? Which option do you think you would choose?

Hugs

Lucy

xxxx

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the company VELUX. However, all words and opinions are my own and we are truly weighing up the possibility of having either our loft or basement converted. 

Home Etc


27 Comments

  • Reply
    Mini Travellers/Mini Ventures
    April 11, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I’m with all the others definitely the basement, upstairs is only for sleeping after all and the larger downstairs space would be amazing.

  • Reply
    Tanita
    April 7, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Oooh sounds very exciting and a difficult desicion as to which to go for. When we do our extension we are hopefully going to fit belie windows they are so great to add more light and to see the stars at night xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      April 7, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Oh, those windows sound great. I must say that the idea of lying in our bed and seeing the stars is really appealing. But in the end, I think we will go for a basement conversion. It will just work better for our house. Thanks for your comment lovely. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    April 6, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Thank you for your comment. It is frustrating when you rent and you would really like to add more space to your house but you just can’t. Hopefully soon you’ll own and then you will be able to convert all the lofts that you want. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Jess Soothill
    April 5, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    BIG decisions! Loft seems easier but basement more room perhaps?? Oh my – big job but so exciting!! Cant wait to hear more. Thanks for linking up, #HomeEtc

    Jess xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      April 6, 2016 at 6:29 am

      Hi lovely. Thank you for your comment. I think you are right, the loft would be easier. But I think that the basement would be able to transform our house more and give us the extra space that we crave. It is very exciting. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    April 4, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I would say go for the basement, the space would be amazing and it would give you much more space. What a lovely view over the woods.
    Stephanie recently posted…Fairy Tree Walk Burridge HampshireMy Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      April 6, 2016 at 6:37 am

      Thank you for your comment. I adore the view over the woods. It may have been the main reason that we bought the house. I think we are leaning towards the basement conversion. The plans that we have had drawn up are amazing. And the changes they will make to the back of our house will be stunning. Eeeek! It feels like a big project but I am super excited. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Caro | The Twinkle Diaries
    April 4, 2016 at 9:39 am

    If it was us, I’d go with the basement. I think it would probably be a lot more costly but SO worth it. We use our living space more than our upstairs space and whilst more/larger bedrooms are nice, our family would get more use out of an amazing live-in kitchen. PLUS you could install amazing bi-fold doors and you’d have direct access to the garden — it would be AMAZING!! Thanks so much for linking up chick! #HomeEtc
    Caro | The Twinkle Diaries recently posted…160 weeks and 1 day | Me and Mine {March}My Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      April 6, 2016 at 6:41 am

      Hello lovely Caro. Thanks for your comment. I think you are right. The basement will be a lot more costly but it will be worth every penny. It could really transform the back of our house. And you have read my mind, we are totally thinking about adding bi-fold doors. Just being able to have direct access to the garden will make such an enormous difference in the summer. Oh, I am getting very excited. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Sarah HP
    April 2, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    I love a loft conversion! I was desperate to do one in our house but after having 3 sets of builders look at it I have had to finally admit that it can’t easily be done (we would have to raise the roof but as a semi detached house it would be near enough impossible to do and incredibly expensive). I always get put off the idea of basements as they sound like hard work but it seems like this would maybe give you the most extra space.

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      April 6, 2016 at 6:44 am

      Thank you for your comment Sarah. Awww, that is sad that you have had to put aside your idea of a loft conversion. It is so annoying and disappointing when you have to ignore these wonderful dreams because of money and other practicalities. I agree with you, converting the basement will really give us the extra space we would crave. Having a play room/ day room would be fantastic. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Katie Haydock
    April 1, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Oh wow! How lucky you are to have both. We live in a terraced house too, and although we have the room for a loft conversion – we don’t have a basement.
    I love our house and would be happy to stay here forever – if it were just a little bigger… but I do love the idea of a loft conversion with a sky light… I’d lie in bed and watch the stars 🙂

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      April 6, 2016 at 6:50 am

      Thanks for your lovely comment, sweetie. We are so lucky that we have both options. Although, the loft conversion is going to be much more difficult, I think. When we were looking round the house before buying it we saw the basement and immediately thought of the possibilities of converting it. But, like you, I adore the idea of lying in bed in starring up at the stars through a sky light. I don’t think that I would ever get out of bed. Maybe, that is another good reason why we should plump for a basement conversion. Ha ha! Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Sarah | Digital Motherhood
    April 1, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Ooh sounds exciting! I don’t have any advice or experience of either I’m afraid as our little house couldn’t accommodate either, but will be very interested to see how yours progresses!

  • Reply
    Life as Mum
    April 1, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    We don’t have anywhere to do a basement conversion but we are going to be doing a loft conversion in a few years time. My partner has started speaking to people about it and he is so excited, he’s like a kid haha!

  • Reply
    Louisa
    April 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    We’vd just had plans drawn for a loft conversion. Luckily we have enough head height and room for a new set of stairs. We have had issues with the steels though and are undecided on windows.
    Your idea of a basement conversion sounds amazing. It’s not something that would’ve occurred to me but I imagine the end result would be breathtaking!

  • Reply
    Zoe Alicia
    April 1, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Oh wow, such a huge mountain of work in front of you. Best of luck with the conversion, I hope it goes well and you have your dream home 🙂 x

  • Reply
    jane duckworth
    April 1, 2016 at 9:29 am

    We did considered a loft conversion… but realise we should have done it the same time as we had the roof replaced!! 😉

  • Reply
    Julia @ Rainbeaubelle
    April 1, 2016 at 9:27 am

    The basement looks like it would be a good option as it’s already kind of raised a little isn’t it? It sounds to me like you’ve already made up your mind – but I do love the light you get in a loft conversion. I had Velux windows when I was growing up and loved them! x

  • Reply
    Kellie Kearney
    April 1, 2016 at 8:55 am

    We are currently renting so it’s not even a possibility but I would love to build a loft conversion. We could really do with the room.
    Kellie Kearney recently posted…Tips For Travelling With Young KidsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Leandra
    April 1, 2016 at 5:45 am

    A loft conversion is definitely on our list of things to do too, I love how velux Windows make it so easy to have natural light in the loft. Good luck with your plans xxx

  • Reply
    Wave to Mummy
    March 31, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Both are expensive, but the basement jobby has a potential to become a real huge money pit. I would say that unless you are living in prime location from where you couldn’t find another home, then a basement can be worth it. Loft conversions are easier to do, but raising the roof might be costly as well… I think much of it depends on what the layout is and how much money you have / want to spend!
    Wave to Mummy recently posted…Our Easter Egg hunt in the woodsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Laura
    March 31, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    We’re currently in the process of having our loft done. We haven’t needed to raise the roof but it has come off anyway and we’ve had boxed in scaffolding. Would say it has been reasonably undisruptive as all access has been external so far, but they haven’t broken through yet! We’ve had a dormer put on the back and head space has been important to us as I have a tall husband! The space looks amazing, really quite large and an ensuite too. We’ve had a couple of lovely velux windows put in too-looking forward to the light they’ll give the room. We’d have had to get a basement dug out so that wasn’t an option for us, but anything you can do to improve your home is worth it if it’s what you want. I’m looking forward to having my own space away from the chaos downstairs!

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 31, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment. That sounds so exciting. It is a really tough decision to make. But I think that the layout of our house is more conducive to the basement being converted. There is a huge amount of concrete that needs to be dug out. But hopefully once they have built in some stairs then it shouldn’t be too disruptive. But the transformation will be amazing. I must say though that I am hugely envious of the idea of a space all to ourselves. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Beth @ Twinderelmo
    March 31, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    We looked into having our loft done as it would be pretty straight forward but there’s an issue of where the stairs would be. Our neighbours have theirs done and the stairs swallow the room. Basement always sound scary to me no idea why!! Love the look of the sky lights xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 31, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment. I think the staircase is an issue for us too. We have less space upstairs because of the bedrooms. However, the stairs for the basement will only really encroach on our living room and kitchen a little. Plus, we are going to have our whole heating system changed and that will give us so much more space. It is really exciting. I just wish we weren’t thinking about this a few months before having a new baby. Hugs Lucy xxxx

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