To extend or not to extend?

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Monday 11 February 2008 4.39pm
Hello All,

I live in Bermondsey (Four Squares) and I am planning to sell my BIG 1-bed flat within the next 12-18 months, I wanted to convert it into a 2-bed flat as It is about 55sq mts and it can easily be done.

My question is will it be worth the trouble? will it add value to my property when I sell it? I haven't got a clue how much it costs to make an extra room, anyone has done this before?

Any tips? I know I will need builders...

Monday 11 February 2008 5.02pm
Anything called "2bed" will sell for more than "1 bed". Without seeing the layout of your flat it's impossible to say how easy the conversion will be, but putting up stud walls, and putting in a door, a radiator and some electrical points (assuming there is a window that can be incorporated) is no big deal. If there is nowhere to put a window you will have trouble with planning and so on.
Monday 11 February 2008 6.13pm
jackie rokotnitz wrote:
Anything called "2bed" will sell for more than "1 bed".

Not necessarily. Increasingly, properties are sold as per square foot (somewhere between 300 and 1200 in SE1 I guess) rather than per bedroom (somewhere between 55k and 1.5m in SE1, I guess). Some buyers prefer larger rooms than others. If it means chopping the sitting room in half, you may well be removing value rather than adding it. Get some agents round and ask them.

And if it means that the flat becomes 'strange' with odd walls terminating in the middle of windows, then you may also make it virtually unsaleable.

(I suspect they will all say 'doesn't matter, put the property on the market now whilst it is strong'.)

Cost of conversion somewhere between 5 and 20k. Will it really add enough to justify the unpleasantness of builders in your flat for months? probably not.
Monday 11 February 2008 6.13pm
Jackie, I have a big cupboard and my living room is big enough, there is a double window and I was thinking i could put a wall right in the middle of the window, so the extra room will actually share the living room's window and radiator... although i could make 2 radiators if that's not too much trouble.

not sure you know what i mean.. i can send you a couple of plans i have here by private message?
Monday 11 February 2008 6.20pm
Strongly advise you speak to local estate agents! Try Field & Sons only since they've been here for decades.

There is no other way of knowing - an architect or builder will say yes due to wanting the work.
Monday 11 February 2008 6.27pm
Just thought about putting up a wall and a door, it surely won't take months? will it?

i am in two minds, but not sure yet what to do but might contact some estate agents, see what they say.
Monday 11 February 2008 7.14pm
55sqm is a good sized 1 bed flat.

By the sounds of it you're planning to squeeze the other bedroom into teh existing fabric rather than extending. Correct?
Personally I don't like the current 'trend' to squeeze as many bedromms into a space as small as possible.

I wonder if it might be easier to sell as a 1bed with potential to convert to a 2bed flat - potential layout all worked out and maybe even with a quote from a builder.
Tuesday 12 February 2008 9.35am
Convert it. As long as you can find a blind agoraphobic to sell it to, then they won't have a problem with what you're planning to do.

Seriously, would you pay good money for something which is obviously a bodge up (bisect a window and a radiator with a wall)? Do you have good reason to think that the rest of the flat-buying public is significantly less intelligent or discerning than you?

...if you press it, they will come.
Tuesday 12 February 2008 9.42am
No need to be insulting Ivanhoe. I was only asking.

thanks anyway.
Tuesday 12 February 2008 10.36am
A radiator split into two rooms by a wall would certainly put me off buying somewhere, the window not so much so providing it's done neatly ie. to a substantial midbeam.

In the grand scheme of things doing the radiator properly will cost peanuts.
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