Rising house prices across the UK, particularly in Greater London have left a generation struggling to take their first steps onto the housing ladder and a growing number of parents are looking for ways they can provide assistance.
Amy Coulstock and her partner Daniel Grasso along with their two-year-old son Beau had been renting a one bedroom flat in Beckenham. The £1000 rent meant it was impossible for them to save up for a deposit to get on to the housing ladder and so Amy’s parents Karen and Paul came up with an innovative solution.
“We knew that Amy and Daniel felt financially trapped and as Beau was growing up, their small flat was just too cramped,” said Karen. “Paul and I discussed how we could help, and with the agreement of our 14-year-old son Riley, we decided that if we extended our home, we could make it big enough for us all to live together.”
The family considered various options and decided that their three-bedroom semi-detached house would benefit from a loft conversion.
“We knew we wanted more space but I also wanted to ensure that the work didn’t make the house unsaleable in the future – the loft conversion had to work for us and the property,” said Karen. “I wasn’t sure if we needed another bathroom but I knew we definitely needed another toilet and our original thoughts were to have one big room. However, the experts at Econoloft explained that was not the most effective use of the space.”
Econoloft advised that the Coulstock’s could in fact build two bedrooms using a hip to gable conversion and that the original boxroom could become a bathroom.
The completed property is now comprised of two double bedrooms in the loft which are occupied by Amy and Daniel and Riley. On the second floor Paul and Karen and Beau have their bedrooms and there is also a new bathroom. In addition, Econoloft built a new landing and staircase with spindles and rails that the family think is stunning. Now the extended family share the house and it is working really well for all of them.
“Some people thought we were mad and asking for trouble,” admits Karen, “but Amy and Daniel had lived with us when they were younger and so we knew we all got on living under one roof. We are a close family anyway and we have designed the rooms to give people space if they want to get away for some privacy. In the evenings we take it turns to cook the evening meal, then we usually sit together for a bit before everyone goes off to do their own thing. Thanks to the loft conversion, the house feels really big and so space is not a problem.
“We split bills straight down the middle but apart from that, living here means Amy and Daniel have a chance to save up for a home of their own in the future. In the meantime, our £38,000 loft conversion has at the very least paid for itself and so when we do eventually sell, we know we have added value to the house.
“We have gone from a three bedroom, one-bathroom property to a spacious four bedroom two-bathroom home,” adds Karen. “The loft conversion really suits the property and everyone agrees that it is gorgeous and it looks like it has always been there. Extending our home with an Econoloft loft conversion has worked out for everyone – it’s a great way to help adult children onto the property ladder.