Hipped to Gable End Extension Thoughts Please

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Handy_Andy, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. Handy_Andy

    Handy_Andy New Member

    I'm in the process of buying (moving to) a 1960's chalet bungalow that seems to have had two upstairs bedrooms with flat roof dormers since it was built, with an open plan staircase feeding the two rooms into the hipped end. The top of the stairs and entrances to each room are pretty tight with sloping ceilings in your face and it all feels a bit claustrophobic.
    I've been wondering how easily I can turn it into a gable end to make this transition much more spacious and possibly make the dormers wider by spreading into the newly created roof surface. Existing uPVC windows hopefully suitable for re-use maybe with hung tiling each side to account for the greater width. Small obscure glazed window to new gable end to give light to landing.
    I've read up a bit on such conversions but for bungalows they're usually filled with extra warnings about strength of original roof etc. I'm hoping this won't really apply if it was built like this and the conversion 'should' ideally be a lot cheaper than the estimations as the stairs and electrics are essentially all in place.
    Any thoughts on what sort of money I should be looking at to do this please? (SE England).
    Any hints on how to do it without breaking the bank?
    I can do some of the finishing work myself and really don't have £30k I can splash on this; it'd have to be done fairly cheaply or I won't be able to do it at all as there are other mods I'm planning.

    Thanks in anticipation,
  2. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    You won't be able to do it fairly cheaply, not if you use good, experienced carpenters, that's a given. Especially as the part of the country you're in seems to be roughly double the cost of what it would be elsewhere.
  3. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    All you can do, Andy, is call out a few chippies to quote. I say 'chippie' because that's the main skill that's required; he will likely know a roofer to tile it all off, or - quite likely - be up for that himself.

    As you say, this should be an easy conversion, but it needs an experienced chippie with the 'will' and knowledge. 'All' that needs doing - in theory - is to build up the gables and that can be done very easily using a timber frame (4x2) clad both sides with exterior ply (the void being filled with insulation). Then the roof rafters are taken out to meet these gables. Jobbie jobbed.

    The exteriors of the gables can then either be clad in weatherboarding (plastic or timber), or even meshed and rendered.

    You just need a chippie with balls. That would cut out all the silly palaver...
  4. kiaora

    kiaora Well-Known Member

    It maybe an idea to concider doing both hip to gables, fitting the rear roof tiles to the new front, to match existing.
    And renewing only tiles on the rear of property.
    It wouldn’t cost twice the price, . You may have to delay to save funds, but could be worth considering?

    Allsorts likes this.
  5. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    What you are proposing there, Andy, is actually what we had done a good 15 years back. We didn't even have an upstairs room, but the roof is a near 45o pitch so there was decent head height up there.

    Because there was no upstairs, we did have to have an SE to work things out, but the chippie we had working for us was brilliant; he knocked individual holes through the tiles to allow the rafters to be extended, so leaving the original roof covering in place while most of the framework was carried out - there was this 'skeleton' coming out through the still-largely-intact roof until the last moment when the old roof was stripped and the new one put on.

    The gable - as I mentioned - was a 4x2 frame clad in exterior ply, meshed and rendered.

    You won't know until you get quotes.
  6. Handy_Andy

    Handy_Andy New Member

    Thanks all for replies so far.
    I did wonder about doing both hips but the other end has a chimney stack with boiler mounted to it, so it takes it beyond an 'easy' job and whilst I'm not averse to the idea I was hoping to only allocate a modest amount for this work, as there are other areas that would give a bigger lifestyle benefit e.g. kitchen/diner extension. This roof change is a bit of a nicety to make access to the bedrooms better and gain a bit more storage space in the bedrooms. They already have (tiny) en suites at the other end and going any further than what's described would make it more like a complete new roof with a better layout, hence getting up to £40+k or something which is out of the question.
    I had been thinking of a brick/block gable as a decent support for the extended/new ridge beam - if 4x2 is up to it then that sounds even more promising.
    (That's something I'm thinking could make or break it actually - if a new continuous ridge beam(/steel?) is required then that will mean far more major work than just splicing a new one to the old for the extra 3-4m span, any practical experience on this would be very interesting).
    I'm hoping the tiles removed from the hip will be sufficient to infill the front and most of the back of the new roof area. Even more so if the dormers are widened while at it.

    Sorry to sound cheap but I'm just looking to make the most of what's already there and I don't really see why this should cost more than say £5k materials and a couple of weeks labour. (Being somebody who has taken on quite major work myself in the past - new window with lintel over, structural brickwork, moving bathroom, all with BR approval on my own drawings and can see how much building materials cost even at DIY stores). I'd be happy to do almost all of this myself (if 'er indoors would let me) but need somebody on board that knows what they're doing and realise that I can't just 'use' their expertise as and when I want it, they'll want to do the whole job and make some profit out of it, which is fair enough.
    I'll get some quotes once moved in but am just whiling away the weeks while others get their act in order by planning all the changes I intend to make :).
    I suspect people will turn up and quote £20k as they know people are used to paying £80k round here for a large extension project and probably aren't very interested in doing things to suit my modest budget. I have a couple of small companies in mind but would like to go into this with some 'inside knowledge' on how to do it as economically as possible rather than letting them loose on a major roof off quote.

    I also hope this won't expose me to a whole raft of up to date BR requirements; fire doors, whole roof insulation to be upgraded etc as this is only extending what's already there and so would hope this would be limited.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  7. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately it's not as simple as just extending what's there, you're changing the roofline, fitting a window and enlarging the dormers so you'll need planning permission, building control involvement and possibly a structural engineers input too.
  8. Handy_Andy

    Handy_Andy New Member

    Hmm, was hoping this would fall under PD; new window to side obscured glass (non opening) and roof no higher than before. Not sure but now suspect the enlargement of the (front) dormer would need permission, so would probably drop that if it was the only thing. Understand the need for building control involvement but hope this would be limited to suitability of materials in new section.
  9. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    The problem with projects like this is that they can very quickly become a money pit as issues are found and more and more changes are made as the design unfolds. Additionally, once you commit to the work you are going to have to get all the structural work and get it watertight very quickly as not only will the upstairs but the downstairs will get trashed as well.

    Jord is correct about the costs day rates and materials are a lot cheaper in the rest of the country compared to the SE and I wouldn't even want to consider a job like this until may/june when you are into the peak periods of building work.

    The other thing to consider is if your investment into the property will add any value ? Especially in the economic uncertainty next year
  10. Handy_Andy

    Handy_Andy New Member

    Thanks, you're probably right that it won't add any real value - guess it might make it easier to sell but we're thinking of this as a 'last big move' so won't be looking to sell for 15-20 years, all being equal.
    I'm probably better diverting my resources to the bigger project in mind then - as a large kitchen/diner upgrade is more of a cert for adding value (I hope).
    Watch this space for dumb questions about that then - £20k ought to easily cover it?! ;)
  11. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    £20k for a kitchen that could disappear very quick if your partner picks up some glossy mags :D

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