Need Room for a Crib-layout attached

equinecpaSeptember 11, 2013

I have a guesthouse that I have rented to some super tenants. It is a one bedroom home about 950 square feet. They have a year old who has been sleeping in a crib in their bedroom. They'd like to get him out of there into his own space.

My dilemma: The house has only one bedroom!

There is also the issue of heat-the house is heated by a Jotul gas stove (which is not where it is shown in the layout diagram but actually on the living room wall where the couch is shown, by the entrance). The heat doesn't get to the back bedrooms and a space heater is needed for that. I was thinking of putting in a gas furnace.

We have a couple of thoughts and I'd like your opinion on what you think is the better solution also considering these tenants won't always be the occupants.

a) Put up a partition where the dining room is either permanent or using room dividers, forming a small "room".

b) Considering the bathroom is large, move the washer and dryer out of the mudroom into the bathroom (they are stackable) and use some of that space, perhaps moving the hotwater tank out of there too, leaving the mudroom for the crib.

Pro's of the partition: It's easy, quick and cheap.
Cons: Noise, does take away from living area.

Pros of the Mudroom: Separate room
Con's: The door to the outside deck is there, cost?

Also if I opt for a gas furnace can it be located in a bathroom or is that asking for moisture issues?

We originally planned on making the bathroom a bedroom and putting a bathroom where the dining room is but the quotes were about $20-$30K to do that. Not an option!

What would you do?

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I'd make a room where the dining room is now and slide the dining behind the sofa. It would be cheaper and easier than moving plumbing. Plus, I've read posts by people who do have their washer/dryer in the bathroom and most don't like it - at least they don't like the proximity of the toilet to their clean laundry.

Are you thinking of putting in central heat or a wall furnace? If they are properly vented, I don't think either would have a moisture issue.

As a parent, I wouldn't feel safe with an outside door in my child's room and by law, you have to have a window to call something a bedroom don't you?

I'd check with building codes and rental codes to see what is required of the house before you do anything.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 12:32PM
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I'd not do anything too dramatic. Realistically, unless these tenants have an attachment with you (you are their nanny or grandma or something), they aren't going to be there long. Baby #2 will require them to find something bigger....

What do your tenants think of the options? I'd not want to be a tenant living through a long remodel with many people coming in and out (plumbers, electricians, etc to move the things you mentioned) if realistically I might not be there more than 1 more year.

However, a temporary/curtained wall wouldn't be enough of a shelter from evening TV watching, etc noise to keep my active toddler asleep.

(I guess, I don't see this as your problem. Although, I can see you want to be accomodating, realistically, there is only so much you can do).

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 2:00PM
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That's all very true.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 5:33PM
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Looks to me like the simplest thing to do is to close off part of the living room as a bedroom. Run a wall from the front of the house to the edge of the kitchen wall, closing off the area where it says LivRm on the diagram. Then use the other half of the living room and the dining room as living area.

But I'd only do this if these are truly great tenants who will stay there for at least two more years, to make it worth your while.

Another option would be to curtain off that part of the living room and have the parents sleep there, while the baby gets the real bedroom. Then the noise won't be an issue. And you don't have to put up a permanent partition.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 9:25PM
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Toddler and Jotul by the door...I'm guessing they'll be moving soon, anyway.

If you need a second bedroom for future tenants as well, then I'd think about spending money on a remodel. For now, I think they could sleep out in the dining room (maybe with curtains or screen/partition and put baby and toys in the bedroom.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 11:08AM
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I'd make a bedroom where the words "LivRM" are located.

Baby could sleep in peace in the actual bedroom.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 10:58AM
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In a similar situation when we were tenants, we ended up letting baby have the bedroom and sleeping on a futon in the living room. And we did move when the second child was on the way.

If you think they're going to stay, I would do the simplest thing - move the washer/dryer to the bathroom, maybe putting them in a closet or behind a curtain, and turn the mudroom into a nursery/home office. I think minimum size for a bedroom is 7'x10', and it must have a window. If the room isn't big enough, I suppose they could still put the crib in there if you took off the inside door and it was treated as an alcove. But check with your local building inspector. Be very careful about any space heater in a child's bedroom.

As the above poster said, I wouldn't want my child in a room with an outside door.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 4:20PM
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I've been a landlord and in my opinion, super tenants or not, I would not make permanent changes to a nice little guest house even if they paid for it. And if heating is a problem, wait until you have an empty guest house before you call in the HVAC guys.

They could partition off part of the living room with bookcases for their bed or the crib. Cheap and temporary.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 7:52AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

First thing I think of with space heater is fire. All it needs is to be tipped over and touch some fabric. Never a good solution.

I like the idea of turning the LR into the bedroom as that can be accomplished quickly and easily. Second thing would be to add a vent with a fan in the wall between the DR and the back bedroom near the ceiling and another return air vent so the heat can circulate to the back bedroom. That should be reasonably easy to do....but of course it won't heat the bath...for that you will need central heat.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 10:34AM
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