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Lots Of Problems

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#1 ABC123


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Posted 22 September 2014 - 10:10 PM

I am considering buying a property in Ireland which is part commercial and part residential with the intention of making it fully residential. Total floor area is approx. 1, 600 square feet. There are a number of issues I need to deal with and I would so appreciate input from others before I make the decision whether to buy or not. My family are not convinced that I should buy this property but I love the location and really want it to work. I showed the property to a builder and he is concerned that the job will be too costly, however I feel if I can source the products well it will reduce the price and make it affordable.

The upper floor is residential with a sea view and the lower floor is an open plan office. Both floors are made of concrete with underfloor heating. There is a separate boiler for each floor and separate wiring. There are very large floor to ceiling windows on the ground floor making it look very commercial.

I would like to have kitchen/living room upstairs along with a bedroom, bathroom and dressing room. Downstairs I want to have two bedrooms, both ensuite, a utility room and a study. Space wise, this should be possible.

The issues to be dealt with are...

1. Reducing the window openings and installing new windows throughout. I understand Aluclad is best choice as it is near the sea - is this correct? I am looking for recommendations for the supply of windows please, as this will be one of the biggest costs and I need to get them at the best price.

2. As the heating is under concrete flooring it is not possible to zone it and I wonder how much it might cost to remove the concrete and install a zoned heating system for upstairs and downstairs. Now there is a boiler upstairs and one downstairs, so one boiler will need to be removed.

If anyone has any suggestions about how best to address these issues I would be very grateful.

Edited by joiner, 23 September 2014 - 06:26 AM.
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#2 Triassic


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Posted 23 September 2014 - 06:20 AM

The telly people always say 'location, location, location' so if it's the right location for you I'd say go for it.

Regarding the heating, I would work with what you have. Rather than lots of zones maybe all you need is better control of what you have. You could start by reading this thread first, then come back with more questions http://www.ebuild.co...mperature-slab/

From a practical point of view is change of use from mixed commercial to wholly residential straight forward, l'm not sure of the rules for your area. More importantly, you need to design the modifications to the shop window area so that it looks 'right'. All too often you see converted shops and they still look like shops!!

Edited by Triassic, 23 September 2014 - 06:50 AM.

#3 ProDave


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Posted 23 September 2014 - 06:44 AM

Are you sure the heating cannot be zoned?

It will almost certainly be comprised of several loops of under floor heating pipe. Each loop of pipe can be controlled individually. You just need to find out (by trial end error?) which loop of pipe feeds which part of the floor and then if that anywhere near matches where you would like to divide it into rooms.

#4 DeeJunFan


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Posted 23 September 2014 - 06:48 AM

Where are you looking to buy?

If there is a boiler for upstairs and one for downstairs then you already have 2 zones surely. I wouldn't spend any money making more zones to be honest. Just have the whole place running as a single zone and keep the heat in.

As this is a conversion do you know what building regs you have to follow? Do you need to go down the Design/Build Certifier route? Do you know what Part L you need to meet?

#5 temp


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Posted 23 September 2014 - 09:41 AM

Does it have planning permission to be converted to residential? That could be a show stopper. Any issues like a lack of parking/turning?

Reducing the size of openings isn't usually a problem - if the structure can cope with big holes in then it should cope with smaller ones. As others have said it's just a matter of making it look right. Got a photo of the property and others in the road?

Does it have high ceilings? If you do have to change the heating it might be easier to put another system on top rather than rip out the old.

Edited by temp, 23 September 2014 - 09:42 AM.