Room Without a Window

16 Jan 2013
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United Kingdom
My dad's currently renovating a 3 bedroom terraced house and there is currently an ongoing debate wether to have a larger bathroom and a walk-in-wardrobe (accessible from the master bedroom) or a small bathroom and a small separate box room however this room would have to be situated in the middle of the property (due to the toilet waste pipe) and therefore would have no window.

Just to give you a better idea, the layout is as follows;

Ground Floor: Open plan living room with kitchen situated in a ground only level extension to the rear of the house.
2nd Floor Attic: 2 adequate sized bedrooms & a second bathroom.

The problem lies with the layout of the 1st floor. The bathroom has to be located to the rear of the house as it is the only position the toilet can be placed with the waste pipe. the dilemma is either 2 of the following;

Layout 1) Have a small box room bathroom with only enough room for a Toilet/Basin/Bath at the rear of the property and a box room in the middle of the house with no window.

In this layout the bathroom and box room are both accessed from the landing.

Layout 2) have a larger bathroom with Toilet/Basin/Bath and shower cubical and to make a walk-in-wardrobe which is accessible from the master bedroom.

In this layout the bathroom is accessed from the landing and the Walk-in-wardrobe from the master bedroom.

I'd like to get some of your opinions on this an I'm sure that that are the regulations regarding a room without a window? (I'm guessing that it can't be a habitable room due to health and safety - No fire escape window, no ventilation and no natural light)

I'd like to get some professional advice on which layout would be the better of the two and possibly some advice on which would be more valuable to do for either rental or selling.
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Layout 1 sounds wierd, unless someone works from home and needs an office, and a dark, dingy one at that.

Layout 2 sounds better for family life and for resale.
There's actually no regulation that says you have to have a window in the sense of a normal glazed opening window. But you do have to provide ventilation, which is normally provided by a window. It is possible to provide ventilation via a whole house type system but that would take some working out for a single room in the middle of a house. Be careful though - if you plan to rent the house at any time then a window is required by environmental health regulations, and it should be 1/10th of the floor area and half of that needs to be openable.
Thanks for the reply's.

I've tried my best and can't make him budge on the windowless room.

I have suggested that he goes back to the original plans that were first thought up before the renovation. This plan had an adequate sized bathroom with bath and shower cubical, with a cupboard

Existing plans:

Here is the plan that has the windowless room and the smaller bathroom:

He seems to think the windowless room would be ideal as a Study, kids play room or even an Ironing room (He genuinely suggested this!) Due to that fact that it has no window it can't be a bedroom, he was trying to include this room into the bedroom count to make it up to 4 which he has now had second thoughts on. This room cannot have a light tube either, as it would disrupt the attic level layout too much.

Personally I think and the rest of the family for that matter, that this room without a window is a huge mistake. Anyone who would want a study in a house wouldn't like to spend time working in a windowless room with no natural light or any ventilation.

If he decides to keep it this way, will there need to be a ventilation system fitted into the windowless room? Also do you have any idea what this would approximately cost?

I'd appreciate some more professional advice on which layout would be best suited to selling and or letting the property.
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You could have an ensuite shower room attached to the existing bedroom and have a bath in the proposed shower room? I'd be surprised if you couldn't get the falls to work for the bog pipe etc.

That said I would kill for a small study at home, I only ever spend time at a desk at home in the dark and having a window would be irrelevant to me.
Can't really tell much from the scale, but if the bedroom at the front is a good size anyway I would opt for an extra room.

Doesn't look big enough to hold a bed if the bathroom fixtures are to scale, but I never have enough space for junk, so an additional storage room would be a god send...or as you say, somewhere just to do ironing etc.

Alternatively it might make it a nice feature if the bathroom didn't open into the hallway, but rather into the box room and the box room in turn opened into the bedroom as the front. That way you could make the box room a nice walk through wardrobe room which could be a future selling feature. However you've not mentioned if the house has a downstairs cloakroom, so if not you would need to think that the 1st floor bathroom would be the one visitors use the the walkthough wardrobe idea might not work and also you might not want to make the bathroom quite so small.

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