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The Bedroom Expectation Gap

When your friend says they are house hunting and would you help them look, any woman with a few spare minutes and no child care issues will jump at the chance.  This could be because we are exceptionally nosey or because we want to share the dream with those we hold dear. To be honest, I am not sure which.

When I was house hunting a few years ago, I took a friend with me too, as a “sanity check”. Buying a new home is a huge decision, not to mention a costly one, especially once you add in the lawyers’ costs, stamp duty and removal men. The hassle of packing, unpacking and sorting out mail forwarding, utilities and endless amounts of mail forwarding involved. After my last move, I vowed never to move again.

Actually, even with property portals like www.rightmove.co.uk and Zoopla finding a house is difficult.  If you watch all the TV programmes like “Location, Location, Location” or “Escape to the Country”, you will hear them talk about compromise and adjusting your expectations. They advise you to look at properties which might be different to the ideal on your wish list. However, when looking at these property portals, it is more difficult than you might imagine.

Estate agents use every trick in the book to encourage people to view properties, thereby justifying the exorbitant fees. They claim that all the viewers are pre-checked, but when I was viewing nobody checked me!

The most common tricks are the way they photograph and measure rooms. This picture is a prime example. On the left is the brochure picture of a “sitting room” in a granny annex. From that image it looks like quite a substantial room. In reality the whole “annex” is a converted single garage. The room is actually 2.2m wide. The sofa, which looks like a generous 2 seater is actually almost a love seat for 1 large person or 2 very skinny people. The chairs on the left looked like they came from a large doll’s house in real life.

Estate Agents picture v the reality

So if you can’t trust the pictures, what about the floor plans?  Well we all know that estate agents measure into every alcove and window frame, but they have started a new trick. They have started to show measurements in feet and inches! England supposedly went decimal in 1971.  So you would have to be over 54 to even remember feet and inches being taught at school primary school.

However we Brits don’t like to commit to new-fangled things like decimalisation too easily.  Most people will tell you how tall they are in feet and how much they weigh in stone and pounds, they could bake cakes using pounds and ounces, even if they didn’t learn them at school.  We still work in miles per hour, however when it comes to room sizes it does become confusing, because all you want to know is if your double bed will fit.

Estate agents delight in telling you that a double bed is 4’6” for example, but that is a lie! The size of the mattress is 4’6” NOT the bed. The actual bed size, with frame and bedding is about 5’.1” (155cm) wide. Similarly, if you have a king sized bed, complete with frame and bedding it will be 5’9” or 175cm wide.

Bedroom measurement – rule of thumb:

  • A double bedroom has to be bigger than 10 ft x 10’3” or 315 x 320cm and that will be tight.
  • A room with a king-sized bed needs to be 350 x 320cm minimum or 10’6 x 10”3.

This rule is made up as follows, add the bed size and 2x bedside tables to the width, plus an extra 20cms movement space. A standard bedside table is 60cm across + 20cm = 80cm.

So the minimum physical width needed to fit a double bed into is 155 + 80 + 80 = 315 cm (10 feet). For a king sized bedroom the general rule is to add an extra 15 cm’s so it does not look too squashed so 175 + 80 + 80 + 15= 350cm (10’6”)

Bedroom length; both double and king sized beds are 210 long (unless you have a sleigh bed or something dramatic.) Wardrobes are 60cm deep plus an extra 60cm to accommodate the doors opening so you need 120cm, hence minimum room length need to be 210 x 120 = 320cm.

flowers and shutters

When looking at estate agent’s floor plans, check for alcoves where measurements can be extended. Before you actually make your offer, take a tape measure into each room and double check the useable space.

We hope you have found the Purely Shutters guide to bedroom sizes useful. Why not take a look at our range of bedroom shutters for inspiration for your new or existing home! Next time we will be giving you tip on what to look for downstairs in the kitchen and sitting room.

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