South Philadelphia: Bedroom addition MFH

4 Replies

Hey all,

Looking to convert extra space on a Multi-Family in South Philly into a bedroom. This conversion would allow the now 1 bedroom unit (converted from studio) to have private access from the exterior. The only issue is that the access would be through the singleton bedroom. I could have the studio portion of the property (now functioning as the living room/kitchen) maintain its shared entrance with another unit in the property. Looking for ideas and feedback regarding the appeal of a private entrance.



Hey James, what are details on the shared access, is it a small common area, or? How big is the building, i.e. how many units? 

What is the benefit of having the private access? Is it easier to access from the assigned parking area? Is there a walkway?

Trying to understand a little better. 


Hey @Jacob Blackett , appreciate the interest...

It is a 3 unit, 3 story, corner triplex. 

The 1st floor is accessed through its own door in the front of the building. Currently, the 2nd and 3rd floor units are accessed from a side entrance which opens immediately to a stairwell. The 3rd floor unit is a larger 3 bedroom whose living room is on the second floor, with a stairwell to the bedrooms on the 3rd floor. Both units are accessed from a landing at the top of the stairs on the 2nd floor. 

My current plan is to combine the 2nd floor unit, a studio, with an unfinished space on the first floor that is under it. This would make the unit a 1 bedroom. This unfinished space  has a door on the side to access it. So by joining the studio to the unfinished space with a set of stairs, I can wall off the unit's initial entrance allowing each unit its own private entrance. I think tenants would find the privacy appealing.

Please feel free to weigh in...

Ok, I can picture this. My initial thoughts when I'm looking to spend money on these types of changes are

1. How much more rent will I get per month?

2. How much will it cost me?

3. What other benefits result from the improvement. 

It seems like you already have the side door to the unfinished space, so your real investment is putting in the stair case. My initial thoughts here is that joining the spaces will be worth it because you are going from studio to 1 bed, which will increase rent enough to make the investment in improvements worth it... however with the simi-awkard entrance into the 1bd unit, being that you enter into the bedroom, this makes me want to leave the option of entering the unit on the second. 

So in summary, I might look to keep BOTH doors to enter the unit on the 1 bedroom. The first floor is convenient for the tenant, but the second floor entrance will also give the tenant the option if they don't like the idea of entering with guests into their bedroom. 

Am I following right? 

Also, you save a bit of money by not boarding over the current 2nd floor entrance to that unit by just leaving it... 

Right, the awkward flow of entering through the bedroom was a concern of mine. I was considering adding a deck with stairs that would allow access to the living room to remedy that. There would be costs associated with boarding up the initial entrance though, I just need to weigh if it is worth it to give the third floors tenants the benefit of their own entrance.