Welcome to the club
Nappy Valley is full of young professionals and young families busy making their mark on their new homes. Of all the projects undertaken by UK homeowners, it is living rooms and kitchens that get the most attention, as is testified by the rash of basements and side-return infills being built in the area to create large spaces for a new way of living.
Cooks no longer have to be cut off from the rest of the family in the living and entertainment areas of the house as these spaces are integrated into one multi-level area. There is even a new word in our lexicon to describe it: “broken-plan” living, as opposed to open-plan living. Money may be “cheap” right now to fund these renovations but budgets need to be sensible to ensure that homeowners don’t over invest in their house, particularly if a move to the country is envisaged in a few years’ time. Nonetheless, money is worth spending on quality finishes, be it flooring, kitchen cabinetry or appliances. Transformations can be dramatic – as the following pages will illustrate. The popular maxim, an Englishman’s home is his castle, couldn’t be more apposite.
House in Crockerton Road (top left, top right & above),
designed and built by Giles Pike Architects
DID YOU KNOW?
…that in London, 4.5% of the housing stock is detached, 15.1% semidetached and 32.3% is terraced; or that 38.7% are purpose built flats or maisonettes and 9.4% have been converted into flats or maisonettes? Source: Office for National Statistics.
…that nine out of ten owners hired a home-renovation professional in 2014: 66% sought help from an electrician; 59% called in a plumber; 34% went to a builder; and 23% consulted an architect or designer? *
…that regardless of age, wanting to put your stamp on a newly purchased property was a big driver for all homeowners last year? For those who renovated, 44% identified wanting to customise their new home as the primary reason for the works.
…that there has been an increase of 540,000 households in the capital over the last ten years, but only 430,000 new homes built, according to London Councils?
…that 42% of homeowners nationwide identified being unable to find the right service provider as the most common challenge to renovation, whereas staying on budget was the most common challenge for 32% of you*
…that good reviews are the most important factor for homeowners looking to hire a professional? 86% of you based your selection on positive reviews, while 48% of you looked at previous experience with projects of a similar style and scope*