Last week new research revealed as many as four out of ten homes in some areas of London have been extended upwards, as homeowners bid to improve their existing properties rather than move.
Unsurprisingly, the study found that the London boroughs with the fewest number of houses and highest property values have seen the highest uptake in loft conversions during the past five years. For example, 40% of the 13,000 houses in The City Of Westminster have now been extended upwards in some shape or form.
Closely behind Westminster, the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Camden, which include 15,000 houses, have seen the second-highest uptakes at 31% and 24% respectively.
The good news is that it could become even easier for homeworkers to build upwards on existing homes, with proposals announced by the Government earlier this month allowing an additional two levels to be added to a property, providing these levels do not surpass the roofline of an adjoining building.
James Gold, director of Landmark Lofts, who composed the research explains: ‘With London caught amid the grip of a housing crisis, the capital needs efficient and cost effective solutions to create new and bigger homes. Londoners should take the opportunity to unlock the landbank sitting on top of their houses.’
Martin Gaine, a planning expert at Just Planning, adds: ‘I’m seeing more extensions on roof spaces,’ with Mr. Gaine suggesting that if the Government proposals do receive the go-ahead, they could be based on a new type of ‘light-touch’ planning application. This would entail a simple application without the need for any detailed plans, with Mr. Gaine explaining: ‘as long as there are no objections, then it will sail through. The only issue is likely to be if the extension affects a neighbour, such as by blocking out the light.’
Another common concern for homeowners embarking on a loft conversion project is temperature control, as lofts are renowned for becoming too hot during the Summer, due to heat rising, as well as being very cold in the Winter, resulting in a potentially unusable living space. Thankfully, there are effective methods which can regulate the entry of heat, such as the addition of our innovative external roof blinds, (see below) which are the perfect accompaniment to loft skylights and roof windows.
Our external roof blinds keep lofts cool in the Summer, warm in the Winter and free from glare all year round, whilst offering complete privacy from any overlooking buildings.
By providing a physical barrier to the sun’s energy, our streamline and elegant range of blinds block up to 96% of the sun’s incoming solar heat radiation, acting like air conditioning to keep your loft space cool on even the hottest of Summer’s days without the energy bills or CO2-related emissions.
Furthermore, during colder periods our external blinds trap air between the glass and fabric, helping to retain heat in the building whilst avoiding high Winter heating bills, making them a highly versatile addition to any interior space.
If you’re interested in the addition of external roof blinds to your property and would like to experience a smooth, seamless process from initial enquiry through to completion, fill in an enquiry form today. Alternatively, contact us on 0344 800 1947 where one of our specialists will be happy to discuss your requirements in greater detail. We will also be exhibiting at The Homebuilding & Renovating Show which runs from 14th-17th of April giving you an invaluable opportunity to see our full range of innovative shading products in action.