The Don’t Move Improve competition is in its 6th year and has seen a steady rise in applications, reflecting our experience that more people are choosing to alter their existing houses rather than move to larger properties.
This is no doubt in part due to the changes in stamp duty rates which disproportionately affect London properties, given the high property values in the capital. There’s also a lack of available and affordable housing in desirable areas – forcing people to stay put and either put up with their old houses or adapt them to suit their growing needs.
It’s probably also because home owners are seeking to stamp their own personality to their house; spurred on by programmes such as Grand Designs and The House that 100K Built or the increasingly popular media from sites such as Houzz, Dezeen and Homify. These homeowners embark on the challenge of building with interesting, beautiful and intelligent results.
The increase in people opt to stay and improve has affected the process:
Planning – permitted development laws have relaxed to encompass applications for larger extensions and many planning officers with progressive views are allowing more radical designs to be built.
Contractors – Costs for labor are rising across London and the UK, giving better pay to skilled labourers such as bricklayers. Well established good builders are in high demand.
Suppliers- there are more suppliers with many new products from bifold doors to bathroom suites supplying the increasing market. This provides more options, better design and better deals for customers.
33 projects were shortlisted for the Don’t Move Improve award; we recently attended the Winners Breakfast Talk presented by Tamsie Thomson; Director of London Festival of Architecture and Don’t Move Improve.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place contestants presented their work- in the following 3 blogs (released each day of Easter) we will present our ‘Absolute’ favourites…
If you are thinking about undertaking your own renovation; get in touch. We offer a wide range of services seeing your project through from the initial ideas and designs, right through to build and finish.