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Flat Conversions

Architecture & Building, Flat Conversions

How much does it cost to build flats in 2022

Building a new block of flats can be a brilliant investment. However, a build of this size requires great project management and a team of people who are capable of bringing the construction to life.  

What is the difference between a flat and an apartment?  

A flat is an individual residence with a set of rooms, typically on one floor and within a larger building containing a number of residences. Whereas, an apartment is a room or suite of rooms designed as a residence. And is generally located in a building occupied by more than one household. However, some people call apartments and flats the same thing, because they are very similar.  

How to design flats –  

Because creating a block of flats is a really big project it is best that you hire a really good and well-trained architect to help design the place. Often flats can feel small because everything is on one floor, so one thing the architect can do is to make the space feel larger.  

A good way to make the space feel larger is by adding plenty of windows into the design. By doing this it creates more light coming into the rooms, and it can also feel like you are bringing the outside in.  

Another way of doing this is by choosing the colour and pattern scheme wisely. Designing with lighter colours also brightens up the place, and makes the space feel larger.  

The architect and also make some built-ins, having built-in appliances and storage can save the resident’s space.  

How much does it cost to build a block of flats?  

Firstly, the price of the land and whether or not you need to demolish an existing structure before building will play a leading role. Although, on average the typical cost to build a flat will range between £1,800 – £3,000 per m2. When it comes to the land and demolition you shouldn’t be surprised when the prices get more expensive. They range between £6,000 – £12,000.  

When you are trying to price up your job you should always remember to budget for extras. For example, the cost for finishings, architect, contractor fees, landscaping, decorating and, furnishings.  

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Architecture & Building, Flat Conversions

Looking To Live In A Maisonette? Everything You Should Know

What is a maisonette?  

It is a set of rooms for living in, typically on two storeys of a larger building and having a separate entrance.  

The difference between a maisonette and a flat –  

A maisonette is a two-storey flat, where the front door is your own. This means you can exit your home directly to the outside. However, with a regular flat, you have a shared corridor. And your usual flat consists of several rooms that span a single floor.  

Maisonettes are often more bespoke than flats and aren’t typically sold as part of a development block. They also vary largely in square footage, layout, and spec. Living in a maisonette also gives you more outside space as opposed to a flat.  

Is a maisonette a house? 

They are not necessarily a house although they can come with similar square footage and many of the same perks. For instance, they offer similar privacy to that of a house, and they are argued to be safer. Because with all the windows on the higher level, and the only access is the front for it is less likely you would get burgled. 

Maisonettes are ideal for families because just like a house they often house gardens and sometimes even garages. However, the garden might have to be shared with others in the flats. And you’ll have to access the garden separately outside, typically through a side gate.  

Where can I find them?  

In the UK maisonettes are not uncommon, you can find them usually above shops, in town centres and close to cities. Due to them being slightly smaller and more affordable than a house many are located in cities.  

They are also popular in areas with lots of students because landlords convert one house into two separate dwellings to take on more tenants.  

Is it good to live in one?  

There are plenty of advantages to living in a maisonette the first one is that they are warm and cosy. Being upstairs is a major positive especially in the winter because the heat from the downstairs flat rises and it heats up the house.  

Maisonettes often also have a lot of storage compared to a flat or an apartment. This is because most of them have exterior storage such as a garage.  

Maisonettes itself would be about 20-25% cheaper than the equivalent space in that block.  

Some negatives to living in one –  

Although there are many positives, there are some hurdles to living in a maisonette. With either no off-road parking or a shared driveway parking you can be difficult. And a lot of people find parking on a residential street a nightmare.  

When living above someone you have to be extra neighbourly, you need to be respectful and keep an eye on the amount of noise you make.  

8 Maisonette Designs That Are a Step Up from Your Usual HDBs | Qanvast
A modern maisonette

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Flat Conversions

Flat Conversions – A Step-By-Step Guide

The prospect of transforming houses into a flat is becoming exceedingly popular. With a high demand for flats across the South East, breaking a property down into units can increase the potential for rental income in the short term. It can also improve profit on sales in the long term.

The only major obstacle many people face is – how do you know where to start? Here at Pro Arkitects – Design & Build Experts, we can tell you everything about converting houses into flats.

Step 1: Market Researching

One question many landlords fail to ask when purchasing a house is – are flats wanted in the neighbourhood? This is an important topic to consider because if an error occurs, the effects could be highly costly. It’s crucial to make sure you have a market for your new properties before you have even thought about conversions. We understand that market research takes time. However, it is the best way to ensure that the flats you’re intending to build are wanted.

Furthermore, it’s worth pointing out that some communities and neighbourhoods are in more significant demand of flats than others. An ideal method for elevating profits is researching the market because in-demand locations and higher rents go well together.

Step 2: Implications for Planning

Contacting the planning department of your local council is the next thing you’ll have to do. As you will more than likely need permission. If the project is accepted and permission is granted, you’ll have to apply for Building Regulations before any work commences.

If you haven’t yet purchased the house you intend to convert into flats, you should check with the local planning department before investing. Additionally, there may be certain requirements for you to consider. These can vary from; minimum flat size, soundproofing between the neighbouring flats, insulation for energy efficiency and comfort, fire safety, and potentially more. Parking availability may also play a role. These necessities of course depend upon the respective neighbourhood.

As well as this, you will need to consult a solicitor to make sure there are no legal restrictions preventing your planned renovations from taking place. Your lender will also be required to be involved in your plans if the house is being mortgaged. Certain banks are willing to accommodate landlords by offering loans to assist with the development and/or refurbishment. Others, however, will be more discouraging and will not allow mortgage holders to transform their houses into flats.

Step 3: The Costing Element

Varying vastly from property to property, the cost of converting your house into flats will depend upon the size, the design of the new house, and the number of flats being converted. Approximately, you’d be expected to pay £25,000 for a simple conversion. This will involve the placement of new walls and the installations of central heating units and bathrooms. Moreover, you will need to talk to utility companies to ensure that each flat has its own electricity, gas, and water meters.

Step 4: Legal Requirements for a flat

It is crucial that you inform the solicitor handling the legal transaction of your conversion plans. In addition to this, your solicitor should be able to draw up leases for separate dwellings. Which you will require if you then plan on selling the properties.

Transforming a house into flats is a strong way of making a profit, but sometimes, not all houses are good candidates. This is where your estate agent comes in. They can help you in finding the ideal property to convert, whilst determining which neighbourhoods offer the greatest potential.

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