If you went to an average suburban estate, perhaps in the years ago, the odds are that it had not changed much from when it was constructed. There might be a little secluded garage, as they weren’t included in the original design, typically ramshackle collection structures made of corrugated sheets or concrete materials. There would, however, be a home extensions, as we imagine them now. Fast forward fifty years, and most of them will have been modified substantially. Windows and doors are likely to have been replaced (in some cases multiple times, as various styles and materials change).
Additionally, most homes include some extension, and more sophisticated structures will replace the majority of simpler garages of the past. With fifty years, it is expected that there will be to see some change; however, even when looking at homes of years old, there will still be many changes. Why do we seem to be more eager to renovate our houses?
The first generation to purchase these new homes in was often raised in crowded urban living spaces, so the idea of having the luxury of a bathroom, kitchen, and perhaps even a bedroom was a far cry from the lifestyle they had experienced previously. In the early several of them would have moved out of their homes, and those who didn’t were slowly buying more things. In the kitchen, fridges and washers became regular, so the house began to feel a bit congested. The room in the box was no longer spacious with the seemingly infinite array of toys. This was also when more and more people bought their first cars, though they weren’t quite at the level of build. The option to keep it outside, except if you were looking to see it rust right in front of your eyes and not be able to start in the winter months.
The 1960s were also the beginning of a significant amount of home extensions. Extensions of this time were usually more obvious built-in additions to the MPK lofts in Bristol, with flat roofs becoming popular, and windows were often in the style of the time rather than be in line with the building. Prefabricated extensions became well-liked, with walls constructed comprised of timber or concrete and roofs made of corrugated plastic or flat roof. They were often used to serve as a sun lounge.
The extension that is explicitly prefabricated when used for an inhabited room (in contrast to conservatories or similar) became more complicated to justify in terms of building regulations with the increase in insulation requirements. And possibly a more robust interpretation by some councils. Cost savings decreased.
Lastly and perhaps the most important, there was a realization by homeowners that it was better to make the appearance of the extension an integral element of the building. This was partly due to the rising value of homes that have been a popular national trend. The massive sale of council homes has also led to an increase in owners looking to make their own unique likely to prove they were the property owners.
It was likely that the new trend would shift not to be rigidly following the architectural style of the building and instead create its own distinct identity. It often incorporates elements prominent on a few individual new homes like large areas of glass, white rendered walls, and the use of wood exteriorly. This is an increasingly localized trend and is usually more costly to construct. It requires more excellent design expertise to succeed, mainly seen in the most affluent areas of our main cities.
The current financial climate has generally reduced the scope of development, particularly the grandest plans. But, in the long future, the property market will return to its earlier levels. There aren’t enough new homes to meet any potential demand. A brief ‘blip’ will mean the cost of housing will continue to climb upwards, which is why it’s generally more cost-effective to spend on the property you already have instead of moving ‘upmarket.’ From the trends we’ve witnessed in recent years, I’d expect conservatory sales to have peaked. There will always be particular demand for them. However, there will be less prevalent in the mass market. At the same time, the sun sofas (large spaces of glass with a solid roof) remain very popular.