How has Brexit affected the home improvement market?

home improvement market Brexit

London has not only seen a property boom of late, it has also experienced an explosion in home improvement projects. Extensions have long since been a popular way for Londoners to increase space and create modern, family friendly spaces. However, with the UK voting in favour of Brexit, what does this mean for the home improvement industry in London?

It’s still early days and though much has happened since the result was announced on 24th June, what will happen in the long term is anyone’s guess. However, a short term picture is beginning to emerge.

A drop in house prices in London is happening and in the upper end of the market, stagnation is likely. Faisal Durrani, head of research at property firm Cluttons, told The Guardian that: “the prime central London market had been slowing for more than a year, but had been ‘amplified’ by the referendum result.”

The number of homes changing hands is expected to slump this summer. A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that new buyer enquiries declined ‘significantly’ during the month of July. However, demand was already beginning to fall even before the Brexit vote due to higher levels of Stamp Duty and stricter mortgage criteria.

Currently, the economic outlook is not looking as bleak as some had feared. However, Uncertainty is causing some experts to predict that the economy will shrink in the third quarter.

These economic headwinds could mean that the trend to ‘improve not move’ could gain further momentum, as moving will look even less appealing.

However, all of the uncertainty means homeowners may delay plans to improve. Rob Wood, owner of Simply Extend says, “to date the impact of Brexit on our business has been minimal. We’ve had quite a few clients delay decisions by a couple of weeks since the referendum result, but are now deciding to move forward as there doesn’t appear to be any short-term financial risk.”

As the nation comes to terms with the result of the EU referendum, which saw 52% vote for Brexit and a new government in place, people are starting to get their confidence back despite the backdrop of uncertainty.

Wood is no stranger to economic headwinds. He began his business in 2008, the start of the Great Recession, with his wife Helen Wood. However, this did not stop them winning work.

“It was the fall in house prices in 2008 and 2009 that saw the trend for improving not moving,” said Wood. “In unstable times people look for certainty and offering fixed prices helps clients to feel reassured. What homeowners don’t want is any surprises. ”

Invest in your property with an extension and create the space you and your family need. Our fixed prices help you manage cost and you will be assigned your own project manager, who will oversee the process from design and planning through to completion. If you want to improve not move, contact us on 0800 917 7571 or click here to fill out a free site survey form.

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How to make the most of open plan living?

How to make the most of open plan living1

When homeowners opt for an extension, many use it to create an open plan space in their home. Open plan has adorned magazines and interior TV shows for some time – it’s like the jeans of the interior world, no matter what the latest trends are, open plan is always at the party. So why has it endured for so long and how do you make the most of open plan living?

While the idea of open plan living has been with us ever since humans started to build permanent structures, it was Frank Lloyd Wright who popularised modern open plan living as we know it today. Wright designed houses in this way so that the housewife would be “more hostess ‘officio’,” instead of being in the kitchen behind closed doors. Of course, in more modern times the simplicity and practicality of such spaces are why they have endured.

A large open space may seem easy to work with, however, it’s not as straightforward as it looks. Here are our top tips on how to make the most of open plan living.

Planning the space

Open plan spaces are never really truly open, there is always something that divides each space for its purpose. When you are creating a kitchen, islands or breakfast bars can be used, not only as a handy storage area and somewhere to eat, but as a border to define where the kitchen begins and ends.

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Storage units are also a good way to break up a room. You can use bookcases or shelving units which can act not only as a flexible wall to help you create distinct ‘zones’, but also a design statement in itself.

If you plan on having a lounge area you can use a sofa, chaise lounge and rugs to define the space.

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To keep constancy and flow, its best to keep the colour scheme fairly neutral as this gives an easy backdrop to work with. If you want to inject colour you can do so to distinguish individual areas. Patterned wallpaper or tiles also work well. To make this succeed you will need any colour or pattern you choose to work with your natural backdrop or you risk not having a consistent look.

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Flooring needs to be practical as well as create a sense of flow. If you have a kitchen in your open space you can opt for wood, stone or tile flooring throughout and soften it with rugs, where needed. Rugs are also helpful for distinguishing different zones.

Another option is to have different flooring levels. Having a step from the kitchen down to the dining or living area helps to break up the room.

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Ensuring you have the right kind of lighting for every zone in the room can be difficult as each space requires different kinds and levels of lighting.

In the kitchen you will need bright lights so you can see what you are cooking, so opt for downlighters. For dining spaces, a popular trend right now is for three low pendent lights over a long six to eight seater table. If you have a four seater table, one light will work just as well.

To give soft lighting to lounging areas lamps can be used and if you want to use lighting to define your zones, then spotlights can be very effective.

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If you are looking to create your own open plan space with an extension then Simply Extend can help. We are a leading home improvement builder based in London and we have helped create beautiful homes with side and rear extensions. For a no obligation site survey please call on 0800 917 7571 or contact us online.

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