With the stigma that comes with buying an ex-council flat, demand for them can be a little lower than their non-council counterparts. This makes them a great investment for anyone trying to get an in on a first home; with a solid foundation and room to make your unique mark on the property.
By Margaux Black
With the stigma that comes with buying an ex-council flat, demand for them can be a little lower than their non-council counterparts. This makes them a great investment for anyone trying to get an in on a first home; with a solid foundation and room to make your unique mark on the property. The general rule of thumb when considering the purchase of these is to look at low-density developments with on-street positioning, these are attractive purchases for any discerning home buyer, and are generally in attractive with their relatively central locations.
Considering ex-council flats generally come with the classic square, brick outlook, stock standard flat windows, and a lack of innovation when it comes to the gardens or outside spaces, this can be a pivotal part of your renovation. Depending on the particular consent required by your council, a lick of paint or a few updates to doors, windows or their framing can instantly set your property apart from the rest on the street, and modernise the council destined exterior. A popular choice is converting existing doors into ranch sliders, increasing the indoor-outdoor flow through the warmer months and letting in ample natural light.
If you do run into consent problems some advice from John Woolner MD of Woolner landscapes, who has been trading in north London for 20 years says; “An aspect often overlooked in renovation of such properties is introduction of a growing space, pots or planters on balconies or even window boxes can be a great way of achieving this and can help turn a property a home.”
The inside is the easiest place to begin making headway with your renovation. With, generally, less regulations to consider, these gems can offer a simple, blank canvas and are generally in need of a serious update. Reworking the structure of a place to make it more open plan and ripping up things like the existing floor can expose a whole new realm of possibilities, the bones will be there even if the details are not. This is where you will have the most freedom to make this house your own, and since you most likely saved on the purchase, it should be well within budget constraints to renovate and refresh.
These wet rooms are often the ones which can make or break the value of your property, and also make a place look vastly dated or more modern. Much like the exterior, depending on your location there will be different consent rulings for the differing areas throughout the UK. Things like new countertops, sinks and cabinets which don’t actually affect the structure of the place can make a world of difference and be acquired from a range of suppliers at reasonable prices if you’re budget conscious. Where consent generally lies is within the restructuring of kitchens, bathrooms – especially in reference to the plumbing. If you intend to make some changes to these areas of your house, be sure to get your consent request in quick, as there can be a wait period to hear back.
Regulations and consent requests can seem like a frustrating process to partake in when you want to get going on your home updates. To be aware of them from the beginning, however, can really save you time in the long run to prioritise certain areas before others. You will generally need consent if you are upgrading fixtures and fittings in bathrooms and kitchens, changing boilers or radiators or updating the structure or layout of your property (creating additional bedrooms or knocking down walls).
When you submit your application, you are not guaranteed acceptance from your council, as it really depends on the property itself and the area it is located in.
Despite the potential council barriers, there will always be clever ways to get around the dated ex-council properties, even if it requires some creative thinking and a refocus on your furnishings.
Contact Refresh if you would like help with any stage of your renovation project.
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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.