Comment: Why St Albans is a home extension hotspot

PUBLISHED: 09:00 10 April 2018

Anyone who's anyone has a skip outside their house...

Anyone who's anyone has a skip outside their house...

studioportosabbia

It will come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever set foot in St Albans to learn that there are more home extension applications submitted in the city than anywhere else in Britain.

It will come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever set foot in St Albans to learn that there are more home extension applications submitted in the city than anywhere else in Britain.

I mean, you can’t move for skips on some streets. It’s almost like there’s something wrong with you if you haven’t got one either parked on the drive, perched precariously in front of the house or taking up a coveted parking space out on the street.

Feuds with neighbours are part of the process, either at application stage or during the inevitably messy, noisy build – or both. Some homeowners pull out all the stops, wooing the fed-up folk next door with wine and chocolates… others are so blinded by the dream of their new kitchen/diner/family room that they can’t seem to see the blatant hatred that’s threatening to explode into something unrecoverable right next door.

According to new data from Barbour ABI (below), St Albans is the typical home extension hotspot. Not only is there plenty of cash knocking about, but there’s also the required space to extend into that more built up areas – London, for example – are lacking.

The other factor is high house prices: when the next move feels a financial step too far, or there are no suitable houses to move on to, extending fills that gap (with a new room, usually).

“The link between higher house prices and more applications for extensions is very strong,” the report states. And if there’s one property-related topic that the residents of St Albans can agree on it’s that the prices are indeed high. So renovation remains the way forward, particularly among families faced with a shortage of suitable next-step homes.

Our house had already been extended when we moved in, but there’s still room to add extra bits. Until that dream becomes a reality I must endure the shame of not being able to share architect recommendations or snag list horror stories, skip-free.

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