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    Thread: UK Houses and Shoe Boxes


    1. #1

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      UK Houses and Shoe Boxes

      Many new houses in the UK are "shameful shoebox homes" which are too small for family life, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has said.

      It says average three-bedroom houses are 8% smaller - the space of a single bedroom - than the recommended minimum.

      The institute, which looked at 3,418 three-bedroom homes in England, based its findings on building regulations which have come into force in London.

      The House Builders Federation says that bigger homes could prove unaffordable.

      RIBA's Case for Space study discovered the average two-storey three-bedroom home for five people was 8 sq m (86 sq ft) too small.

      It claims the shortfall in space is the same size as a single bedroom with a bedside table, wardrobe, desk and chair.

      The most common new three-bedroom house was also found to be only 77% of the recommended minimum - the space equivalent to two double bedrooms.
      Shameful shoebox homes are being churned out all over the country, depriving households of the space they need to live comfortably”

      RIBA chief executive Harry Rich

      The institute's research was based on the 96 sq m (1033 sq ft) London Plan space standards which have just been introduced in the capital. There are currently no UK-wide standards.
      'Cramped life'

      RIBA chief executive Harry Rich said new houses were causing some people to endure a lower quality of life.

      "Our homes should be places that enhance our lives and well-being," he said.

      "However, as our new research confirms, thousands of cramped houses - shameful shoe box homes - are being churned out all over the country, depriving households of the space they need to live comfortably and cohesively."

      The institute wants consumers to get better information from estate agents and house builders.

      For example, it is calling for floor area to be included in marketing material and floor plans to include furniture, so that people can get a clearer idea of the size of a property.

      The Home Builders Federation however, said that if new homes were built bigger, some people would be priced out the market.

      "If you increase standards you're going to increase costs," said head of planning Andrew Whitaker.

      "That's going to mean houses are going to become more expensive and we're already suffering from a lack of affordability for young people and first-time buyers."

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    3. #2

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      I would agree. We lived in a couple of 3 bed semis (newly built) where the 3rd bedroom was little more than a cupboard space. Just room for a cot and a chest of drawers. I dont know how they get away with calling them 3 bedrooms. When we think about the space we have now (and its still not enough, lol) I cant believe we had only 1 lounge (shock horror) and a kitchen diner that wasnt big enough for a decent sized table. But I suppose its what you get used too, we were quite happy with it at the time! New homes are getting smaller here too!
      Cal and Ktee like this.

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      Some places we have seen in the UK are tiny, our friends first house was a bit of a shoebox. Having said that our in laws house was ex council and quite a bit bigger than our high set here. Houses we are looking at in the UK are way bigger than our current house and we wouldn't even entertain buying one of those little starter homes. It is only since I converted downstairs into living space that this house has become a liveable size.
      Soon to be back in the undisputed NUMBER 1 country in the world.....ENGLAND.

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      In and around London there are a lot of "affordable" housing developments going up. Not really suitable for families but essential for our essential services (nurses, firemen etc )
      Sidcup, Bromley, chistlehurst, Orpington all have new homes going up that are good sizes. There seems to be a building boom here at the moment and if i was an unemployed bricky from up north I would definitely think about "emigrating" down south.
      My house is an 8 year old build with 3 bedrooms but TBH the 3rd room is a bit small so the kids have a bunk bed and i use it as an office. Bedrooms sell real estate so builders will squeeze as many in as possible but If buying a new build its worth getting the builder to alter the floor plan to do away with a room (bedroom or ensuite) to free up some space.
      guest3863 likes this.
      it happens a lot everywhere in the world...

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      I remember when I lived at home as a child and I'm surprised my mum managed to fit a bed in there, our walk in robe is bigger.
      In fact I think if I slept one of the kids in a cupboard under the stairs they would still have more room than we ever had.

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      That is like house we grew up in in Geelong, we drove past it recently and it looks like a granny flat and there was 6 boys and the parents there.

      Quote Originally Posted by Ktee View Post
      I remember when I lived at home as a child and I'm surprised my mum managed to fit a bed in there, our walk in robe is bigger.
      In fact I think if I slept one of the kids in a cupboard under the stairs they would still have more room than we ever had.
      Soon to be back in the undisputed NUMBER 1 country in the world.....ENGLAND.

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      I do think that some people live in houses that are way too big for their needs though, some of the open plan homes we looked at had a massive space surrounding the kitchen and 'famil' room that you really couldnt do much with other than walk through! Good as a dance floor if youre having a party I suppose! I struggled to arrange furniture in a space enhancing way in our first rental, not enough nooks and crannies and corners to put things! I prefer the style of my home now which has separate rooms much like a UK home but all on one level.

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      Yeah I couldn't agree more, we have friends that are mortgaged to the eyeballs for a huge house with rooms they don't even use and as you say open plan areas you can't use.
      guest3863 likes this.
      Soon to be back in the undisputed NUMBER 1 country in the world.....ENGLAND.

    10. #9

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      After returning from the States for a holiday, many, many years ago, the comparison hit me big time between the size of our UK homes to theirs. That was actually the start of my depression in UK to emigrate and escalated over the years. I strongly agree that the size of a home does play a big factor to one's moods
      Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves - Confucious

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      Hi YB

      Totally agree with the comment. I can't believe the difference in usable living space in Oz compared to UK, and most rooms are used but the main area is the alfressco area.

     

     
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