Posts filed under ‘Interesting properties’

COMPETITION: October’s winner of house makeover is Wimbledon family home

If you’re looking to sell your property, but need a helping hand to show buyers its potential, architect Greg Toon has the solution. He is offering the winner of a monthly Zoopla competition the chance of a property makeover. Here, he unveils the results of this month’s competition – the makeover of a four bedroom house in Wimbledon.

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  • The house is located in a quiet cul-de-sac in a fantastic location, just off Wimbledon Common. It is a 1970s house and of a similar design to the neighbouring properties. With houses in this situation it is often better to upgrade and overhaul the front elevation but keep the dramatic changes for the back of the house.
  • The rear rooms consist of a kitchen, dining and living room – all separate spaces. With the increasing trend for open plan living, buyers may be tempted to knock these rooms together. The kitchen would be relatively distant from the lounge and so noise would not be too much of an issue. Another solution would be to create a rear glazed extension as shown here, which will both link and extend the living accommodation. The rooms become connected and have a good flow between them, but do not become fully open plan – the best of both worlds.
  • The extension roof has solid insulated sections to reduce the amount of solar gain and help keep the space warm in the winter. The roof is designed with slot rooflights at the back edge to get daylight into the deeper space and the overall design will create a dynamic space below. Fixed, triple glazed structural glazing is used in two positions, while three double-glazed sliding doors allow access to the garden and fill the space with fresh air.
  • Aside from extending the kitchen and allowing for an extra large dining table, the glazed structure provides room for a garden room area at the back of the living room, shelving, a log burner and log store. Above the kitchen, the existing garage flat roof could be raised and high-level windows inserted to the front and side, this would give a light and airy area in what would have been the darker part of the kitchen.
  • The double garage could easily be reduced to a single garage, creating space for a playroom or study. The existing study can be split in two, giving a utility accessed off the kitchen and an enlarged cloakroom. In turn the original W.C. can be removed, making the hallway much wider, brighter and generally more befitting of the modern, impressive family home that the house could be transformed into.


  • The rear extension falls within permitted development in terms of the size and depth. In theory, planning would not be required, but a certificate of lawfulness is recommended. A high quality contemporary extension such as this is entirely suitable for a mid-century building.
  • Changes to the front of the house would be minimal.

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  • New lintels/beams will be required for opening up works to the rear of the kitchen, living & dining rooms.
  • Foundations of the new structure need to be determined by a structural engineer, based on ground conditions.
  • The rear section of wall may require underpinning to take some of the loads of the new extension.
  • Steel framing would be the most appropriate solution to form the roof of the extension.
  • The structural glazing element needs to be designed and specified by a specialist company.

Outline Costs

  • This concept scheme shows 42 sq m of additional gross internal floor area.
  • Indicative costings for the extension would be circa £125,000. This is a higher than average cost, but is due to the unusual roof design and the amount of structural glazing. These are the key areas that will contribute to the drama of the design so it would be worth splashing out – the property value will only increase further as a result of the work.

If you are an estate agent or home owner and would like the chance to win a house makeover for the home you’re selling, send your name and Zoopla property listing to Greg at

Greg Toon photoGreg Toon is the founder of Potential etc…, an architectural design company that specializes in illustrating the potential of homes for sellers, buyers and owners.

Visit if you would like to commission Greg to prepare a full design scheme for your property.


October 2, 2014 at 2:01 PM Leave a comment

London’s ‘floating village’ to include right to extend homes

Plans for a ‘floating village’ in London will include the right for homeowners to extend their properties, it has been revealed.

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The village in London’s Royal Docks was announced by the Mayor Boris Johnson earlier this year, with the aim of transforming the 15 acres of water with homes, restaurants and bars.

And today, the Mayor’s office exclusively told Zoopla that anyone who buys a property on the site will be able to apply to the borough for planning permission.

“Homeowners would have to apply to the borough for planning permission as per normal procedures when people want to build extensions,” a spokesman for the Mayor’s office said.

15.08.14 Float 2With the city running out of places to live, the project is seen as a welcome addition to the capital, with London’s Mayor Boris Johnson describing it as having ‘the potential to become one of the most sought after addresses in the capital”.

A total of 50 homes are expected to be built, with their bases being constructed off-site and then transported by water into place – the planning application for which will be submitted to Newham Council in the spring next year.

A floating walkway will lead back to land, where the city plans a much larger development with tens of thousands of homes.

In the past, the Royal Docks have serviced hundreds of cargo and passenger ships each day. But they have not been in use for several decades and so it is hoped that the floating village will restore London’s docklands to their former glory.

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August 15, 2014 at 2:01 PM Leave a comment

Three bedroom bungalow in Leicester becomes one of Britain’s most viewed properties for sale

A three bedroom bungalow in Leicester may not seem out of the ordinary. But for one lucky owner who is looking to sell, it has become one of the most viewed properties in Britain.

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The property requires updating, but estate agents Leicester Premier says a number of offers have already been received. It has an asking price of £174,950.

They say it has huge scope for redevelopment, with the potential to extend subject to planning permission due to the large garden.

11.08.14 Bungalow 3As well as three double bedrooms, the property also has a hallway, lounge, kitchen and bathroom.

“It is in an excellent location and would be an ideal investment opportunity,” explains Leicester Premier’s Joss Cowling. “We have had some offers and hopefully a sale will go through quickly.”

The detached property is to the north east of the city, in the popular location of Tennis Court Drive.

The average price of a home in the road has climbed more than £11,000 in the past year to £212,143.

One detached house sold earlier this year in March for £280,000.

Leicester station is 2.2. miles away, while East Midlands Airport is 16.5 miles away.

The area is also well served by schools, including Humberstone Junior School, Gateway Sixth Form College and Ash Field Academy.

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August 11, 2014 at 2:42 PM Leave a comment

Living in a National Park means enjoying the great outdoors

There is something about the great outdoors, whether it be a city park or one of Britain’s great National Parks. Buyers flock to live in areas that pass the green space test and, consequently, homes with a glimpse of greenery comfortably outperform the rest of the market making them a copper-bottomed, if expensive, investment.

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According to one recent study by Nationwide, homes located within a National Park cost 18 per cent more than similar properties nearby, while homes within a couple of miles of one of the parks cost 8 per cent more than those just slightly further afield.

The Lake District is one of the most sought after of all the National Parks and Stephen Holland, of estate agents Carter Jonas, feels the market is reviving thanks to the area’s pull to retirees, commuters from cities like Lancaster and Manchester, and second home owners, many of whom plan to move to the area permanently in the future, and who make up an estimated 65 per cent of the market.

There is a huge choice of lovely town and village settings, but Holland says most buyers pinpoint their dream location based on exactly what they want out of the lakes.

Sailing enthusiasts, for example, head for Windermere and Bowness. “It has got the most consistent wind, the biggest marinas and the most flashy boats,” said Holland.

Average prices in Windermere stand at £359,330, up 4.41 per cent year on year, but if you want to live close to the water prices are higher than average.

Holland estimates that a two bedroom flat would cost between £400,000 and £500,000, while you could pay up to £5m for a magnificent detached Victorian home with lake frontage and mooring.

Walkers, meanwhile, are drawn to the fantastic countryside around Coniston and Keswick. These towns are a little less expensive with average prices of £319,573 and £326,393 respectively.

A typical two to four bedroom terraced cottage in one of these towns, dating from the eighteenth or nineteenth century, would cost between £300,000 and £450,000, depending on size.

The other option is to live in a bustling village, the most beautiful of which has to be the picture postcard Grasmere, set on the banks of the eponymous lake.

Grasmere’s good looks do not come cheap, however, with average prices of £478,400, up 3.46 per cent in the last  year.

Holland estimates that a two bedroom cottage in Grasmere would cost around £400,000, while you might pay £2m for a prime waterside house.

Another fantastic national park option is the New Forest. Its unique selling point is, of course, its herds of wild ponies that help make the area a perennial favourite with second home owners, retirees and commuters.

Average property prices in the region stand at £348,045, up 6.41 per cent in the last year.

Kevin Allen, Associate Director of John D Wood & Co. image 1  (1)Kevin Allen, associate director of John D Wood, said: “The top areas in the New Forest centre on Lymington as the town offers its inhabitants the very best for both sailing, easy access to the New Forest as well as all the amenities of a market town.

The manorial village of Beaulieu is similarly very popular, particularly with the London ‘set’.  It has a beautiful river, good moorings, a charming hotel, The Montague Arms Hotel, and is surrounded by open forest.”

The other main option is Brockenhurst, set in open forest, which has a key main line rail link to London (trains take around 90 minutes). “It especially popular with the families as the village has a highly regarded sixth form college, Brockenhurst College,” said Allen.

Prices across the forest do vary but Allen estimates that a two to three bedroom house would cost between around £350,000 and £500,000, while large family homes cost £1m plus. For a really grand property with little extras like a pool, tennis courts, stables and land, prices range up to around £2m.

For sale:

1. Ringwood in the New Forest has some lovely period townhouses, like this four bedroom property for sale for £475,000.

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2. Or live in Beaulieu, one of the nicest villages in the forest, in a gorgeous wisteria-draped country house for £2,350,000.

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3. But if only a thatched cottage will do, they don’t come much more chocolate box than this three bedroom house in Ringwood, on the market at £525,000.

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4. In the Lake District you will pay a premium for a home with a breathtaking water view, like this stunning five bedroom house right on the banks of Lake Windermere, on the market for £4,750,000.

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5. Not every home in this area requires a seven figure cottage. You could opt for a gorgeous traditional cottage in Satterthwaite, near Hawkshead, on the market for £350,000.

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June 30, 2014 at 2:13 PM Leave a comment

Smaller properties for sale in Southfields, Canterbury & Leytonstone

Britain’s smallest £1m property offered less space than a London Underground Tube carriage, it was revealed earlier this year. Zoopla looks at what other properties of a similar size are currently on the market.


Own your own tiny corner of South West London with this one bedroom bungalow in Southfields. It has been recently decorated and comes with no chain. It is currently on the market for £365,000.

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This pretty terrace house in Kent has one bedroom and a shower room upstairs, with a kitchen and living room downstairs. Subject to planning constraints, there is scope to add a single extension to the rear to relocate the bathroom downstairs in order to gain that ever important first floor second bedroom. The property has an asking price of £172,500.

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Meanwhile, this studio flat is ideal for an investor, being within a short walking distance to Leytonstone’s busy high street. It is currently on the market for £110,000.

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June 24, 2014 at 5:06 PM Leave a comment

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