Truro-based CSA Architects has formed a specialist division to respond to a dramatic increase in home improvement enquiries in the wake of the stalled housing market and big falls in building costs.
Enquiries from home owners looking to add value to their existing properties have risen by 60% over the past 18 months, says the company, while building costs have reduced by up to 25% in the same period.
“Given all the current uncertainty in the market, with people understandably reluctant to move home, this is a very notable and highly significant trend,” said managing director Justin Dodge.
“It’s an excellent investment – bricks and mortar rather than banks – and given the timescale of construction, now is the time to be doing it. We confidently expect building costs to return to their previous levels, or even exceed them, over the coming 18 months to two years.”
To handle the growth in this sector, CSA’s specialist small projects team of architects and technicians comprises Nigel Atkins, Robert McGuinness, Wesley Whittle, Sally Jones, Louisa Meek and Christopher Heard.
“Given the substantial reduction in build costs and the current climate, there has never been a better or more opportune time to add value to an existing property,” said Dodge.
“Clearly, a planning approval adds value to a property, let alone actually constructing an extension. A planning permission is valid for up to three years from the date of consent, which can either be used to sell the property with added value or to implement those changes.”
CSA Architects, which also has offices in Falmouth, claims to be the leading architectural practice west of Bristol in its range of in-house disciplines and services.