Growing trend in UK home construction – preserving our heritage

Posted on 20 Aug 2015 by The Manufacturer

With a shortage of houses in the UK, especially in many areas of the country where new home construction is still in a slump, many potential homeowners are looking for alternate solutions.

Not only is it potentially cheaper to find buildings which can be readily converted to housing, but this is also becoming quite a trend. As a result, many construction companies are refocusing their business efforts from new constructions to conversions.

Abundance of Built Heritage

As recently as 2012, there were approximately half a million buildings within the UK that had been listed. Many of these were not built as homes but are currently being renovated and converted into housing which serves a twofold purpose. Not only are these heritage buildings being preserved for future generations but are also providing housing for those who would otherwise be unable to find homes for sale.

Old But Not Listed

Unfortunately, once a building has been listed for preservation by the Secretary of State, it may not be cost effective to renovate or remodel the structure to be suitable for housing. Many construction companies are able, however, to renovate other types of old buildings that can be converted to housing quite easily. Structures such as oast cowls, once used for drying hops, are being converted to homes in certain areas of England such as in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire.

Quaint & Trendy Oast Cowl Homes

In areas where hops was traditionally grown throughout the centuries, you will find an abundance of oast cowl buildings no longer used for the purpose of drying hops. Specialist oast cowl construction companies such as Dude & Arnette are able to reconstruct the oast cowls which form the roofs of these homes. Not only does this preserve a large part of the heritage in that area of the country, but it also provides a quaint and trendy structure so unlike today’s architecture.

The Necessity of Specialist Construction

Since renovating heritage buildings is trending in the UK, specialist construction companies are in greater demand than ever before. Not all construction contractors have the technical knowledge it takes to repair or renovate older buildings such as oast cowls. Since these were rotating structures that captured wind to dry hops, it isn’t always a simple procedure to remove or renovate the cowl. Yes, it is part of the roofing structure, but the average roofer doesn’t have the technical expertise to work with oast cowls. Although this is just one example of highly specialised construction contractors, it shows the necessity of specialist construction companies when renovating heritage buildings.

The UK is extremely proud of our heritage buildings and rightly so. Some date back centuries which is why specialised construction is in great demand. Many of these older structures can be converted into amazingly beautiful homes, but only if the contractor has the right set of skills. Whether your company has the technical expertise to work with heritage buildings or you are looking to broaden your market share by branching out, there is a good deal of money to be made in the renovation of heritage buildings.