With a new lockdown now in place, maximising space at home continues to be a crucial requirement with millions working remotely and the majority of children away from school. As such, Pasquill is confident that its launch — via the merchant sector — of a single storey timber frame extension kit which can be assembled in a day will be an especially timely solution. PBM reports.
Away from the direct impact on health, one of the central impacts of the coronavirus pandemic has been the amount of additional time many of us have been forced to spend in our homes. Lockdown measures have seen repeated instruction to ‘work from home if you can’ whilst the closure of schools last March and again a few weeks ago (to all except vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers) have caused many of us to re-evaluate our relationship with our properties.
Far from simply being a place to relax in the evenings and weekends, the UK’s housing stock must now also serve as the nation’s offices and makeshift classrooms. Often, the spare bedroom isn’t up to the task alone — especially if a couple of adults and several kids are all jostling for practical workspace at the same time.
It is a problem compounded by the fact that the size of newly-built properties in the UK have been steadily reducing since a peak in the 1970s. Indeed, analysis by LABC Warranty in 2018 revealed that homes constructed in the last decade are in fact smaller than ever before, with the average house size of 67.8m2 of living space now less than the low of the 1930s and 20% smaller than in 1970s, with both the size and number of bedrooms also at a record low
Even before the pandemic struck, rising house prices had led many to ‘improve not move’ with an ensuing demand to increase the amount of living space. In addition, and before it became a requirement, there was also a developing trend for garden rooms and home office extensions as frustrated commuters increasingly sought a better work/life balance.
Coronavirus has of course turbocharged many of these concerns. Indeed, research from Google showed that the term ‘house extension’ was searched a record number of times in 2020, demonstrating that there is a rapidly increasing demand for home investment and improvement as individuals and families spending more time living and working at home looking for solutions that will provide more space.
Accordingly, Pasquill is confident that its new timber frame extension kit can provide an effective — and speedy — solution for hemmed-in homeowners. The structure comprises a flat roof and two walls, as well as bi-fold doors from an external supplier. Manufactured from aesthetically pleasing and sustainable timber, the extensions will have a small carbon footprint without compromising the structure’s performance or functionality.
Significantly, the extension can be completed in a day and so disruption to the homeowner is also minimal, thanks to a one load delivery and minimal groundworks as the extension does not require deep foundations. In addition, as the extension is watertight after completion, trades can be onsite together thereby saving further time.
The product is available to order via builders’ merchants, after which it is designed and manufactured to the exact measurements required, making each unit bespoke. Pasquill believes this is an “exciting change” from traditional brick and block extensions, “drastically speeding up the process and representing the first step in making offsite solutions more accessible to the general public”.
And though the product will ultimately be designed, manufactured and delivered by Pasquill, the firm emphasises that it also provides merchants with the opportunity to manage and sell almost all of the additions, such as the flooring, plaster, insulation and the roof lantern. Buyers will also be supported by the manufacturer’s special projects team, who are experienced in design and engineering timber solutions, whilst a dedicated manager will assist with onsite construction.
The company further asserts that its timber frame extensions will appeal to anyone looking to improve their home that may have previously been put off due the cost or legal restrictions. Following a relaxation in planning via Permitted Development, the extension of a house without applying for full planning permission is now allowed providing the structure is single storey and up to half the width of the original house.
Chris Powell, Sales Director at Pasquill, said: “We’re frequently asked by merchants to provide a timber frame solution. Now we’re answering that question. Traditionally the bespoke timber frame market was low volume, low reward — but this extension product can provide great gains, especially time savings which can be fivefold.
“Offsite solutions are so frequently portrayed as only being suitable for large scale developers. Here we have a product that brings it to the masses, allowing both builders and homeowners to benefit.
He added: “There’s certainly been a rise in demand for this type of home improvement too, particularly since the various lockdowns, as people simply want more space and to work towards the homes of their dreams. This is a comparatively affordable way help them achieve this.”
For more information on Pasquill’s timber frame extension kit, go to: www.pasquill.co.uk/products/timber-frame-extension-kit/