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Trend in shrinking homes halts after more than a century, according to latest figures from BCIS

21 Oct 11 The trend for new homes to be built to a diminishing floor area halted last year, compared with those built since the turn of the twentieth century.

Latest research from the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) shows that, in 2000, two and three bedroom semi-detached houses were built with 16% fewer square meters than their counterparts in 1900. Over the last year, however, the size of these dwellings has stopped shrinking. This is a trend that is replicated across the spectrum of detached, semi-detached and terraced houses.

The findings of the BCIS 2010 survey, using the previous five year cycle, also reveal fresh trends in the floor plans of new homes being built in the UK. These houses are now more likely to incorporate utility rooms and more en-suite bathrooms, as well as an increased use of bay windows and integral garages. Additional rooms are also increasingly being built ‘in the roof’ – particularly in three storey buildings. Larger properties are incorporating higher specification kitchen finishes and under floor heating. The use of land is being maximised by the innovative construction of ‘coach houses’ – or apartments built over garages, a carport or drive-through, providing access to additional parking.

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Andrew Thompson, International Development and Data Director at BCIS comments: “BCIS has been providing its services to the construction industry since 1961 and until this year we have witnessed a trend towards the construction of smaller homes across the UK. It will be interesting to see if this halt in shrinking homes is sustained over the coming years - particularly in view of the Government’s objective to increase the development of Brownfield sites to relieve the pressure on the countryside and green belt areas. It will also be interesting to see how the incorporation of more rooms into a floor area and the use of more innovative construction impacts on the cost of building new homes”.

Irrespective of the floor area or building techniques being utilised, BCIS data can help the market to benchmark, provide early cost advice, track prices and costs and accurately prepare re-instatement costs. At the core of these services is its ability and experience in collecting, modeling, analysing and interpreting data. BCIS provides decision support data to the construction industry, enabling users to make informed decisions and mitigate risk. Its cost analysis model is accepted as the industry standard when recording elemental cost information enabling data sharing and benchmarking.

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