With space and storage key issues for new home buyers Keith Harrod, category manager at IronmongeryDirect, advises on the range of space saving solutions on the market.
According to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), today’s new-build properties aren’t providing enough space for those living in them. Given that space is restricted, housebuilders and developers need to ensure they are optimising what space is available.
New rules introduced in October last year gave local authorities the option of setting minimum size standards for new properties. For a typical three-bedroom home, it should measure 93 square meters or more. But as these standards we re optional, and complicated to implement according to RIBA, the average size of most new-builds is actually much lower. For example, in Yorkshire the average house size is a mere 84 square meters. And in fact across most of the UK, excluding London, the average size of a new three-bedroom house is just 88.9 square meters.
Currently, the UK is facing a severe housing shortage. As a result, homes are getting smaller as developers try to maximise the available space, while also meeting the rising housing demand. With the pressure on to optimise space and create comfortable living environments for homeowners, there are a number of products on the market which can help get ahead in the space race.
Reclaiming space from hinged doors
There is one simple change that can be made within new-build homes that will make a property feel considerably more spacious; replacing traditional hinged doors with sliding doors. On average an extra eight per cent of space can be saved in a room by replacing hinged doors with one of these systems.
They can work well in a number of places, such as in between two rooms to create one large open space. This is most effective between the kitchen and lounge and can give this section a more open-plan look, which will naturally bring in more light and give an airy feel.
This look can be best achieved by installing a double sliding door system, which will really open up the doorway and make the area appear more spacious. A system such as the Ducasse Twin Opposite Synchronised Sliding Door System will support two doors and even includes a pulley-system to synchronise the opening and closing of both doors in one simple movement. As a result, the operation of the doors is smooth as they glide effortlessly along the track. The four ‘stoppers’ included in the kit also help to ensure the doors close softly and safely, which is particularly useful for families with small children because it reduces the risk of trapped fingers.
For the average family, there can sometimes be a queue for the bathroom, especially in the mornings. To help cut down the queue, a mini en-suite or small shower room could be added to the master bedroom. In order to conserve space, it would be highly recommended to add a single pocket door system on to this newly created room.
Just like with sliding doors, this will help reclaim the space typically needed by a standard hinged door. Also referred to as ‘concealed sliding doors’, pocket door systems are made from a steel frame and slide into a wall on an overhead track where the door is hung. They are a modern addition to any home, giving a stylish and contemporary effect.
The Eclisse Single Pocket Door Kit is a solution for installing a pocket door on to a small en-suite. The kit comes with everything needed to install the door, including the frame, jamb kit, dust brushes, recessed door posts and rubber gaskets, and gives developers the freedom to choose a door that fits in with the style of the rest of the house.
Within the kitchen, storage space is likely to be an important requirement for homeowners. Usually homeowners and tenants will have lots of utensils and electrical equipment that all need to be stored away. Creating a spacious environment in the kitchen will help to make the room feel less cluttered, but this can be a challenge when space is restricted. Fortunately, there are lots of handy products that can be installed to help make the most of what space is available.
The ¾ Carousel Plus is a good space-saving solution for storing food, tins and condiments that can take up a lot of room, and it can fit into a cupboard hassle-free. The adjustable telescopic centre pole fully rotates making it easy for people to get to what they need. It can be fitted quickly and easily and it won’t take much time to add on to existing building plans.
Until compulsory standards are put in place that are more simple for local councils to adopt, it’s down to the developers and builders to make best use of available space so that thousands of families can live comfortably in their new-build homes.