Converting industrial buildings into homes has been happening since the 70s, by the mid 90’s warehouse developments started popping up, bringing regeneration to cities across the UK such as Manchester, Liverpool, and London’s East End. Nowadays, it isn’t just abandoned warehouses that are being converted into homes but also barns, churches, water towers, mills and even lighthouses.
The amount of new build properties in England rose by 8,860 units to 163,940 in 2016, but the most marked increase was in those properties where the original purpose of the building had been altered to accommodation, with 30,600 new units compared with 20,650 the year before.
“Whilst old barns and run-down mills can offer immediate inspiration, choosing less obvious structures may increase your profit margin,” says Derek Latham, author of Creative Re-Use of Buildings. “Water storage tanks, power stations and old fire stations all have great potential”
Creating a new home from a dilapidated building, that had previously been used for an entirely different purpose, takes a lot of patience, time, perseverance, and imagination, but the results are worth it. Conversions allow you to create a truly unique home, that will really stand out from the crowd, you can also reclaim some of the VAT on paid parts of your conversion work.
Most conversions aim to retain the building’s existing characteristics and individual features, working with rather against the existing building.
When converting a building from commercial to residential there are several factors that need to be taken into account such as; additional costs, access points, external work and the surrounding area you can read more about these factors here.