1930’s Semi Loft Conversion Edgware

The current price for a well maintained and modernised 3-bed 1930’s semi without a loft conversion in Edgware is around the £500,000-£600,000 mark (2016 prices). If you can find one, a 4-bed 1930’s semi in the same area will set you back well over £800,000. That’s the best part of a quarter of a million pounds for one extra bedroom. So it’s easy to see why an extension or attic conversion for this type of property can be well worth the investment – particularly if you wish to remain in the same location for amenities, schools, travel and so on.

The Appeal of a 1930’s Semi in Edgware

In the mid to late 1930’s there was a boom in house building in a number of north London suburbs such as Edgware, Barnet and Burnt Oak. Two particularly popular designs were both semi-detached styles. One was a Tudor style with a large triangular elevation at the front of the house with a mock half-timbered effect and the rest of the roof set back at an angle. The other dominant design was a more modernist style, with a flat, rectangular front, emulating the strong art deco influences of the time, leading to a conventional gable end rooftop.

These houses were popular from the outset and have remained so right through to the modern day, as their design and layout make them very easy to upgrade to modern living requirements.

For instance, the original houses were built without garages, as car ownership was confined to the very wealthy. However, they did include generous front gardens, as these were intended for affluent middle class families who wanted a degree of privacy from the road, as well as an opportunity to display their gardening prowess to the rest of the street. Nowadays, this space is very often utilised as invaluable parking space, a real plus for London homes and almost as good as having a garage. Back gardens were also typically generous, creating space for both vegetable growing and family activities and offering up possibilities for modern extensions.

Room sizes were also on the generous side, with a typical 3-bed semi having two large double bedrooms and a single bedroom. The single bedroom was much more than a “box room” intended to house a baby’s cot, and could be as much as 9′ x 7’6″ and able to accommodate a full size single bed, or even a queen or double bed at a pinch. Of particular relevance to the modern homeowner is that the room sizes and proportions makes it very feasible to install an ensuite bathroom or shower room in the largest bedroom, thereby creating highly desirable, contemporary living space.

But what makes a home in Edgware particularly appealing are the easy transport links into central London. In fact the reason that Edgware and similar suburbs experienced such a building boom in the 20’s and 30’s was the building and extension of the London Underground railway, making it easy for middle class professionals to commute into London without the need for a car, via the Northern Line (then known as the Morden-Edgware Line) with Edgware Underground station being opened in 1924.

With so many factors in favour of a 1930’s semi and of Edgware in particular, it’s not surprising that many homeowners see a loft conversion as a solution to their space problems in preference to moving house, quite apart from the financial sense it makes.

Styles of Loft Conversion Suiting a 1930’s Semi

While we have mentioned two dominant roof designs above, there were many variations on both these styles, in different areas of a suburb or even within a street, in an attempt to offer middle class buyers some degree of individuality.

1930’s houses can therefore have a multitude of styles, from plain gable (either front to back or side to side), multi-gable (typically found on larger or detached properties), or hip to gable. In addition to the core roof design there may be additional decorative elements inset into the main roof.

In short, there is no single loft conversion suitable for all 1930’s semi-detached homes as there is a wide variety of roof designs and individual detailing which need to be taken into account both from an engineering and an aesthetic viewpoint. Homeowners therefore frequently require advice about the available possibilities in order to achieve an attic extension which combines the space and functionality they need, with an appropriate level of sympathy for the original design. In general, however, designs will tend to adopt the existing roofline, building in windows as necessary (e.g. a dormer conversion), rather than changing the overall shape of the roof (as would be involved in a Mansard conversion).

While 1930’s houses are starting to be considered as period homes, they are generally not listed, unless they are of a particularly unique design, or an example of a very well-known architect. However, some homeowners in Edgware are restricted in what they can do as a result of the Stanmore and Edgware conservation area, which affects a number of streets including the High Street and Canons Park estate. Loft conversions are not prohibited but clearly need to involve appropriate enquiries before proceeding.

One very obvious consideration when carrying out a loft conversion of a 1930’s semi in Edgware or anywhere else, is the need to obtain party wall consent before carrying out any work, in order to fulfil your legal obligations towards your neighbour.

With all these considerations in mind (legal, aesthetic and engineering) it pays to choose a attic conversion company with the right experience to help you navigate the different options and ensure that any legal issues are sorted out for you as part of the process – saving you both time and money in the long run and protecting the value of your home.

Modern Attics have been carrying out attic extensions in the London area for many years and have extensive experience of converting 1930’s semis. As well as providing a free survey of your roof and individual design proposals, we can also take care of all legal issues on your behalf including party wall consent, building regulations and planning permission.

1930’s Semi Loft Conversion Edgware – To find out more, view our gallery or call us on 020 7254 5222.