Does Contemporary Design Add Value?

Does contemporary and modern Architecture raise the value of a house. Absolutely!

I regularly get asked by potential clients whether the cost of an extension to their house will increase the value of their home. Of course I cant answer that question, because house values are determined by the open market. In my experience the cost of construction will usually outweigh any increase in property value. A typical house extension in Edinburgh will cost about £2,000 per square meter to build, while a typical house in the capital will cost £2,300 to buy. When you factor in VAT and fees, most house extensions will not beat the market. There is an exception to this however, it seems that contemporary architecture lives in a parallel universe where the normal rules of the open market don't apply.



Architect in Fife.



I moved to Fife three years back, we bought a three bed detached house in Falkland. The house has a secluded garden at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. My wife's family live in Fife and we moved here to be closer to them but also because property prices are much more affordable than Edinburgh. Our house cost us £1,600 per square meter, which is high by Fife standards, or so I thought.



Contemporary Architecture in Fife.


Last week I found a house for sale less than ten minutes away, its also a three bed detached house with a secluded garden in a quiet location, only this house is valued at £3,400 per square meter. And it has a lot of square meters!Gareth Hoskins house fife 1The house was designed in 2002 by Gareth Hoskins, one of Scotland foremost Architects. It is a striking attempt to re-create Mies Van Der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion in rural Scotland. The minimal detailing and geometric proportions set it apart from almost anything else in the area.Gareth Hoskins house fife 2Like all well laid out houses, there is a clear distinction between public and private space. The entrance is clearly defined and the kitchen / living / dining space has all the wow factor. The bedrooms are in a separate wing and are altogether more intimate spaces. This may be just a three bed house but it is big, two-and half times the size of my own very average home. If a client asked me to build something like this I would expect it to cost at least half a million, probably over £700k by the time we factor in all the goodies such as under floor heating, aluminium frame triple glazing, timber cladding, stone tile floors, solid timber doors and high quality electric fittings. floor plan of Gareth Hoskins house fife


Construction Cost v’s Purchase Price in Fife.


So is it worth it? last time I checked, this house was for sale at offers over £850,000 - well ahead of its likely construction cost. Contemporary design can be vibrant and exciting, enhancing home life and making it joyful. It can also set a house apart and there is clear evidence this attracts a steep premium in the housing market. While it might cost a lot to buy, it need not cost the earth to build contemporary architecture. The only question I have is, how to build an extension to this?