Don't move, improve

One of the most stressful parts of modern living is moving house. There are so many things that can go wrong -the property chain breaks, the seller gets cold feet or tries to gazump you at the last minute, surveys reveal hidden horrors in your socalled dream home. And that’s before you’ve even considered the built-in costs such as estate agents bills, stamp duty and removal fees.

It is hardly surprising therefore that an increasing number of people are beginning to appreciate the benefits of staying put – especially when the right architect with some bright ideas can completely revolutionise your existing home.

Don’t move, improve.We hear the phrase more and more these days and with good reason – it really can make excellent sense. This is where Ilkley-based Roost Architects really come into their own. This is a young, forward-thinking company with a strong understanding of local design and founder Simon Cape relishes the challenge of helping homeowners see their old homes in a brand new light.

“A lot of people have been struggling to move recently,” he says "and extending and altering the building can often be much less costly and stressful. “Times are financially tough at the moment so we are also offering a very competitive ‘value service’ for simple projects to ensure the best price on the market.”

There are thousands of Victorian houses in the area which may look attractive from the outside but are not suited to modern living.This is the kind of problem Simon relishes.

“By careful planning, even the most complicated problems can be solved – and adapting and modifying makes good sense. Giving older buildings a new lease of life can reduce energy bills and provide great modern family living spaces, not to mention boost the value of the property.”

Could all the things that the modern family has come to demand from their home – large modern kitchens that are the heartbeat of the family, open-plan living spaces, luxury bathrooms, really be possible in a traditional house divided into small boxshaped rooms? Absolutely.

Simon says:“Good older properties do convert well to modern requirements; by careful planning, even the most complex problems are solvable.”

Most of Simon’s clients have never worked with an architect before, so he takes care to take them gently through the planning process, ensuring they are not bamboozled by flashy graphics or technical language.

“We normally use 3D computer walkthrough software to help the client properly understand the design.Whether it is an extension, an internal alteration or additions such as a home office or even garden rooms, the better and more efficiently we design the project, the more efficient and cost effective the construction will be.”