Converting a warehouse into residential

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Converting a warehouse to residential use is an area that is fast growing in popularity, especially in London where there is an abundance of empty warehouses combined with a severe shortage of homes. But why is this? Well, say you buy an empty warehouse for £200,000 that can then be split up into 5 homes, all selling at a minimum of £100,000 each; even with the associated costs of carrying out the conversion, we can clearly see how the smart developer can make a very tidy profit from these types of developments.

Of course, developers need to be willing to invest in ensuring that the conversion meets legal planning requirements. Wondering where to start? Firstly, you will need to deal with the required change of use from B8 storage and distribution class use to C3 residential.

How recent changes affect your conversion

Be super careful here – until the legislation changed last May, there was a temporary permitted development right allowing for these kinds of conversions to change their class use. This has not been continued. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t change the use of the building, it just means that you’ll need to get planning permission first.

It’s highly likely that for this type of conversion, you’re going to want to do some building work, such as build an extension or remove walls, which would require a planning permission application anyway. This permission needs to be granted before building/change of use works commence. Besides, you don’t want to waste your valuable time and money making changes if the permission isn’t granted!

Why a warehouse to residential conversion could be a great investment for you

We’ve already looked at how a relatively small investment can, in comparison, yield big returns once the conversion is complete. Some of the other advantages include:

• The government is keen to support and prioritise the reuse of empty buildings given the housing shortage crisis, especially in London, so even though planning permission for change of use is going to be necessary, there’s a good chance your application for this will be successful as demonstrated by the government’s own National Planning Policy Framework.

• More bang for your buck – most warehouses are much bigger than you’d be able to pick up a residential property for.

• The second home higher stamp duty doesn’t apply to non-residential and mixed-use properties.

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• It’s unlikely that there will be delays caused by the conveyancing process brought about by those pesky property chains or the scourge of the residential property market, making it more likely to be a more straightforward transaction for you.

• Potential VAT exemption on the purchase if you’re able to issue a 1614D form to the seller.

• Further savings on VAT are available if building works are needed by you to convert the warehouse from commercial property to residential property. We’re talking a difference in payable tax of 20% down to just 5%.

What to watch for

While converting a warehouse into residential homes could easily be the best investment you ever make done right, if done wrong, like anything else, it can be costly both financially and legally. Some things to watch for early on in the planning process include:

• Get your experts on board early, including your architects and surveyors. Time and again we see developers try and cut costs by only bringing in the experts when things have already gone wrong. Getting your team of experts involved right from the get-go when you submit your planning permission application means that there’s less scope for issues and costly mistakes later on.

• When calculating expected profit, don’t forget to factor in the other costs you’ll have incurred before even reaching the planning permission and actual conversion stage, such as those costs involved in the purchase of the warehouse in the first place, such as solicitors fees and disbursements.

• If you’re new to this type of development, you’ll also want to consider how you’ll finance the project. Your typical buy-to-let mortgage tends to be cheaper than development finance usually proves to be.

• When it comes to the conversion work itself, ensure you get yourself skilled workers who know and understand what is required of them to complete the work to residential standards.

• Think about the access points to the property and how these might not only need to be altered but how they could affect the market value of the property and thus your return on investment overall. Other factors affecting the value of the property will be its location suitability for residential occupiers. Good selling points will be strong transportation links and having amenities close by including shops and schools. Being based too close to noisy pubs, clubs, bars and a never-ending stretch of takeaways tend to devalue most residential properties.

How AC Design Solutions can help

Being based in Wembley, London, one of our many specialities here at AC Design Solutions is knowing how to navigate the laws and rules around change of use applications which alter regularly and can vary from borough to borough throughout London.

We also have an experienced set of experts to help you get the planning permission you need to move onto the next stage of converting that warehouse you’ve got your eye on into those profit-yielding residential units.

Then there’s our highly skilled architectural team, structural engineers and interior design consultant London-based who are ready to put to good use their natural flair, talent and considerable expertise to design an imaginative, unique and fully functional home. This team knows how to use incredible pre-built features to amazing effect.

Whether it’s building regulations in Wembley, planning permission in Ealing or assistance in the whole procedure from start to finish, why not let our expert team take the hassle out of your conversion? Call AC Design Solutions today to find out more!

 
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Dealt with Zubear with a couple of queries during house renovations, and he provided a very swift and professional service at a very reasonable price.
Lee Bright
Lee Bright
12:34 07 Jul 20
Very efficient, answered my query straight away
David Howard
David Howard
10:36 02 Jul 20
AC Design Solitons Ltd were introduced to us by our charter surveyors. We have used their service a few times now. Their work is of a very good standard and Mr Zaeem Chaudhry is very cooperative and understanding. There were no hidden extra charges and everything was done very professionally, at the same time with a personal touch. We had no issues in contacting Azeem. He produced our Drawings literally with in twenty four hours when we needed them quick. We have been very happy with their work, thecthe and their response. Being in the propeerty Managment we definatly be using their services frequently and would recommend them strongly.
durdana shakir
durdana shakir
09:51 25 Jun 20
We used AC Design Solutions for both our structural calculations and building regulation drawings.Both Zubear and Zaeem were super responsive and super efficient, which impressed us greatly. They were always happy to chat, provide more detail and go through any key concerns with us. We would 100% recommend. They are very good value for money and we have so far had such a positive experience with them.
Sanjay Raja
Sanjay Raja
09:57 23 May 20
Very good friendly customer service, the experienced architect help me take out a B2 license
Hider Same
Hider Same
18:37 05 May 20
AC- Designs are a very professional and efficient company. Very good value for money. Certainly recommend to friends and family. AC-designs got us planning passed for 3 apartments against very toxic neighbours. I am also using the services of AC Designs to extend our present house and then to convert into 3 apartments.
Meb Akhtar
Meb Akhtar
16:13 05 May 20
Professional company, pleasure do deal with, top quality service, thank you
Ftt Y4
Ftt Y4
16:10 05 May 20
These guys have been brilliant to work with. They were prompt with any questions I had (as it's my first planning permission application) and took care of business. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of working with them and highly recommend them to anyone! I certainly will be referring them to friends, family and colleagues. Thank you guys, smashing job!
Manu K
Manu K
21:02 21 Apr 20
We cannot recommend AC Design Solutions highly enough. They are very knowledgeable and highly skilled in their areas of expertise. We had drawings, structural engineering calculations and party wall work all done by them. They were one of the most competitive companies that we got estimates from, and we were a little worried that they wouldn’t be up to the mark at such competitive rates, but we needn’t have been worried. We were surprisingly astounded. Their professionalism, prompt actions and prompt responses on top of being approachable and down to earth is hard to find. I will definitely be using them again.There should be more companies like them that put the customers needs first. They were really good with understanding customers needs and requirements, and go that extra mile for customer satisfaction. I will be giving them some more planning work and aim to keep them for our other projects as and when they come up. I almost want to keep them just for my work, but credit where credit is due, and I would highly recommend using them. We found AC design solutions easy to work with, even though contact with us has been difficult due to our working hours, they worked around our times which helped so much, and made the process so much easier and painless. You can almost give them something and let them run with it, they will touch base with you as and when required and keep you informed all along the process, which gives you comfort in knowing what’s happening at every stage. Although they are a young company, they will go very far, and we wish them the very best. They are hard working and good at what they do, and deserve a good review for the work they have done for us. We would like to express a special thank you to both Zubear and Zaeem for the hard work they put into our project, and for going that extra mile for full customer satisfaction. They are a good one stop shop to cover a lot of your needs during a building project, be it a small residential or large commercial, they can actually do it all which comes in handy with one point of contact, and not dealing with a separate person for this and a separate person for that. It’s all about the one stop shop which they cater to. Good luck with your project, and we would recommend using AC Design Solutions to help as building projects can get stressful, and they just help make the whole process a lot easier.
Vin
Vin
18:28 19 Feb 20
I have been dealing with AC Design for party wall agreement and i would recommend to anyone. Quick response even I sent emails over the weekend. Very professional and friendly team especially Zubear and Zaeem. Thank you again for everything.
dariusz wadowski
dariusz wadowski
21:53 12 Feb 20
Helped us with a very difficult and extensive alterations application with. I never had to worry because I always felt I was in good hands. Thank you.
Veronica Martins
Veronica Martins
09:41 26 Jan 20
Ac design solutions Ltd are a team of dedicated professionals. Zaeems outstanding knowledge of construction along with planning laws are amazing.Zaeem understood our requirements and delivered accordingly in fact he came out a few times without hesitation to advise and deliver accordingly, enabling us to move forward with the project.We would highly recommend AC Design Solutions Ltd to anyone looking to build.
Candy Zone
Candy Zone
13:46 21 Jan 20
I recently dealt with AC Design Solution to carry out my Party Wall agreement. I was very impressed with the level of service I received. All correspondences were dealt with promptly and was kept informed all along the process.I would definatley be using their services again and have already recommended them.
Anil Vekaria
Anil Vekaria
12:14 21 Jan 20
I have been dealing with AC Design solutions over two years now. The team is friendly and cooperative, they are committed to excellent quality and delivering on time.
Firas Awad
Firas Awad
17:32 14 Jan 20
Good company and very reliable, time very good and quality excellent.. we are builders so we will always recommend them ..
Romeo Popescu
Romeo Popescu
08:35 13 Oct 19
Efficient and professional. We used them as a one stop shop for Party Wall, Discharges, Structural and Building Control drawings. They really know their stuff and have good contacts. They even helped with stuff outside of their scope without any extra cost.
Hassan El-Kassir
Hassan El-Kassir
20:55 22 Aug 19
Needed a Party wall surveyor and AC Design came recommended by a local construction expert. Excellent company. Knowledgeable, experienced, hard working (often out of hours to meet my tight deadline) and friendly. Always available and responsive to my queries. Cost for service extremely competitive. No hesitation in recommending.
Tarique Musa
Tarique Musa
09:07 19 Apr 19
Had a very good experience with Developing drawings and drafting Party wall agreements . Zaeem was always at hand to answer any questions no matter how trivial and expedited a party wall agreement effectively and in a very timely manner. Even our neighbor had a great experience and felt that AC Design were through and professional. Would highly recommend their service.
mustafa rasheed
mustafa rasheed
20:39 10 Apr 19
Zaeem is the cream of the crop in what he does. He takes the time to understand what your needs are and delivers comprehensively on his promises in a timely manner. He is always helpful and he really knows his game.Overall ..EXCEPTIONAL.If you're looking for someone reliable, reachable, and ready to help you trust your gut and go with Zaeem.
Ali Asghar
Ali Asghar
19:46 18 Sep 18
I appointed AC Design Solutions to obtain planning permission for a flat conversion, after having been let down by another architect, who took the money but did not not complete the job.I have been happy with Zaeem's work. I find that I can always get in touch with him and he always tries to resolve problems as soon as possible. He has dealt with Ealing Council Planning Department effectively on many occasions. He completed as many revisions as the Council demanded, even when they were being unreasonable and dragging out the whole process.I find Zaeem professional and conscientious as such I would definitely recommend him in the future.
B Pavlou
B Pavlou
11:09 04 Aug 18
I am really happy with your service. I would recommend to my friends and family.
Vairavappillai Jeganathan
Vairavappillai Jeganathan
22:55 03 Aug 18
Good and speedy service. I would definitely recommend to my friends and family.
Shahina Mendonca
Shahina Mendonca
18:59 03 Aug 18
I found AC Design solutions very friendly, competitive and always available to discuss the project. Great service!
Niraj Chag
Niraj Chag
20:52 04 Jul 18
Great communication, provides us full supports with several existing projects and future projects. Definitely would recommend this company to anyone needs an architect!!
Chris Wang
Chris Wang
17:19 04 Apr 18
I have used their services for my house extension work(inlc design of floor plan, structure plan, planning permission for the extension), I have found them very friendly, helpful and professional. They have guided me very well for all steps during the project, would highly recommend them for their services.
Irfan Munir
Irfan Munir
15:55 06 Oct 17
I employed AC Design Solutions as I saw there previous work and was local to where I currently work. My house is located in the Ealing Borough it is a Semi Detached house. At the time I instructed AC Design Solutions i was getting an idea of what we want. They advised me on the layout of the interior and what would be cost effective. This was my first property and is the very first time I am planning to carry out a project like this. I didn't know any costs to how much things would cost. AC design solutions listened to my ideas and then gave me a break down on the best way to go about doing things and to keep the cost down. They put in plans for a 6 metre extension and a loft conversion which recently obtained approval and I am very happy with the service. I can count on them to do a good job. I have referred them to other families and friends.
Abdul Choudhury
Abdul Choudhury
15:36 17 May 17
Exceptional service, very polite and professional, knew what he was talking about. Guided me through the whole process. Live in Acton and Zaeem drew some plans for a single storey and done building regulations. Could not ask for more the whole process went through very smoothly.The 3 meters extension had uneven floor and had drains running through where the foundation was to be dug. Before employing AC Design Solutions I contacted a few other firms and did my due diligence. When they came no one mentioned to me regarding the issue with the drains and how the trees would affect the build. When AC Design Solutions came around first thing they did is look around the property and noted points for concerns which wereProximity of treesThe drains where the foundation would be dug. Another underlying issue they pulled out on was I had a two storey side extension already built and needed I needed a gable on the side to allow for enough headroom for the staircase. I am really happy with service and have recommended them to friends and family.
M K
M K
12:06 09 May 17
Plan agreed to my vision and passed.
praful kothari
praful kothari
17:55 12 Mar 17
Best work
Gagan Kumar
Gagan Kumar
15:38 03 Mar 17
Great service, drawings were done on time and submitted to council and approved with no issues. Would recommend.
sunny wmz
sunny wmz
21:15 23 Feb 17
gul deep
gul deep
11:43 20 Feb 17
1) Zaeem worked on my house extension and appeal successfully.2) Call out - has been Good3) Approachable and always hear what client say.4) Pricing - Competitive5) I am giving 4 1/2 stars as he is still young & can improve in review the designs with the client before submission. I will give job again to Zaeem for my house planning. ThanksSuresh Karanam
Suresh Babu
Suresh Babu
12:30 19 Feb 17