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Box rooms

(327 Posts)
Beansonapost Mon 23-Apr-18 03:16:17

Why is it that houses in the U.K. are still being built with box rooms?

... and still being built with no laundry/utility room?

I grew up having all massive bedrooms... kitchen diner... lounge/living room... utility... garden... garage etc. This is in the Caribbean. My childhood bedroom could fit two uk sized box rooms.

I've lived in other countries almost all of them had utility rooms... except China where the washing was housed in the bathroom; which to me makes sense. Why would you want to do laundry in the kitchen?

Husband is British so is used to this way of life... but I am confused as it's 2018 and I am certain the way people use their homes has changed. Why are people still being forced to have a box room and do the washing in the kitchen? That slot could be used for extra storage.

We went to look at some new builds... while the house was nice for almost £500,000 it just didn't provide what I would want in a family home (based purely on my experience). I think when people buy a home they don't really intend to move anytime soon unless they have to... so why put a room that is useless beyond the age of 10? Then force people to either sell of "create additional space" why not just build a house people can live in for as long as they need or want?

Also where utility rooms are concerned... in a country where it rains so much, wouldn't a dedicated space for laundry be standard? Wash, dry, iron... leave clothes to dry with windows open. Clothes out of sight.

Why is this the norm in the U.K.?

Also... why are homes still built with such poor storage options? You might get an under stair cupboard, an airing cupboard but that's it?! Why aren't built in wardrobes standard in all bedrooms? Gives you back your floor space and means less furniture to buy.

It seems developers are more concerned about how many people they can cram into these developments than how people will enjoy their homes/space.

ElderflowerWaterIsDelish Mon 23-Apr-18 03:31:36

Op you do know there is more than one type of house in the uk...not all have box room...and some do have utility rooms...if you want a house with those features then ask an estate agent to specifically find a house with those in it...also some houses in uk do have fitted wardrobes...

You seem to have a really poor /judgy attitude of uk housing...judging an entire countries housing on just the houses you have seen...

Praisebe Mon 23-Apr-18 03:33:07

Because British people have low standards when it comes to living they'll happily pay silly money for a glorified box confused

Beansonapost Mon 23-Apr-18 03:36:39

I'm asking why new builds still have these features... not judging.

I'm sure they way people use their homes have changed. Like the kitchen isn't shut away anymore... people want open plan because it's a nice sociable space.

So why are developers still putting in box rooms and no utility room.

I know there are houses with them... but that would have been done by the owner.

In 2018, why aren't homes built with these as standard?

Beansonapost Mon 23-Apr-18 03:36:59


Beansonapost Mon 23-Apr-18 03:38:26

@Praisebe can't comment on standards.

But I find it odd nobody questions these developers and just seem to accept it.

NewYearNewMe18 Mon 23-Apr-18 03:39:45

Why don't you write to a developer and ask why their plans are critiqued and approved by local councils?

In short, it comes down to floor space and cost. If you built a 'laundry room' or scullery the first house inhabitant would knock it through to extend the kitchen or convert it into an extra shower room.

fia101 Mon 23-Apr-18 03:42:06

I agree - it's all about money for developer. If you want more space and space that can be used you pay premium. I've been looking to move and current furniture won't fit into a new build. Not talking huge furniture just office desk and sofa bed - wouldn't fit in a box room.

My sil built her own house - she utilised space really well. Separate utility room so backdoor which everyone used wasn't located in messy utility room. Toilet under stairs instead of through messy utility room. Storage in every bedroom. No box room. Plus a small laundry room for airers and ironing.

House wasn't for mega rich just well thought out common sense

londongirl12 Mon 23-Apr-18 03:44:56

My new build doesn't have a box room, and had utility room. As pp says, speak to an estate agent as those type of houses do exist

mrbob Mon 23-Apr-18 03:50:03

I don’t understand either. I am in Australia and even the smallest units have a separate laundry which gives storage as well as a place for a washing machine etc. A surprising number of new builds still have a small bedroom or two snuck in but almost always big enough for a child to be in properly (but with some massive “home cinema” confused) We ended up designing our own because I also don’t understand why they would expect your child to move out as soon as they are out of a cot! We made all our bedrooms big enough to fit a double if necessary but because we didn’t have 3 living rooms the floor space is actually smaller than most

Rtmhwales Mon 23-Apr-18 03:55:51

I struggled with this too when I moved to the UK! ANd the lack of using garages to house cars.

TroubledLichen Mon 23-Apr-18 04:04:15

Well at least it’s standard to have laundry facilities in the UK! Here in the US we have to go down into the basement to use a communal laundry room. Makes me long for the days when I lived in the UK and even the smallest of my London flats had a washer/dryer in the kitchen!!

But in answer to your question for the ‘average’ family home it boils down to ££ for developers. A 4 bed house is worth more than a 3 bed, even if the 4th is a box. If you can reduce the overall footprint of a house by not having a utility room then brilliant for the builder as it means squishing an extra house (or several) into the development. And because older houses don’t usually have utility or laundry rooms, unless the previous owner had the space and inclination to add one, for most people it’s a nice to have rather than a need to have.

Praisebe Mon 23-Apr-18 04:07:15

Most Uk garages can't even fit a car in them especially the new builds so people just fill them with their hoardings or turn that into a utility room. I think America has the right idea with its houses they are so well thought out and spacious

BringBiscuits Mon 23-Apr-18 04:15:16

It seems developers are more concerned about how many people they can cram into these developments than how people will enjoy their homes/space.

This. It all comes down to money. Squeezing the maximum number of houses on a plot. Why give three double bedrooms if you can give 2.5? Why give utility rooms if you can get away without? If it’s the social norm to have utility rooms off the kitchen, why risk locating it off the bedroom and potentially losing a sale?

MereDintofPandiculation Mon 23-Apr-18 04:15:42

UK has relatively high population density, so land is expensive. Of course countries with lower population densities and where land is a lower proportion of the overall house price are going to have more spacious houses.

BringBiscuits Mon 23-Apr-18 04:16:12

That’s not to say I don’t completely agree with your suggestions but it’s all about money at the end of the day!

AjasLipstick Mon 23-Apr-18 04:17:42

There isn't the LAND in the UK OP. Isn't that obvious?

I am from the Uk but now live in Australia....of course I have bigger rooms and a laundry here because the house is built on land which in England would have three or possibly 4 ordinary houses on it.

There's masses of land here.

charlestonchaplin Mon 23-Apr-18 04:26:48

Box rooms mainly exist in smaller properties like terraces, don't they? If the rooms were bigger the properties would be less affordable and it would encroach on any garden space. The price of land in most parts of the UK is likely to be much more than in your Caribbean idyll.

Unless they've started making them smaller, they are still very useable spaces. Perfectly adequate for a child. For a couple of years while I was at university I had a box room. I was very comfortable there, especially at the price of £152 a month.

Also, British people have traditionally started out buying what they can afford and then moved 'up the ladder' as their financial circumstances improved and their needs changed.

missperegrinespeculiar Mon 23-Apr-18 04:29:22

I agree. And to PP, it's true, in Australia you almost always get a separate laundry and very often two bathrooms even in small new builds. However, I was amazed at the often shockingly poor quality of the buildings there, cracking and structural problems are often an issue even in new builds because of poor construction!

I think it is the same problem everywhere, builders trying to get as much money out of the development as possible and sometimes cutting corners, when I was buying I would always try and go for either an older house or one that was built by an owner occupier (not always possible because of price though!)

PlumsGalore Mon 23-Apr-18 04:50:00

This is a ridiculous post, MereDinto and Lipstick have provided perfect responses succinctly. I can't even believe it's being discussed with such astonishment.

Praisebe Mon 23-Apr-18 04:52:53

There's loads of land in the UK hmm just not in the city centres where everyone seems to want to live.
You can buy a large plot of land for £60k where i live and build and big house with large gardens to your specification which a lot of people have done

Ninjamilo Mon 23-Apr-18 08:40:09

Not sure where you've been looking but I live in a new build with 4 bedrooms - none of which are box rooms, and my garage easily fits a car and tons of junk, washing machine, tumble dryer, racking etc.

The same developer also has houses for sale with utility rooms and fitted wardrobes - maybe you should look at a different developer?

AjasLipstick Mon 23-Apr-18 09:19:57

Praisebe where about do you live?

SluttyButty Mon 23-Apr-18 09:37:25

Hmmm I live in a newish build, have three bedrooms of which none are boxrooms and we have a utility room too. Last time I checked we were uk and the uk has soooo many different house styles.

sothisisspring Mon 23-Apr-18 09:39:20

I have a 4 bed with a box room. Its about money. Around here developers keep building huge estates with townhouses with almost no rear garden that open onto the road at the front so awful for young families. They seem to sell well initially and then be more of a pain to sell on when they are no longer new. We've got an unusual 1980s house but generally you have to look at 1970s or earlier to get decent room sizes.

What I don't understand really is the current obsession with multiple bathrooms. Fine in a big family house, two bathrooms is a good idea. But a small two bed mid terrace with an ensuite and a bathroom? Madness. Who wants a bathroom each (unless you can afford a cleaner)? Although its interesting as our 4 bed house is unpopular as its ugly, and it actually was cheaper than 3 bed houses with the same floor space as we have a small bathroom and the 4th bed is a box room. Works for us. We have the washing machine in the attached garage which I love. Would hate having one in the kitchen now, particularly with small DCs as its going almost all the time Im home!

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