Investment in good design pays off for family firm
THE recession has had a devastating effect on small developers and many have been driven of business altogether. But Mirfield-based Darren Smith Homes has proved that good design and added extras can help attract buyers and sell houses.
The traditional family firm decided on a fresh approach when it planned its Radley Court site, which has a mix of apartments and houses.
“We have been going for 25 years and have a really good reputation for putting a lot of effort into the detail but we knew we had to go the extra mile because of the recession. You can’t just put up a shell of a house and hope to sell it and that’s why we decided on a contemporary approach. We’ve tried to t hink of everything, even down to the smell of the house. We’ve planted herb baskets on all the balconies,” says Cath Smith.
They started with the architecture, which is modern, and also hired an interior design to advise them on the layout and decor.
She suggested more storage and now there is a cupboard under the stairs, a storage shed outside and hidden cupboards in the bathroom.
The properties are full of natural light thanks to sun pipes, roof lights and bi-folding glass doors.
There’s LED mood lighting, iPod docking stations and the living area features a wall-hung TV. A glass and oak staircases with leather handrail leads upstairs, where the main bedroom has a built-in wardrobe with white leather doors and a built-in TV.
The front gardens have low maintenance, artificial grass and Radley Court’s shared piazza has been flagged with granite. It also boasts a stream and Himalyan birch trees. Even the timber bin store has had the designer treatment and is screened with bamboo plants.
The attention to details has paid off as most of the properties are sold. There are seven, two-bedroom Zest townhouses left.
“We have created a win win situation with our development,” says Cath. “Buyers get an unrivalled specification. We have spent an extra 10 per cent in the final specification of these homes but in return over 50 per cent of sales have been achieved off-plan, the site is nearing completion and we have had unprecedented amount of interest in the first two open weekends.”
The Zest townhouses feature unrivalled attention to detail and a fresh, contemporary design.