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An update from Jackson-Stops on home moving Hide
The value of Georgian architecture
GEORGIAN HOUSES – A PREMIUM OR A PASSION

The price of any house is more often than not dictated by demand and where Georgian houses are concerned demand almost always seems to outstrip supply.  This passion is driven by not just the outward appearance of a Georgian house, whether it be a town or country property, but by the light well-proportioned rooms, large windows and high ceilings. Almost every Georgian house is a listed building and amongst them are some of the country’s grandest historic houses.  It is arguably the most distinctive period of English architecture and spans over 100 years; Georgian house continued to be built well after the death of George IV.

It is a style that embraces a significant part of this country’s built heritage from terraces of town houses, most often created by skilled local builders, to some of the of the most iconic houses created by architects that have now become household names.  A great deal of the uniformity across the country came about as a result of the publication of pattern books which enabled a client to select a drawing of a staircase or architectural detail and have it reproduced more or less to order.  Amongst the most influential pattern books were ‘A Sure Guide to Builders’ by Batty Langley and ‘Works in Architecture’ by Robert and James Adam.

What makes a Georgian building so appealing to buyers today is the relatively restrained architectural style when compared to that of the ornate baroque period and the heavier style so enjoyed by the Victorians.  Furthermore, the simple yet elegant panelled rooms of a Georgian house work just as well when furnished with period furniture and fabrics as they do when a given in a modern minimalist look.  The layout also lends itself to 21st Century living.  The principal rooms are almost always well proportion.  The secondary accommodation or staff quarters readily convert to a boot room, utility room, flower room, gym or games room whilst the small anti-rooms, frequently found adjoining the principal bedrooms, make ideal bath or shower rooms.

The success of the Georgian style was not down purely to luck or indeed a plethora of fine architects.  Events such as the Great Fire of London in 1666 resulted in the 1667 Building Act which set out the basic requirements for buildings in London and could well be regarded as the forerunner of what today are more commonly known as building regulations.  Further Acts were to follow in 1707 and 1774, the latter defining the four categories or ‘rates’ of houses in London, ‘first rate’ not surprisingly being the standard applied to the building of the finest properties.  What happened in the capital almost inevitably had an impact on buildings across the country.

200 years on and Georgian architecture continues to please the eye and remains the style most frequently requested.  This in turn means that a buyer is likely to have to pay more per square foot for a Georgian house than, say, a Tudor or Victorian house and as yet there are no signs of this trend faltering.

October 2012.