Can someone prove this to me and let me know where you can buy 3/4 sized furniture?
Many developers DO use this – One company I can think of had some custom made – more like 4/5 size, not ¾; that would be too obvious. This company sells smaller “upmarket” developments and moves the furniture from one show flat to the next with subsequent developments.
The crime is that the cost of building a house is actually quite small, yet because of the bargaining power of these building collectives like Persimmon, you have all the good land snapped up and then planning permission pushed through suspiciously quickly. These developers charge top whack for substandard goods simple because there is no alternative. If you want to self-build you are forced to jump through multiple hoops and negotiate with unfriendly and unsympathetic NIMBY planners working for inefficient local councils. My alternative would be to adopt true free market economics and to release land that has pre-approved planning (within reason) and to sell plots off to self-builders and small developers to create some diversity and real choice.
In Germany, local councils are forced to set aside a minimum number of self-build plots each year. There are restrictions on these that allow only for private self-build with only one house per plot, strictly no commercial developers or “investors”.
Why can’t the UK do something similar?
On the continent here you get one simple price per square metre and are then easily able to check that with the going rate for the area.
A friend went to view some flats for sale about a year ago: some were 2 – bed flats, some advertised as 4- bed. It turned out that the floor area of both flats was about the same – the 4 bedrooms and lounge were absolutely tiny compared to those in the 2-bed flat but the 4-bed flat was on sale for almost double the price!
Have the architects all gone to sleep in this country? They don't seem to be working for Bovis, Barrett, Redrow etc.
They are not! These developers do not have to employ qualified architects to design their houses and flats. For most it is cheaper and easier to employ their own “technicians” to do the job the way they want them to.
Large developers only need one or two designs approved (which they reuse ad nauseum) which is not a problem since most of them have a lot of clout or inside help from the council planning departments.
Most newbuild houses now have truss roofs where many small sections of timber held togeather with nail plates are used to build the main frame because they wont payout for a professional joiner to costruct it properly. What this means to you is that you cant use your loftspace for storage as there is simply no room and if you ever wanted to expand and convert it into a extra bedroom/dormer it would be virtualy impossible.
This is not really true. Using gangnail truss roofs is a new technology – yes, it is cheaper, but also easier to construct without losing much in the way of quality. The old system of using professional joiners is only used today where listed buildings need repair matching the way they were built. (Much the same as tiles are used today rather than thatch). Gangnail truss roofs can be used for storage quite easily and can also be converted into loft rooms (but yes, this is more difficult than converting traditional truss roofs.)